Has your dog spent an unhealthy amount of time eating grass? Do you find your dog frequently eat grass, vomit, and then eat grass again? You’re not the only one concerned. It’s a common display dog owner often witness. The technical term for this kind of behavior is called pica.
This means your dog has some nutritional deficiency. It’s a sign of boredom otherwise. It’s typically witnessed in puppies. This behavior is more common than you think and is detected in wild dogs too. It’s isn’t a sign of concern though and most vets say it’s normal behavior.
However, it’s something to ponder over. Especially when your dog vomits and promptly goes back to eat the grass. Does this mean your dog thinks it ate something poisonous? Is your dog self-treating itself? Most dogs don’t have an upset stomach before or after consuming the grass.
So why is it happening? Why do they do it? Let’s find out.
Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?
There could be a multitude of reasons why your dog eats grass. It’s hard to pinpoint a specific issue. Some people claim that dogs do this to induce vomiting. They feel better afterward. Others refute this point because dogs can’t treat themselves. Also, most dogs don’t showcase any symptoms of an upset stomach.
Maybe they’re trying to fulfill some nutritional need. Or they could be trying to get more fiber. Many reports claim that introducing a high-fiber diet diminishes this behavior. Or maybe, your dog just likes the way grass tastes. Here are some physical and psychological reasons why dogs eat grass.
Dogs also require fiber to function properly. It’s important to include fibrous elements in their diet to have an effective digestive system. Dogs are omnivores. Many people tend to forget that. Eating grass could be their way to incorporate fibers into their diet.
Their diets should include a mix of plant-based food and high-quality meat. If these criteria are met, they’ll likely graze less. You should consider taking your dog to the veterinarian if they vomit frequently. It could be a gastric or inflammatory issue. Other symptoms of such behavior include lack of energy and appetite.
Do you know how you tend to fidget while you’re bored? Or bite your nails while you’re anxious? Maybe dogs munch on the grass to showcase these symptoms. Especially if they don’t have an underlying medical problem. In this case, you should make your dog’s exercise more often.
Increase the time you spent walking them. Play with them more. If your dog has separation anxiety, leave an old t-shirt of yours behind before leaving the house. The familiar scent will ease their anxiousness. If your dog pertains to eating grass regardless, consult your veterinarian.
Does Your Dog Eat Grass Because of Instinct?
Have you wondered what dogs ate before dried dog food came in? Well, they hunted preys. They hunted for the meat, bones, and more. Consuming the entire animal fulfilled the dog’s need for a balanced diet. Especially if prey consumed fibers.
Dogs aren’t wholly carnivorous or omnivorous. They consume anything that fulfills their dietary needs. Modern dogs may not have to hunt but that doesn’t mean they won’t give in to their instincts. Eating grass may be their way of scavenging for food. So don’t worry about the occasional grazing.
Is It Safe for Your Dog to Eat Grass?
If your dog doesn’t showcase any medical problem, you don’t need to worry about the occasional grass eating. Make sure your pets are on parasite prevention medication. Your grass shouldn’t have any fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides either. Those may affect your dog more.
However, anything done in excess should be a cause of concern. If your dog is frequently eating grass then it may be trying to treat itself. See if your dog has been portraying any other concerning issue. It could be diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, or a lack of appetite.
Also, be wary of other plants too. This chewing isn’t necessarily limited to grass only. What happens when your dogs start chewing other varieties? Some plants can be toxic while ingested. Start training your dog to eliminate this behavior for your own peace of mind.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Grass
If you think your dog is grazing because they’re bored, it’s time to amp their exercise routine. One of the main causes of dogs eating grass is boredom. Start incorporating more fun activities. Play catch or toss a Frisbee. It’s important to engage in more interactive games. Also, you can just get them a chew toy.
If you suspect a nutritional deficiency, get better dog food. Not all brands offer a well-balanced diet. Get fibrous dog food. This may help alleviate the concerning problem. Try to avoid buying houseplants or garden plants that are toxic. You don’t want to worry about them ingesting toxins!
Indoor dogs showcase this behavior the most. You may not want to stop growing plants that could be potentially toxic. Just keep them in an inaccessible place. Train your dog to know what’s off-limits. Keep your dog away from the lawn if it’s been chemically treated. It could be poisonous for them. This applies to parks too.
This craving has to be met. So you can provide some alternatives instead. Pet stores often have wheat-grass that animals munch on. Also, increase the time your dogs spend exercising. Both mental and physical exercise. Train them to suppress this boredom-induced behavior.
Your dog could be eating grass for a variety of reasons but it’s nothing that can’t be treated. Just take some time to play with and train them to know what should stay off-limits. Add more fiber in their meals to improve digestion. With an improved diet, this behavior will go away in no time!
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