You may have been surprised to see your dog eat grass for the first time. It’s confusing how your canine eats grass when all this time, you are aware that he belongs to a completely different animal kingdom. Apart from confusion, you are probably worried about this recent discovery. Was it just because your dog was extremely hungry? Could it be because he’s just stricken by boredom and only wanted to play and not actually eat grass? Will it ever cause harm to your dog?
Dog eating grass
If it will help calm you, it’s safe to say that dogs eating grass has been a concern for many dog owners. It only means you are not the only person worrying about this matter. In fact, there are dogs that vomit after eating grass and you can just imagine how anxious the owners are when this takes place.
Is this normal or a disorder?
Dogs eating grass means they are experiencing Pica. It’s a disorder that urges dogs to eat things that are not edible. In some cases, this condition suggests that your canine companion is suffering from malnutrition or nutritional deficiency. It’s definitely not boredom that pushes dogs to eat grass. It doesn’t apply to dogs especially when it’s done by younger doggies.
Dogs eating grass, although considered a disorder, can be considered a common condition. Many wild dogs go through it and it isn’t really harmful. Many veterinarians even regard it as a normal dog practice. In a study conducted by animal behavior specialists, out of 49 dog owners who have constant access to grass and many other kinds of plants, 79% of their dogs ate plants at some point. In another experiment, it was found out that the most common type of plant they ate is grass.
What’s the reason behind it?
You may be wondering, if a dog is not bored or hungry, then why is he eating grass? There’s a lot of reasons behind it and one is to push themselves to vomit when they feel sick. The dogs know they’ll feel better after vomiting so they find a way to make it happen. Although there are some who don’t think this scenario makes sense putting into consideration that dogs aren’t proven to be that intellectual to know how to do away with an upset stomach, there are still some who believe it’s an acceptable reason.
There are studies that proved that less than 10% of dogs that ate grass were not feeling well before they even consumed it. This suggests that eating grass doesn’t really cause vomiting. About 25% of these animals throw up every time they do grazing.
Another reason that emerges from this dog practice is that of a dog's desire to improve digestion. It’s also said that dogs do this in order to treat intestinal worms and to fulfill the nutritional needs they fail to have from ordinary dog food. In a case study on a poodle that has eaten grass, it has been observed that the dog vomited in seven consecutive days. The owner then decided to put the dog on a diet featuring only high-fiber food. It was later reported that the poodle never tried to eat grass ever again. Some also do not drop the possibility that dogs may just love the taste of the grass that’s why they like munching on it.
Do I need to stop my dog from doing it?
There are ways you can prevent your dog from eating grass. If boredom is said to be one of the reasons, proven or not, it’s best to engage your pet in beneficial activities such as exercising. It will keep him occupied and at the same time, you’ll both have a great time doing it. You may try Frisbee or any other interactive type of game that you think your canine placement will enjoy. Buying him a chew toy can also help.
Addressing your dog’s need for more nutritious meals can also stop him from eating grass. Look for high-fiber dog food and see to it that you go for good-tasting variants.
Although eating grass is generally not harmful, it’s still best to take precautions since you’re not sure if the grass your dog is munching on does not contain pesticides or any other form of chemically produced herbicides. These are toxic substances that can badly affect your pet’s health. Make it a habit to keep an eye on your dog if you are at an unfamiliar place where you are not sure of the kind of plants surrounding the area.