Worried about your pooch munching down grass?
Maybe you started to notice your dog being a regular at the grass buffet at the back yard. Wait a minute though, he isn't a bunny after all.
Is he sick? Hungry? Bored?
No need to panick yet. It's a very common behaviour among dogs. In fact, even wild dog species are observed to eat grass or other plant materials.
In this article, we've put together a guide to understand why your dog eats grass, if that's okay and myths about grass eating.
So, why do dogs eat grass?
There are multiple reasons why your pooch is going vegan.
It ranges from any underlying discomfort to boredom to simply enjoying a bunch of spring smelling fresh grass shoots.
In all likelihood, there's no need for any concern as it's a common behaviour among healthy normal dogs.
Just to be sure, we're covering all the basis to understand if eating grass could be an indicator of another issue.
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Eating grass which is indigestible to dogs isn't necessarily bad for your pooch.
However, it could be an indicator of an underlying gastrointestinal disease.
Some vets tend to think that dogs eat grass if their stomach or intestines are upset.
Perhaps with a desire to push through whatever upsetting their stomach by munching down indigestible grass.
In a way related to upset stomachs, your pooch might be feeling irritated by parasites and trying to push out whatever is irritating them by eating grass.
In this case, it could be a good idea to get a stool sample for testing to your local vet.
Upset intestines due to diet
Nowadays, dog foods you can purchase online or at supermarkets contain a myriad of ingredients ranging from additives to vitamins and different types of protein.
It's possible that your dog's intestines get irritated by one of the ingredients.
A potential way to alleviate any discomfort is changing the diet slowly. Perhaps you could test a hypoallergenic diet .
Your furry friend might be just bored. If you suspect that's the case, upping their physical activity could help.
A chew toy could be a potential solution to try.
It tastes good
You might be surprised to hear this, your pup might actually like the taste of grass.
Particularly in spring and summer time, fresh and tender grass shoots might be their choice of snack.
Do dogs eat grass to induce vomiting if they're sick?
Studies so far suggest that is not the case.
Even though the observed sample size was small, a University of California study suggests that none of the dogs were reported observing signs of illness before eating grass, and only 8% said were reported to regularly vomit afterwards.
So the common belief that dogs eat grass to vomit or when they're sick is a myth. Grass eating is a common behaviour in healthy normal dogs.
Is fiber amount in diet related to grass eating?
By the result of the same study from the University of California, having less fibre in diet plays no role in a dog eating less or more plants.
Should I be worried about my dog eating grass
Unless you suspect an indigestion issue or a parasite, there should be no need to worry if it's not excessive.
However, it's important to make sure the grass is not sprayed with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. He's chewing all those down with the grass after all.
When should I get worried about my dog eating grass?
Get in touch with your vet if
- He's eating grass but not his normal food
- Excessive grass eating
- You suspect parasites
- Repeatedly eating grass and vomiting
- He's eating grass and acts unusually
As always, if you're not sure, please consult a vet.
Some vets suggest that dogs might eat grass if their intestines are upset with a desire to push through whatever is upsetting them. However, this could be an indicator of an underlying gastrointestinal disease.
Always consult with your local vet if you're suspecting any issues.
It's a common behaviour and there are various reasons. These could be boredom, any underlying stomach issue, or simply the taste and smell of fresh shoots.
It's not necessarily bad for dogs to eat grass. However, if it's excessive or you're suspecting health issues such as parasites, consult with your local vet. Also, make sure the grass is not sprayed with dangerous pesticides.
Additionally, your dog might need treatment against lungworm which is passed on by slugs and snails.
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