Eating grass is a common behavior in dogs, and many of them even make it part of their daily routines. Fortunately, veterinarians believe that in most cases, the behavior is nothing you need to worry about. Although there are many reasons why dogs eat grass, the following reasons are the most common.
Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
Unlike cats, dogs are not carnivores. However, they are not herbivores either. Much like humans, dogs are omnivores, which means that they need a combination of meat and plants for them to maintain their health. Wild canines are able to satisfy these needs by devouring their prey entirely including the stomach contents of herbivores. Domesticated dogs, on the other hand, rely on their owners for their food. As such, if you feed your dog a diet that is mainly comprised of meat, it will often seek out and eat plants. Since grass is typically quite accessible, it seems to be the plant of choice for many of our canine friends.
Another reason dogs eat grass is due to various gastrointestinal issues. Grass is made of insoluble fiber that is not digestible when consumed in large quantities. As such, if your pet eats a lot of grass, it will accumulate in its stomach rather than move on to the small intestines.
After some time, this accumulation will cause your dog to vomit. Vomiting, in turn, can help to relieve your pet’s nausea. Common illnesses that may make your dog eat grass include inflammatory bowel disease, bloat, intestinal parasites and metabolic diseases affecting the pancreas, liver or kidneys. Also dog pregnancy can make your dog eat grass.
Of course, some dogs simply eat grass because they are bored. This can be especially true of pets that are left alone for long periods of time or those that do not have any toys or other pets to play with. Furthermore, many dogs eat grass because they like the taste of it.
Dog Eating Grass: What You Can Do
While eating grass will not harm your dog, there are some things you can do to stop the behavior. First, you will need to find out why your dog is eating grass in the first place. If your pet is not vomiting and has plenty of toys and/or playmates, you may be able to assume that the behavior is due to dietary needs.
In this case, change your dog’s food to a diet that includes such plant-based ingredients as green beans, blueberries or carrots. You can even add these ingredients to your dog’s food if you choose. Conversely, if your dog is eating grass and vomiting, this can signify an illness requiring medical attention.
Finally, if you notice your dog eat grass and you are sure the behavior is due to boredom, you can cure the behavior by providing more toys to your pet. Another way to help in this case is by playing with your dog more often. If you follow these useful tips, you should see a significant decrease in grass-eating behavior.
Is your dog not eating well or has lost it’s appetite? Click here to see the common reasons why your dog is not eating.