Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Dogs enjoy putting their mouths on just about everything. They will eat a shoe, lick the carpet, and in some cases even eat grass. It’s always a weird thing to watch as they try to wrap their mouths around individual blades, but it happens and it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. So, why do dogs eat grass? The simple answer is that they are just hungry, but in this article, I will highlight a few theories and notions as to why your dog might be grazing your lawn.
A common theory for why dogs eat grass is because of an illness. Most likely a response to an upset stomach, a dog will eat grass to vomit as a remedy to their stomach pain. When a dog ingests grass especially in big bites, the blades tend to tickle and scratch at the stomach lining causing the dog to vomit whatever it is that’s bothering them. However, similar to how humans use ginger ale as a means to settle their stomach, a dog will resort to grass even though there is no real scientific evidence to support this notion. Just like the ginger ale, the grass is mostly likely not doing any real harm to your dog. Some vets will go on to claim that a dog is not physically able to self-medicate itself in such a way on the basis that dogs are not proven to be intelligent enough to make such a decision to treat its own upset stomach by eating grass. Other reasons your dog might be eating grass are to improve digestion, fulfill an unmet nutritional need such as more fiber, boredom, and the simple fact that your dog enjoys the taste and texture of grass. Since a lot of these theories lack scientific evidence and haven’t been proven to harm your pet, try adding more fiber to your dogs’ diet to curb it away from grass. Add steamed green beans, a different type of kibble, or a veterinary approved fiber supplement to your dogs’ food to increase its fiber intake and monitor your dogs’ behavior. If your dog is bored, try giving it a different toy or taking it out for more exercise. Chewing is one of the many ways a dog can pass by time. If it’s not satisfied with the current toy, then it's time to occupy its time with a new one. Certain toys or bones can even assist with any nutritional deficiencies that you may be concerned about. Grazing is not as bad as some make it out to be, but do be mindful of what has been put into your lawn. Pesticides and other grass treatments can have a toxic effect on your dog and should give you cause to stop your dog from eating grass.
You know your pet best and if he’s just enjoying himself and eating grass that’s not treated with heavy pesticides, it’s safe to say he’s going to be alright. So why do dogs eat grass? The real answer is no one definitely knows why and that’s ok. Eating grass happens and there are options you can try to prevent it if necessary. Love your dog, feed it a balanced diet, and see your vet regularly to keep it healthy and happy.
- Grove City Agway & Pets