You may be surprised to notice your pet dog eating grass on your lawn. Obviously, you will be concerned about this unusual behavior. You may be wondering – why does my dog eat grass?
Is This Normal Behavior?
It is quite normal for dogs to eat grass (in fact, wild dogs have been seen eating grass too, and this may be completely natural) and also this type of pica may not cause any major issues.
What is this Condition Called?
First and foremost, you should know that you are not alone in your concern, especially if your dog is eating up the lawn and throwing up. The name of the disorder is Pica, and it’s characterized by canines eating or ingesting items that are not food.
Pica is an indication that your canine has nutritional deficiencies, though it’s usually a sign of boredom, especially when both canines and younger canines engage in the same practice.
It is important to note that most vets consider pica a common dog behavior.
A recent small-scale review of around 50 pet owners whose dogs had easy access to the lawn in addition to other types of plants revealed that 79 percent of their canines had ingested some form of plant life at one time or another.
Another study on plant-eating canines revealed that grass was actually the most commonly eaten plant by canines.
Why is My Canine Eating Grass?
There are numerous reasons why your pet may be grazing on your lawn.
Dogs are naturally scavengers, and just like all other scavengers, these canines are programmed to look for nourishment wherever they can. Therefore, it is possible that your pet finds the texture or taste of grass tasty.
Or maybe dogs are seeking nutrients they may not be getting from the food they get fed with on a regular basis.
In some cases, dogs feed on grass to pass time. The canine has the entire backyard at their disposal, and there’s a lot they can do there, including eating grass.
Do you regularly exercise your dog and provide mental challenges for your pup? Do you normally notice your pet eating more grass when you are not able to walk the dog or lay with them regularly?
To Help Them Vomit?
There is the theory that canines often ingest grass when not feeling well to make them vomit, and as a result get well afterwards. However, some people dispute this idea on the basis that most dogs have not demonstrated sufficient intelligence to be able to decide what to take when experiencing stomach upsets.
There is proof showing that almost all canines that ingest grass are not unwell beforehand, or at a least they don’t seem to seem to be unwell when eating grass, according to the owners.
Besides, grass-eating does not automatically lead to throwing up; less than 25% of pet dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.
Some Other Reasons
- Improved digestion
- Getting rid of worms
- Satisfying a nutritional deficiency, including the particular need for roughage.
Case Study on Poodles
A recently published study on a small poodle that ate grass on a daily basis and vomited afterwards like clockwork for 7 years revealed a number of interesting things. After putting the poodle on a high-fiber diet for 3 days, the owner reported that the poodle stopped eating grass completely.
Is Feeding on Grass Harmful to Your Dog?
While experts may be in general agreement that grazing on grass is not harmful to dogs, it is important to note that certain herbicides and inorganic pesticides that are often used on lawns can be incredibly poisonous when ingested by pets.
In addition to that, some common household plants are poisonous, so they can cause problems when dogs munch on them.
Be sure to look at ASPCA’s Pet Poison Control Center website for a list of poisonous plants that may be found in your backyard.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
If you would like to prevent your dog from eating grass, it is recommended you consider all your options. Fortunately, the solution may not be complicated, such as buying a chew toy for your dog.
If you think your dog is eating grass due to boredom, it is recommended you start walking your dog on a regular basis. Sometimes dogs also eat poop. Playing with the dog might also be helpful. By engaging your dog in a few fun things, you may get them to stop feeding on grass. Consider throwing a Frisbee for your dog to chase and catch. There are also many other fun games and physical activities that can keep your dog occupied. The aim of all these is to help prevent your dog from ingesting grass.