Has your dog been happily chomping on the grass every time you head out for a walk? While they may seem to enjoy it you might be concerned about what it means and if it is safe for your furry friend. Today our Doraville vets explain why your dog is eating grass and share some tips for curbing this behavior.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Many pet parents are thrown off by their dog's grass-eating habit. Why does my dog eat grass? It can't possibly taste good right? Is it safe for dogs to eat grass? If your dog loves to chomp on mouthfuls of grass here are a couple of possible reasons why:
What are the physical reasons that dogs eat grass?
Just like humans and many other animals, roughage in your dog's diet helps them to digest their food better. Grass is a great and readily accessible source of fiber for our four-legged friends.
As with humans, a diet lacking in roughage can result in poor digestion, which may make it more difficult to pass stool. Eating grass might be your pup's way of helping their body's gastrointestinal system function more smoothly.
While eating grass for fiber is not concerning, you may want to seek veterinary care if your dog is showing signs of illness after they've been eating grass. Contact your vet to book an examination for your dog so they can test for any medical issues, or diagnose them and provide treatment.
What are the psychological reasons behind grass eating?
One of the main reasons behind the excessive grass-eating habit of some dogs is boredom. Some dogs are perfectly content to occupy themselves while outside, but others are easily bored and may amuse themselves by nibbling on grass.
This can also be said for dogs that experience anxiety, this grass-eating can help them to shift their focus when they are feeling this way. You may notice that your dog eats more grass when they're feeling lonely, bored, or anxious.
Ways to Help Prevent Your Dog From Eating Grass
If you are concerned that your dog may be eating grass due to a psychological reason there are a few tricks you can try in order to curb this habit.
- For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, try leaving an old t-shirt (unwashed) or blanket with your familiar scent on it, with your dog while you're away from home. Your pet may find comfort in having your scent close by.
- If your dog is bored, it's time to add some extra mental stimulation to their day. Try occupying your dog with a puzzle toy to help provide extra mental stimulation.
- High-energy dogs will likely benefit from longer or more frequent, longer or more vigorous walks, and some strenuous play sessions.
- Dogs that enjoy socializing with other dogs may need extra socializing time. Perhaps taking your dog to a doggie daycare or on visits to the local dog park will help to stop your dog from eating grass.
Should you be worried about your dog grass eating?
Unless your dog is eating grass in excessive amounts or is showing signs of stomach upset, and as long as they are given parasite prevention medication consistently, eating grass is perfectly safe, and nothing you need to worry about.
A note of caution: If your dog enjoys eating grass, be sure that there are no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass where your dog likes to nibble.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.