Dogs eating grass is a behavior that puzzles many dog owners. Why do dogs eat grass? Are they trying to eat vegetarian? Do they see cows do it and think, hey that’s a good idea? Not so much. Many dog owners become worried about their dog eating grass. Does eating grass hurt him? Is he hungry, sick or bored perhaps? What if he vomits afterward? Let’s take a look at what the experts have to say on the subject.
Pica is the technical name for eating things that aren’t food. So for dogs, eating grass may be characterized as pica. Experts say if your dog has pica, he may either have some kind of nutritional deficiency, or he could just simply be bored.
Dogs eating grass is a very common behavior. Even wild dogs have been observed eating grass. Most veterinarians agree that it is completely normal for dogs to eat grass.
Other Possible Reasons
It is a common misconception that if a dog eats grass, he is sick and that is why he is doing it. Because dogs that eat grass may vomit, some believe that the dog is purposely trying to make himself vomit to feel better. Others disagree, saying that dogs are not smart enough to make this mental connection and carry out the action. According to WebMD, evidence suggests that most grass-eating dogs aren’t sick before they eat it. They also point out that less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit when they are finished.
Other possible reasons for dogs eating grass include improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, or perhaps trying to fill some nutritional need. If your dog doesn’t have enough fiber in his diet, he may be instinctively eating grass to increase his fiber intake. Another possibility is that your dog may be eating grass just because he likes the way grass tastes or feels.
What To Do
If you suspect your dog may be eating grass because he is bored, it is a good idea to make sure he is getting enough exercise. Even small changes can make a difference. Try giving him a new chew toy to keep him occupied. Or take him outside and play fetch regularly.
What if your dog is eating grass because of a possible nutritional deficiency? Perhaps try feeding him dog food that is high in fiber, or switching to a higher-quality dog food.
Although eating natural grass won’t harm your dog, eating grass that has been sprayed with pesticides will. Herbicides and pesticides that are used in the yard are toxic if ingested. Also keep in mind that if your dog is eating grass, he might try to eat other plants in your yard too. It is a good idea to visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website to check the toxicity of plants in your yard.