Eating grass and other plants is a common canine behavior, yet you can’t help but wonder why your dog does this. Is it because grass tastes delicious? Not necessarily. Dogs will usually eat grass when they experience a stomach ache, nutritional deficiency, or just plain boredom. Either way, you should try to determine the specific reason since eating grass can be symptomatic of an underlying problem.
This article will explain why dogs eat grass, when is it cause for concern, and what you should do about it.
Keep Calm and Remember It’s Natural
Although it can be alarming to see your dog eat grass, it’s best to remain calm and remember that this is a natural and instinctive thing that dogs do. Unless the grass is treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals, it should be safe to allow your dog to eat the grass and may be necessary in some cases
That said, observe your dog for certain behaviors before, during, and after he eats it to determine whether or not you need to take action and seek medical attention.
The Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass and What to Do
The main reason why dogs may eat grass is because their stomach hurt and they’re trying to make themselves throw up to feel better. Stomach pain can be caused by a number of different reasons, such as gas, eating something toxic, eating too rich of food, a food allergy, anxiety, and more.
In such a case, your dog will likely whimper and make it clear that he needs to go outside, then run straight to the first plant he sees and start frantically chewing on it. When dogs eat grass to purge, they tend to eat very quickly. Afterward, they often lick their lips, not because they enjoyed the flavor but because this means they feel nauseous. Then, they will vomit.
It’s typically normal and safe for your dog to throw up one or two times to clear out whatever was in his system that upset it, but this shouldn’t be a frequent or repetitive behavior. If your dog makes himself throw up a lot, see a vet to discuss his diet, neurological problems, or possibly even emotional distress.
Your dog may be eating grass because he has worms and is trying to flush them out. This is a case when the vomiting will happen more than once and there may be other signs of illness present, such as lethargy or refusing food and water. If you suspect your dog is eating grass because he has worms, see a vet right away to determine how to free your dog of these parasites safely.
Your dog may choose to eat grass, and even poop, if he feels like he’s not getting all the nutrients he needs from his meals. Talk to your vet about recommendations for high-quality foods to switch to so your pooch gets all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber he’s missing from his diet. Also, consider supplementing with digestive enzymes to help him process food and absorb nutrients more efficiently.
Boredom or Seeking Attention
Puppies and younger dogs may eat grass out of boredom or because they’re being playful. Your puppy doesn’t understand yet that eating grass can cause him to vomit or he’s seeking attention. Teething may also cause your pup to chew on anything, including grass, sticks, flowers, or whatever else he can get his mouth on.
In most cases, eating grass is nothing to worry about. However, If your dog eats grass and vomits on a regular basis, a few simple life adjustments are probably all that is needed to keep this behavior at bay. If you still have any lingering concerns, it’s always a good idea to give your vet a call!