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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Dog eating grass
Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM author of why does my dog eat grass

Is your dog constantly eating the grass? Some dogs will act as a lawnmower and eat their grass every time that they go outside. This may have you worried that there is something going on with your dog’s diet or GI system. 

Many times, your dog is just fine; they just love the taste of grass. The article will explain why your dog is eating grass and what you can do to help them stop these unwanted behaviors.

What is Pica?

Pica is the behavior of your dog when they eat something that is not food. This can be grass, paper, toys, or rocks. Pica can be an indication that your dog has a nutritional deficiency, but they can be perfectly normal. Puppies and dogs will often eat grass out of boredom, rather than a nutritional deficiency.

A small-scale study has found that around 80% of dogs eat plants at some point during their life, and that is perfectly normal. Not all dog food contains just protein. Many dog foods also contain plant materials. All the dogs that are found eating plants, the grass is probably the most regularly consumed vegetation.

Why is the Dog Eating Grass?

There are many reasons that your dog may want to eat grass.

  • Your Dog Is Not Feeling Well: It has been theorized that if your dog is not feeling well, they will eat grass to make themselves throw up. This does not have any research to back up this claim. Only about 10% of dogs that eat grass actually seem to be sick before being seeing consuming vegetation.
  • Your puppy is teething: Teething puppies will eat grass, twigs/sticks, and other outdoor things while trying to teeth. This helps ease the pain that they may be experiencing when they are losing their teeth.
  • Helps with digestion: It is thought grass may be eaten to aid in digestion. The grass is a plant fiber that should help your dog properly be able to digest their food.
  • Helps with parasites: Others theorize that eating grass can help with intestinal worms

Is Eating Grass Dangerous for My Dog?

Usually, eating grass does not cause any problems for your dog’s there are a few instances that eating grass could cause your dog to get sick. 

  • Eating grass can lead to dogs consuming parasites or worms, which can lead to serious issues. Most parasites live in the soil, and when your dog eats grass, they can easily contract a parasite. A parasite infestation can cause your dog to vomit or have diarrhea.  
  • If any chemicals or pesticides have been used on the grass, they pose a threat to the dog’s health

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How to Stop My Dog from Eating Grass

One of the number one questions answered by veterinarians is, “should I stop my dog from eating grass? While you may not have to stop your dog from eating grass, many people do not like their dog eating grass because of the possible issues that it can cause.

These are a few good ways to keep your dog from eating grass

  • Introduce vegetation into their diet. If your dog likes to eat grass, add vegetables to their diet. Things such as green leafy lettuce, cucumber, kale or romaine lettuce are great things that you can add to your dog diet to
  • Use treats and praise. By giving them positive reinforcement, you can easily train the behavior out of them. As soon as you notice that your dog is eating grass, tell them no and redirect them to a toy or treat. Eventually, your dog will be more concerned with their treats and toys and not want to eat grass when they are outside
  • Check for a medical problem. Take your dog to your vet and have them examined for any medical problem. Your vet can check to make sure that your dog does not have a nutritional deficiency or and GI problems. If they do, they can start your dog on medication so that they feel much better.
  • Consider a home garden. Planting vegetables that are healthy and safe for your dog to eat is a great idea. This will be a safe, parasite-free place for your dog to graze on some grass. Make sure you pay attention to these grasses that they are free of disease or other issues that would cause your dog to get sick.
  • Make sure that your dog has a high fiber diet. If your dog is eating grass, it can cause them to vomit. Make sure to substitute a high-fiber diet, which can help them stop eating grass. Some dogs will only eat grass because they are bored or dealing with other digestive issues
  • Take your dog outside for exercises: Exercise can be a great way to keep your dog’s mind occupied. This leaves them less time bored and less inclined to eat grass.

By having a few preventative measures in place, you can easily train your dog not to eat grass.

If your dog is constantly eating grass, it may be best to take your dog to the vet so that they can make sure that there is nothing medically wrong with your dog.

Many times, this is a behavioral issue that you will have to work with your dog on training them to not eat grass. With a little training, diet modification, and increased exercise, your dog can quickly learn that eating grass is not approved behavior.

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Meet The Author 

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM author of Why does my dog eat grass

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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