Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Dog eating grass

You are not alone if your dog eats grass and vomits.

The term "pica" refers to a disorder characterised by eating things that aren't food.  It is thought that pica sometimes indicates a nutritional deficiency in dogs, but it can also indicate boredom, especially in puppies and younger dogs.

It's quite common for dogs to eat grass (it's also observed in wild dogs) and this form of pica is not typically problematic.  And according to most veterinarians, this is a normal behaviour for dogs. 

So Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

Dogs grazing on your lawn can be caused by a number of factors.

When dogs are feeling unwell, they may eat grass to make themselves vomit in order to feel better.

In general, dogs that eat grass are not sick beforehand, or at least it doesn't seem that way.  In fact, owners report that fewer than 10% of dogs are sick before eating grass.  In addition, grass-eating doesn't usually lead to vomiting; less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after eating grass.

Other suggested reasons why your dog might be eating grass include:

  • To help improve their digestion

  • Treat intestinal worms

  • Fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fibre

  • Your dog is bored.  Yep, you heard it correctly…B.O.R.E.D

  • Your dog simply likes the way grass tastes and feels!

Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?  If So, How?

If your dog eats grass out of boredom, make sure they get enough exercise. Play some fun games with them. Getting them to play with a frisbee or any another interactive game, is a good idea.  Additionally, you can buy them a chew toy to keep them occupied.  

Your dog's pica behavior may be improved by switching to a high-fiber dog food, especially if nutritional deficiencies are the cause.   

Veterinarians generally agree that grazing on grass isn't harmful, but certain pesticides and herbicides can be toxic, especially if consumed.  For more advice on weed sprays and how safe they are to use if you have pets, visit our blog pages.

 

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