Why does my dog eat grass? It can be a frustrating question if you have a culprit under your roof. It’s a common question we hear from dog owners that come to our store. This question is so common in fact, that over 75% of dog owners report they have caught their dog eating grass at some point.
Is My Dog Trying To Tell Me Something?
Pica is the technical term used to describe when dogs (or even humans) eat things that are not food on a consistent basis. Pica is defined as “a tendency or craving to eat substances other than normal food.” Now the question is, why?! This is a common debate and although there is not just one answer, it’s typically not a sign of anything serious. Possibilities include boredom, anxiety, lack of fiber, intestinal worms, gastric reflux or upset stomach. It’s best to check with your veterinarian if you dog is eating grass enough to cause you concern. Especially if there are any other symptoms such as changes to their water intake or appetite. Changes in eating regular food, or signs of discomfort should also be checked by your vet.
Is It Safe For My Dog To Eat Grass?
For most dogs, eating grass is not a big concern. The most common conclusion for why your dog eats grass turns out to be boredom. In general it’s not a health risk for your dog to digest grass. However, do be cautious and aware that any herbicides or pesticides sprayed on grass can be toxic for your dog. When chewing and chomping up the grass from the ground your dog could also ingest intestinal parasites such as hookworms or roundworms. This is possible by contamination in the grass through fecal residue from other animal droppings.
Just like humans, dogs also need fiber in their diets and grass is a good source of fiber. So as un-natural as it may seem, grass may help their gut functions run more efficiently.
Another relief is that grass-eating rarely leads to vomiting, studies have shown that less than 25% of dogs that eat grass throw up regularly after feeding on it.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Grass
If you believe your dog is eating grass because they are bored, get them busy. A great first step to increase the amount of exercise they are getting. Encourage them with some fun activities. This can be a simple game of frisbee or investing in a new sturdy chew toy to keep them occupied.
If your dog’s grass eating behavior is caused by a nutritional deficiency, switching to a better dog food could also help deter the problem. Lean towards finding a high-fiber variety.
You can also train your dog not to eat grass with either treats or praise by accompanying them outdoors. You can deter the behavior with distractions and reward them for not eating grass.
About UPCO Pet Supplies
Founded in 1952, UPCO® was one of the first retail animal supply companies in St. Joseph, MO. A third generation, family owned and operated company boasting a knowledgeable staff and offering products from over 700 brands. UPCO® provides pet and farm supplies to the local community and throughout the U.S. Customer service focused with low wholesale prices, they are the animal supplier of choice. Voted Reader’s Choice Winner for the past 13 years.
Located at 3705 Pear Street, Saint Joseph, MO 64503