I bet the first time you saw your fur ball chomping on the garden grass as if it’s the best fresh dog food in the world, you were shocked! why dogs eat grass? what is the reason behind it?
Like many dog parents, you must have been alarmed and wondered if you should visit the vet at the earliest! Your fur ball is certainly not a cow so watching him go crazy on grass instead of his pet dog food may worry you.
Is he sick?
Is he bored?
Is he hungry?
Is he crazy?
Will eating grass make him sick?
So here is all you need to know about
Why Dogs Eat Grass?
It might be some relief for you know that you are not alone. Grass eating is a common occurrence amongst many dogs.
Grass eating by dogs is technically called “Pica”. Pica refers to the behavior of dogs when they eat things that are not characterized as dog food diet. Dogs in the wild also exhibit this characteristic.
In the puppy years, they may eat grass out of boredom or just for fun. However, at an adult age it is due to certain health related reason that your pet understands and is trying to correct on its own
Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?
Dogs will eat grass when they suffer from gastrointestinal upset: You might have noticed that sometimes your dog acts frantic to run out and eat the first grass or leaf that comes in sight. They would even cry or whimper to get you to open the door. You feed him the best pet dog food and still grass is what he craves for.
They would gorge on a large amount of grass quickly. This is their attempt to throw up, to cleanse their system and relieve the gastrointestinal discomfort. Your dog knows that the grass is going to make him throw up and that is exactly what he intends to do.
Once they have filled themselves with grass, they will lick their lips because the grass is making them feel nauseous and then vomit. It is completely normal for your dog to vomit occasionally, just as we also do sometimes.
Your dog is feeling bloated or nauseous and wants to remove the discomfort by intentionally throwing up. Grass will help vomit and cleanse the system.
Dog will eat grass if they suffer from intestinal worms: Your dog may be suffering from intestinal worms and his instinct tells him to eat grass to eliminate the parasites. If your dog has been eating the same dog food diet of fresh dog food or the best dry dog food for years and you notice a sudden change in their eating habit, and a liking for grass then check if deworming is overdue.
Dogs will eat grass to fulfill a nutritional requirement: If your dog is not on a nutritionally balanced dog food diet and is suffering from nutritional deficiencies, the grass grazing could be his way of balancing his diet. It will be a good idea to take a closer look at the pet dog food that you are giving your furry and make sure that is a balanced fresh dog food diet.
Grass eating could just be an inherited trait: Some believe that in the wild when animals prey they ingest plant matter present in the intestine of the prey. If his dog food lacks the natural roughage and your pet may simply seek that in grass.
Some dogs eat grass simply out of boredom: A simple distraction with a toy or a game of fetch will keep them away from the grass. In such a case, keeping the mind and body of your furry occupied as much as possible.
Grass Has Some Nutrients That Your Dog’s Body Needs.
If your dog is selective in the grass that he eats and does not vomit thereafter then probably he is seeking some nutritional value through the grass that he eats. Grass contains an abundance of fiber and roughage in addition to phytonutrients. Grass also is a good source of digestive enzymes.
If your dog is selective and picking on only some grasses then he trying to make up for the nutrient deficiency in his current dog food diet. The best way to remove the nutritional deficiency would be to shift to a fresh dog food that is balanced and rich in natural fiber
My Dog Eats Grass Often And Then Vomits. What Should I Do?
As we have mentioned above, occasional grass eating by dogs to cleanse their system is nothing to be worried about. However, if you notice this to be a regular habit then there is certainly an underlying problem and it is time to re-evaluate the dog food that you are feeding.
- A frequent gastrointestinal upset and discomfort is a sign that you are feeding the wrong pet dog food or inadequate food to your dog.
- If your dog has been eating the same dog food for years without any trouble and suddenly starts vomiting grass several times a month then it is certainly a cause of concern. We recommend switching the dog food brand or change the protein source if you are feeding fresh dog food.
- It is best to consult a certified veterinary nutritionist who will help design a completely balanced and wholesome dog food diet. We recommend fresh dog food made with natural ingredients that has all the essential nutritients required by your furry and is excellent for their gut health.
- Do note that if your dog has been eating the same dry kibble diet for most of his life, then the transition to natural and fresh dog food diet should be gradual.
- Try adding some probiotics like curd, buttermilk and kefir to the dog food diet. Probiotics fortify and reseed the good bacteria in the gut and help process the food better.
Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass? If Yes, Then How?
If you think that your dog is eating grass because he is bored then it would be a good idea to get him to exercise more. Engage him in more activities that are fun and engaging. A good game of fetch or a good chew toy will keep him occupied.
In case your dog is displaying pica behavior due to nutritional deficiency then it’s time to switch to a better dog food, especially that is high in fiber and balanced with all essential nutrients.
Although most vets and experts would agree that a little bit of grass eating is not harmful but it is important to keep in mind the pesticides and herbicides used in the lawn. These can be toxic and harmful for your dog.
Some of the garden and house plants around our houses are toxic. Keep pets away from them. To make sure that your garden does not have any of the toxic plants; check the List of Toxic and Non-Toxic plants by ASPCA (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants)
Here is our road map to a healthier dog food diet for a healthy and happy furry:
- Tips for selecting the best food for your dog. (https://www.furrmeals.com/tips-to-choose-the-best-dog-food-for-your-furry/)
- Benefits of fresh and natural pet food diet (https://www.furrmeals.com/fresh-pet-food/)
- 5 best fruits for dogs (https://www.furrmeals.com/5-best-fruits-for-dogs/)