The question of why do dogs eat grass is asked by dog owners a lot of times by their vets. Eating weird food substances like cloth, rock, and even grass, Eating such non-nutritious food like these is a sign of a food disorder called Pica.
Such eating disorders or habits can be due to some medical problems, a behavioral issue, or even due to boredom and anxiety. But if you ask me why do dogs eat grass, or rather why is my dog eating grass may sound simple, but the answer is not at all simple.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass: Is It A Physical Need?
If you see your dog eating grass, then it can be quite problematic as it can upset your dog’s stomach. It has been seen that dogs sometimes eat grass with quite an urgency, but then they vomit it out immediately to get rid of it.
It can be weird to understand why dogs vomit out the grass immediately after eating it, but there is a significance to it. Also, it has been studied that dogs tend to eat grass as a form of self-medication for ailments like stomachache and other stomach problems.
It is believed that dogs tend to eat grass due to the color green, thinking it to be healthy and reliable for any kind of stomach problem. But it is difficult to understand when might a dog eat grass to cure any kind of stomach problem.
Another reason why a dog might be eating grass is that “Dogs need roughage in their’s diets, and the grass is a good source of fiber. A lack of roughage affects the dog’s ability to digest food, and pass stool, so gross many actually help their bodily functions run more smoothly.”
Is Eating Grass A Psychological Need?
Other than just a physical need, there are various psychological needs that force a dog to nibble or chew on grass. As you might know, since you have a dog, the daily activities of your dog depend on your activities mostly.
Watching your every movement, anxiously waiting for you to come home, or playing with you whenever you can. Although a dog doesn’t always get bored while playing outside, when they do, they tend to nibble and chew on grass to get attention from their owners.
It is quite easy for a dog to get bored as all they crave is human interaction and the full attention of the owners. Whenever they feel neglected, they tend to portray weird actions and behavior like eating or nibbling on grass and chewing on their fingernails as well.
If you see that your dog is showing signs of anxiety, then there are a lot of ways you can help your dog with their anxiety.
These ways to help your dog are giving them new toys, and also you can give them your old clothes, for them to sniff on them, that seems quite comforting for the dog’s anxiety. To help them with their boredom, you can give your dog puzzle toys to play with in order to keep them mentally stimulated.
Reasons Dog Eat Grass
If you see that your dog is eating grass, then you might be asking the reason for this behavior. As eating grass by dogs is not a common phenomenon, and why dogs might find grass a delicious delicacy.
1. Need Fiber
Unlike any other animals or humans, daily fiber intake is quite important. This fiber intake helps them to digest their food and keep their Gastrointestinal system clean, and also to pass the stool.
2. Diet Deficiency
It has been suspected by most vets that the reason why dogs eat or nibble on grass is due to the eating disorder pica. This disorder can also be the reason for diet deficiency and missing nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from their food.
But if your dog has a healthy and properly balanced diet, then the pica eating disorder may not be the reason why your dog is eating grass may not be related.
The reason why your dog is eating grass is instinctive, and it is a natural craving for domesticated dogs to eat grass.
If you see your dog suddenly eat grass in a frantic way and then immediately throw it up along with a yellowish foam. This is an odd behavior when your dog self-medicates itself by gobbling up grass as a form of an antacid.
“Yellow foam, or bile, usually indicates that the dog has an empty stomach. The bile can be very irritating and uncomfortable to the dog’s stomach. People take antacids to ease this pain, but dogs may eat grass to help them release the bile and feel better.” according to Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer.
One of the most obvious reasons why dogs might eat or nibble on grass is because they are either bored or show destructive behavior by eating grass.
The backyard of your house should have a proper fence, as a bored dog can suddenly run around and eat grass whenever they feel bored. So to avoid such behavior, find time to play with your dog in the backyard as much as you can.
It is possible that, like you, your dog, too, like the smell of wet grass, but unlike you, your dog might wanna try and eat it or nibble on it. This wet grass can be a great treat for your dog.
How To Prevent Your Dogs From Eating Grass?
As is discussed in the earlier section, dogs do tend to eat grass due to boredom. A weirdly cute thing to do for sure, but that does not mean you should condone such behavior. To help them with their boredom, maybe you need to engage your pooch into some mild exercise sessions. Playing fetch is an amazing way of keeping your dog engaged. In fact, buying a sturdy chew toy and letting them loose in the garden is also a great way of keeping the dog active as well as engaged. In fact, if your dog has developed pica or a persistent habit of chewing, then giving a chew toy is probably the best thing that you can do.
Subsequently, if your dog goes through a nutrient deficiency of sorts, then there is a slight chance that it would depict such behaviors. Hence, I suggest that you should choose to switch to a better or high quality dog food. Also, keeping them entertained with treats might also help them to kill this behavior.
Several specialists believe that grazing is not harmful to dogs in general. However, as a pet owner, there are a few things that you need to know about. Nowadays, people tend to use toxic or harmful herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals can be very toxic and detrimental, if ingested.
Secondly, there are several aesthetic plants that are essentially quite toxic. If your dog eats them, there can be devastating consequences. Therefore, we suggest that you log in to ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center website, this is a website that contains the list of all such plants. You can check out the list to know if you have planted any such plants in your garden.
Knowing some of the effects of eating grass can help you understand if your dog is actually eating grass or facing an allergic reaction. Therefore, we have compiled a list of such situations that you need to know:
- Gastroenteritis is a condition where your dog can feel all gassy and bloated with abdominal pain.
- Parasite infection is also a major risk that you need to look out for if your dog is grazing.
Intestinal blockage is the final thing that you need to look out for. If your dog keeps munching on grass, it can easily develop constipation. This can be a major issue for dogs as it can kill the creature.
Now that I have answered your question about why do dogs eat grass, you also get to know can dogs eat grass and even what happens when dogs eat grass and cannot digest it. So if you liked this article and are satisfied with the article, then give us a like and comment down below on whether your dog eats grass or not.
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