Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Why do dogs eat grass? If you’re a dog parent, you may have noticed that your furry friend has a tendency to snack on the great outdoors. That’s right — for some reason, dogs are prone to eating grass, even though it can’t possibly be good for them!
It’s hard to imagine it tastes nice either, so why do they do it? There are a few reasons your dog might be eating grass.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
The first and most harmless reason is that they do it simply because they want to. Dogs are omnivores, so they instinctively want to eat plants as much as they do meat. The only greenery they can usually get their teeth into on a regular basis is grass, so that’s what they snack on. Your dog could have the most balanced diet in the world, and still be prone to munching on your lawn.
Of course, there is the possibility that they perhaps don’t have the best-balanced diet in the world. It’s important to look into this if you do notice your dog eating grass. It could be your dog’s way of getting more fiber so if you do notice this happening, it’s important to rule that out. Fiber assists their bodily functions, and they need lots of it.
Lastly, dogs might be eating grass because they have an upset stomach. Eating grass can make dogs vomit and help them get something out of their system.
If My Dog Is Eating Grass, Does It Mean That They’re Sick?
That depends — the many reasons above suggest that they may not be. However, if your dog is eating more grass than usual and you’re concerned that it’s gotten excessive, there may be something wrong. The only person who can determine this for sure is a veterinarian.
If they’re vomiting after eating grass, there’s more of a chance that something is wrong and they’re trying to get it out of their system.
Is Eating Grass Dangerous For Dogs?
Eating grass in itself isn’t dangerous for dogs, but there are a few things that can make it so.
Toxic Plants And Substances
If there are toxic plants nearby or someone has put chemicals down on the grass that are toxic, then it can become dangerous. If your dog is prone to eating the grass, keep them away from areas that you aren’t sure are completely free of these things.
If your puppy isn’t fully vaccinated, they’re susceptible to parvovirus. This disease is picked up from the stool of other animals and can live on the ground for up to a year. It’s very dangerous in puppies. If a dog who’s ever had parvo has been around that grass, then your puppy can catch the disease. Keep them away from areas dogs might have frequented in case they do eat the grass. When they’re fully vaccinated, this is far less of a risk.
How Do I Stop It From Happening?
The first thing you should do is rule out a dietary issue with the veterinarian.
If you and your veterinarian have decided it’s not a medical issue, then you’ll have to train it out of your dog if they don’t grow out of it on their own.
Teaching “leave it” and “come” will be essential commands for this. You can teach “leave it” by offering your dog a treat on the floor and firmly saying the command while covering it with your hand until they back away. When they back away, use a clicker or marker word (such as “yes”) and offer them the treat. Consistently do this until they back away automatically at the command.
You can then use this when they’re eating grass.
Their recall (or the command “come”) will take time. It takes a lot of practice in different environments with distractions.
If you’ve ruled out a medical issue and are working on training, the grass-eating should stop with time