Dogs eating grass is not an unusual sight at all. There could have been instances where you took out your dog for a potty break, and when you turned your back, you found your pet chomping away gleefully at a large mouthful of grass. Often when dogs eat grass, they may vomit later on, and if they do it on your expensive carpet you may have to clean it yourself. So, you could be worried about that.
Wondering why it is so? Rest easy because a dog eating grass is not always something you need to be worried about. The question is why dogs do so, and when is it that you should be worried about the same. You may be wondering if there are any ways to stop them from eating grass or not.
It could be a nutritional deficiency
There are several reasons why a dog may eat grass or consider it a delicacy. Diet deficiency is said to be one of the significant reasons. Some veterinary doctors and dog parents assume that a dog eating grass may be interpreted as a pica – an act where you eat items that are not part of your regular food intake.
At times, it could be due to a deficiency in their diet. Quite often, the main reason why these situations happen is that nutrients like vitamins and minerals are missing from one’s food. It should not happen to dogs who eat a well-balanced diet.
So, if you see your dog is eating grass repeatedly, you should talk with the veterinarian about switching up your dog’s diet.
They need fiber
Your dog could be eating grass as its body requires more fiber than they are getting from its regular food. This makes it easier to digest food, keep GI (gastrointestinal) system functioning properly, just as if it would be a clock, and pass stool. So, in this case, you can always change up to food that contains more fiber.
It could be instinct
Is the diet you are feeding your dog a complete and balanced one?
In that case, eating grass may have no relation to any dietary cause. It could be something the dogs are doing by instinct. The digestive systems, cravings, and dietary requirements have evolved to fit the needs of domesticated individuals. Canines in the wild did not derive their nutrition primarily from grass. On the contrary, they ate an entire animal to get the optimal diet. They especially focused on the herbivorous animals that ate different plants.
So, perhaps the grass is something they crave naturally as part of their genetic composition. It probably harks back to the days when they used to be hunters killing their prey for food.
It acts as an antacid
Quite often, you would see an active and young dog on a balanced and high-quality diet, behaving oddly. Whenever the dogs go out in the morning, the first thing they would do is frantically eat up as much grass as they could till the time they throw up yellow foam. After that, they are their perky selves and ready to walk the two miles like they do with you.
Experts say that if a dog throws up yellow bile or foam, it would indicate that they are on an empty stomach. As such, this bile tends to irritate the stomach of a dog and cause them discomfort. If humans feel such pain, they take antacids to deal with the issue. In dogs, a way to release the bile and feel better is to eat grass. So, if you see your dog doing the same, there is a simple solution. Just feed them some food the first thing after they wake up in the morning.
Make this a part of the routine. This way, the bile enters your dog’s stomach, it would do what it is supposed to do. It would break down the food so that it can be digested with ease rather than causing pain. You can also try giving them a small meal at night right before they hit the bed. That would be helpful in this case as well.
It could be because of boredom
Do you have a backyard with fences? In that case, you are lucky because your little one has enough space to play.
However, in most cases, your dog would rather be with you than by themselves. So, if the dogs are in the yard on their own, they may get bored and start eating grass. There are several ways in which you can stop such behavior. You can provide them positive reward training, spend quality time with them by throwing a ball and playing with them, and have an exercise regime designed for them.
It could be a tasty treat
There is always a chance that your dog may enjoy the texture and taste of wet and fragrant grass in their mouth. It is especially true of the new grass that might be coming out for the first time when it is spring. It could happen when the dogs are thirsty. Therefore, put a bowl of cool and fresh water outside your home to quench their thirst.
Is eating grass harmful for dogs?
If your dog is eating grass, it could be a sign that it may be suffering from an upset stomach. Some pups vomit right after they eat grass. In a small study conducted at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, around 22% of the dogs puked after consuming grass, and about 9% of the test subjects showed any illness before eating grass. So, in this case, the researchers concluded that eating grass is normal for domesticated dogs. However, at times, even such normal behavior could be harmful.