Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?: Are dogs herbivores? In this planet, the answer is No. Then why does my beloved canine companion seem to enjoy eating grass? Did I get a cow disguised as a dog? Is he hungry? Is my dog staging a hunger strike?
Could it be due to boredom? Do I have a sick dog at hand? Why does my dog eat grass? To lighten your spirit, your dog isn’t the only one who does this, notably is when it eats grass and then vomits.
The scientific name for this disorder is “Pica,” this is characterized by eating of things that aren’t naturally food, this can happen in both humans and animals. Most times, your dog eats grass because of a nutritional deficiency; other times it is straight-up boredom, most notably when a puppy and younger dogs do it.
Having a dog that eats grass is quite common, this habit has been observed in wild dogs too, and most veterinarians believe this is perfectly normal behaviour.
A study was carried out on 49 dogs, about 79% of these dogs had eaten plants at some time. A different survey revealed that grass was a commonly eaten plant by plant-eating dogs.
Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
Most people believe, dogs eat grass when they feel unwell to make themselves vomit to feel better. Others oppose this point, saying dogs aren’t that smart to treat a stomach upset by eating grass.
Evidence claims that most dogs that eat grass aren’t unwell or don’t appear ill before undertaking the grass eating journey. Less than 10% of dogs that eat grass have done this while unwell according to their owners. Less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit, therefore partially nullifying the notion that dogs eat grass to vomit.
Others say dogs eat grass to improve digestion, treat intestinal worms, to satisfy the need for fibre, and fulfil unmet nutritional needs. A published study claims, a poodle that ate grass, vomited every day for seven years.
Three days after putting this dog on a high-fibre diet, the owner says, the dog stopped eating grass altogether. So, it is also possible your dog eats grass because of the taste it gives it.
Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass? If Yes, How?
If you have the suspicion your dog eats grass out of boredom, you should consider if it is getting enough exercise. To tackle this, engage it in some fun activities. Tossing a Frisbee for a good “fetch” game will suffice,
playing another interactive game with your dog will help, purchasing a steady chew toy to keep him occupied will go a long way to help boost its exercise activities. Not to forget, dogs love things that disgust us, sniffing of soaks and playing in the trash.
If you feel your dog’s Pica disorder is active due to nutritional deficiency, getting a better dog food will suffice. Dog foods with high-fibre variety should help alleviate nutrition disorder.
Also, note if your dogs keep eating the plant, an underlying illness could be the cause. You should always keep an eye on teething puppy, ingesting a lot of grass, sticks or leaves can lead to blockage.
Most dogs experts claim grazing is perfectly normal for dogs and is completely harmless, but what about grazing on plants or lawns that are toxic? Lawns with herbicides and pesticides? Ingesting any toxic plants, herbicide, and pesticides will lead to issues in your dog.
To be sure your dog isn’t eating toxic plants, check the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) website, they maintain a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Or better still, you could purchase a small tray of grass for your dog, or start a herbal home garden. This will give your canine friend the alternative of eating outdoor grass and landscaping of toxic or poisonous grass.