Can you picture the favorite pet for many, dogs, eating grass? Probably, yours also have the same behavior. If so, should you be alarmed, is it unsafe, why do they do that, and what can prevent such acts? This blog will answer those seemingly disturbing questions. You genuinely love this pet, but eating grass is weird because naturally, dogs are carnivorous, meaning they shouldn’t be grazing like cows. Read on to find more about this subject and how to counteract the behavior.
There’s still no 100% surety as to why dogs eat grass, though the act is so common among many of these animals. Some veterinarians have concluded that various dogs eat grass for different reasons. But could one of those be nutrition-based? Yes, accordingly, dogs like tasting everything they find pleasant. Like they would eat anything that drops under the supper table, why wouldn’t they explore something else? They likely find grass tasty and yummy. Or probably, it fills some dietary needs like fiber. Funny enough, the grass is the only plant they’re fond of feeding on, suggesting a lack of some nutrients in their diet.
Do you ever get bored and feel like doing something strange? Of course, most of us do; it’s part of life. Similarly, this baffling mannerism of your dog may be a result of boredom. He can find himself alone with nothing much to do, so eating grass becomes a way of passing the time. Some dogs are also playful and even would incorporate this trait in the course of their playing moments. I have also noticed that some of these creatures do this in imitation of other animals. For instance, if you’re used to grazing cows with the accompaniment dogs, they might begin to eat grass like cows. Thus, try and be keen during such periods and observe if they’re copying.
Dogs are intuitive, and if they realize that something is suitable for them, they’ll go for it without considering the dangers involved. Some experts have observed that they can turn to grass for relief if they have stomach upsets. Whoever told them that grass is medicine, we don’t know. They consider it a form of self-medication. Only 10% have been found to show signs of an ailment before eating grass for “medicinal purposes.” Note also that on some occasions, these carnivores are only overwhelmed by anxiety issues. Thus, resulting in the urge to stretch and bite some little amount.
If a dog can eat grass to balance a nutritional need, why can’t he do so when hungry? Poorly fed ones or those uncared for can resort to pasture to fill the food requirements, at least if not stealing. Even a lion feeds on grass when there’s no way out. Though doing so might not satisfy a dog, he can do it for survival. Some dogs tend to vomit what they bite, but several studies have shown that only less than 25% do so. Those who eat grass for hunger-based reasons may be unlikely to vomit afterward.
Little evidence points to this fact, but it’s also a possibility. “Curiosity killed the cat,” and it might be what’s troubling your dog. He’s curious about this green thing he lies on and sees even other pets feeding on it. I have observed mine eat grass even when the above reasons aren’t the course. For instance, a young puppy will consume it merely because hens or a cat is doing so.
Want to more about dog behavior and why they do things? Read our article about things your dog does and why.
Is Eating Grass Safe for Your Dog?
Most dog owners worry about this trait, are you? Maybe you fear that the dog might experience severe side effects or even die. So far, no one has recorded any death on this phenomenon. Most researches have also indicated that no side effects are resulting from the same. Provided there are no hazardous chemicals or fertilizers used on the grass, eating it doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t mean you should let them go on with this behavior, especially if you’re bothered. That’s why it’s significant to know what you should do to prevent such occurrences. Here are some measures you can take:
- Diet adjustment to include food rich in such nutrients as fiber. This can assist in suppressing the craving for this nutrient and obtaining it somewhere else.
- Providing play/chew toys to reduce monotony or even finding time to offer routine exercise yourself.
- Regular health checkups to ascertain their well-being and discern if there’s a need to provide any treatment.
- An adequately fed dog may not have any excuse for doing weird things like eating grass. The secret, therefore, is to give enough food and not underfeed them.
- Other people prefer locking these pets during the day and letting them free only at night or when going for a walk. This might not solve the problem as the period of the day doesn’t dictate what a dog can or can’t do.
- If you realize that all those measures don’t work, protect them from danger by using non-toxic chemicals on the lawn or growing grass specifically for them to feed on. When in public, watch out for warning signs of chemical usage on gardens and fields.
It’s vital to note that before you settle on imposing the above suggestions, consulting with a veterinarian is necessary. Most of these specialists have a better understanding of animal conduct, health, and other aspects thus will offer the best appropriate advice. Reach out to any of them and get the needed assistance.
The Bottom Line
For dog lovers, eating grass can be strange, and many get concerned. Indeed, it’s for the best interests of these animals, whose care is our responsibility. So, is there a cause for alarm? Unless stated otherwise by a dog expert, there’s no reason to worry much when this trait is exhibited. Most of the pets feed on the plants and for various reasons. Understanding why yours do so and what can be done to prevent it is all you require.