Have you noticed your dog looks at grass the way you look at a melt-in-your-mouth triple layer cheesecake? If you often wonder about the motives behind it, you aren’t alone. It's a question that has plagued dog owners for centuries: why do dogs eat grass?
There are a few reasons your pet devours your lawn like they’re in a 5-star restaurant, some explanations more worrying than others. To solve the mystery behind this strange behavior, let’s take a look at some common concerns.
Is Eating Grass Normal?
The simplest explanation for why your dog enjoys impersonating a lawn mower is that they like the taste.
While grass might not appeal to the human palate, dogs aren’t known to be picky eaters. From gnawing at dining room furniture to gulping down garbage, dogs certainly have curious eating habits!
If your dog happily munches on grass without experiencing any side effects, they might just be grazing. But, in worse cases, this behavior could indicate psychological or physical distress.
Does Eating Grass Mean My Dog is Sick?
For some dogs, eating grass and vomiting go hand in hand.
Grass tickles the esophagus and stomach lining, especially if your dog gulps it down like it’s going out of style. This weird sensation can then cause them to throw up. But there’s a chicken and egg dilemma here – do dogs vomit because they haven’t properly chewed their grass, or are they scarfing down the plant to self-medicate an already upset tummy?
There’s no hard science linking the two actions, and it's somewhat rare for dogs to vomit when they eat grass. In some cases, grass eating might be a sign of stomach distress. If grass always makes your dog sick but they can’t stop coming back for more, check in with your veterinarian.
Does My Dog Have a Nutritional Deficiency?
Dogs are considered omnivores and eat whatever they can scavenge to complete their diets. If your pet has been chowing down on the park terrain it could mean they’re looking to add veggies to their meal plan.
High in fiber, grass can bring relief for dogs struggling with indigestion. To provide your dog with a more elegant dining experience, try adding more grains and vegetables to their diet by switching pet food brands.
Is Eating Grass a Behavioral Issue?
The backyard, while undeniably exciting, does not provide endless entertainment for your dog. If your pup has taken an interest in nibbling your lawn, it could mean they’re bored or anxious and have decided to take up grass-eating as an eccentric hobby. Try giving them toys to play with
and make sure they’re socialized.
Is Eating Grass Dangerous for Dogs?
Grass is edible. Pesticides are not. Many lawns are sprayed with toxic chemicals that can be harmful if ingested. Certain plants can also be toxic to dogs if ingested, so keep an eye on their eating habits. Call a vet if your pet experiences lethargy, diarrhea, or weight loss from vomiting.
While grass-eating isn't always indicative of a serious underlying issue, it's a good idea to check in with your veterinarian any time you're concerned about your dog's strange behavior.
Next article: Why do dogs lick and chew their paws?