Dogs are not omnivores; they are full-fledged meat-eaters. So, you might be a little confused when you see your furry friend chomping down on a big patch of grass. Is this something you should be worried about?
The answer is no, and you’re not alone in your concern, either. Grass-eating is a common behavior that baffles many loving dog owners. One survey even found that grass is the number one plant most commonly consumed by dogs. But why?
There’s no one explanation for why dogs eat grass. Different dogs may have different reasons. Here are just a few.
- It’s yummy
Dogs are natural scavengers, programmed to search for food anywhere and everywhere. It is very possible that your pup simply enjoys the flavor or texture of grass.
- He’s bored
For some dogs, chewing up the lawn is just something to do to pass the time. Many of us humans do the same thing, though our snack of choice is usually something a little saltier or sweeter. Do you not grab for a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream when you’re just hanging out on your couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon? When your pup is outside and he’s got nothing to do, he feels the same way, and decides to check out this season’s grass selection. To prevent this behavior, provide your furry friend with something more interesting to do. Entertaining your animal is a basic part of proper pet care. Take him for a long walk, play fetch, or give him a chew toy to keep him busy.
- His diet is insufficient
In some cases, dogs eat grass to fulfill an unmet nutritional need, particularly fiber. Some owners find that the behavior stops after they switch over to a high-fiber dog food. He might also just be hungry. Are you feeding him enough? Puppies eight to 12 weeks old require four meals a day. At one year and older, a single meal a day is usually enough. This, however, depends on the size and breed of your pets. Talk to your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet.
- His stomach is upset
Some pet care experts believe that eating grass is a method dogs use to self-medicate when they aren’t feeling well. They propose that dogs do this to make themselves vomit when their stomachs are upset; however, others argue that our pets aren’t smart enough to treat their ailments in this way. Other reasons your dog might be eating grass include improving digestion and treating intestinal worms.
Ultimately, pet care experts agree that grass is not harmful to dogs. Your furry friend may vomit after eating an excessive amount of grass, but that alone is not a reason to take your pet to the animal hospital. One thing to keep in mind is that some lawns are treated with certain herbicides and pesticides that can be toxic. If you believe your dog has ingested dangerous chemicals, take him to see an emergency vet immediately.