Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

by Catherine Tucker / Pet Owner Advice / 30 Aug 2017

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So your pooch loves to munch away on some grass, but is this a harmless habit or reason to be concerned?

 

Though this is not generally a life threatening activity, it can result in vomiting or discomfort due to irritation of the stomach.

Furthermore, if your lawn has been treated with pesticides or herbicides your pet will ingest chemicals which could cause health concerns. 

The RSPCA recommends your dog should have access to grass which has not been chemically treated.

If you are puzzled by your dog’s behaviour here are some keys reason why your fur baby has opted for the green snack and how to stop it.

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BOREDOM

Dogs are active and curious creatures, and if they do not receive suitable mental and physical exercise they will become bored.

Veterinarian Dr Dana Koch told Pet Coach when pets become bored they will search for activities to occupy their time and entertain themselves.

“Strangely enough, these activities can include nibbling on grass,” Dr Koch said.

“Therefore, a good starting point is to evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider introducing more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.”

Your fur baby may be spending too much time alone, find out here "How long your dog can be alone?".

 

NUTRITIONAL ISSUES

Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plant-based food and there is some indication that dogs with a low fibre diet may eat grass to fulfil nutritional deficiency. 

The RSPCA says dogs will sometimes eat grass which may provide a source of vegetable matter and micronutrients.

Veterinary Dr Jim Kennedy agrees, telling Greencross Vets if you’re not feeding your dog a premium diet, it may be eating grass as a source of roughage.

“Roughage helps to stimulate the intestinal tract and is a vital part of their diet,” Dr Kennedy said.

“A diet of prepared food is often high in fibre, but not necessarily high in roughage.”

If you are concerned this may be the reason your pup is eating grass, then consider discussing with your vet how to incorporate more fibre in your dog’s diet.

 

UPSET STOMACH

We have all heard the old tale that dogs with an upset stomach will self-medicate by eating grass to help the vomit. 

However, Dr Koch says there isn’t much scientific evidence to back up this theory and if you suspect your pet has a medical issue it is best to seek professional help.

“If you suspect there is too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be causing this behaviour, you should consult with your veterinarian right away,” Dr Koch said.

 

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

While some pups may be eating grass as they enjoy the taste and texture, it may be a matter for concern if they are eating it all the time.

If your pet is frequently eating grass it is best to contact your vet.

 

Think your fur baby may need to go to the VET but you can’t get the time off work to take them?
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