Dogs, like humans, prefer some foods over others. Maybe yours likes one brand of kibble over another, or chewy treats more than crunchy ones. But what about grass?
If your pup has a habit of chowing down on some early-morning or after-dinner grass — or tends to gravitate towards grass some times more than others — you may be wondering what’s going on, and whether it could possibly hurt your dog. Here’s what to know.
Why do dogs eat grass?
- Upset stomach: If your dog eats grass, throws up, and then appears to feel better, it may be because they had an upset stomach. Sometimes dogs eat grass to cause themselves to vomit so they can release bile or other stomach acids.
- Anxiety: Some dogs eat grass when they’re nervous, or as a way to cope with separation anxiety.
- Boredom: If your dog is alone and eating grass, it may be because they’re bored and want some companionship.
- Dietary deficiency: Dogs who eat grass may not have a balanced diet, or may need more fibre.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
There are a few factors to consider when thinking about whether it’s safe for your dog to eat grass.
Grass — especially in parks or other yards — may have been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, or fertilisers that can be toxic for your dog. Plus, if there’s any type of faecal matter in the grass, it could cause your dog to eat parasites, like roundworms and hookworms.
If your dog is otherwise healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, eating a little grass probably won’t hurt them, but it’s best for them to avoid it.
How to get your dog to stop eating grass
If your dog can’t seem to get enough grass, here are a few ways you can help them kick the habit, courtesy of the AKC:
- Make sure they’re eating a balanced diet with plenty of fibre.
- Give them a toy or something to chew on if they’re alone for longer periods of time during the day.
- Feed dogs (especially smaller ones) breakfast as soon as they wake up.
- If your dog knows the “leave it” command, start using it when they eat grass.
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