You are not the only pet parent tired of seeing their dog eating grass frantically and then puking it. It is a problem for most dog parents. When given the opportunity, most dogs would often munch on anything, including grass.
Most veterinarians believe this act to be normal behavior. A small-scale study of 49 pet parents revealed that 80% of the dogs with regular access to grass or plants, had eaten them at some point in their life.
So, it is safe to say that eating grass is not a food disorder. But why do dogs do it?
Here are some common reasons why dogs munch on grass.
1. They like the taste
Dogs perceive the green and tender grass to be tasty. Some veterinarians even suggest that dogs like the texture of the grass as it is different from their daily kibble. Moreover, even if you provide your dog with ample food in their bowl, they are genetically programmed to scavenge for food.
2. They are bored
When dogs are alone, you may find them munching on the grass in the backyard because they are bored. This is the exact reason they chase their tail; to entertain themselves and expend their bundled energy.
3. It makes up for a nutrient deficiency.
When animals eat odd or non-food items, such as grass, that behavior is called pica. Pica is a food disorder that suggests nutritional deficiencies of various vitamins, fiber, minerals, and chlorophyll.
Some vets even support the theory that dogs eat grass because it is rich in fiber. However, most of these claims have never been substantiated by enough evidence. So, if you are concerned about your pup eating grass, then make sure you visit the veterinarian to find out exactly why.
4. It ought to help dogs with an upset stomach.
One of the reasons quoted by veterinarians is that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when they have an upset stomach to relieve their stomach ache.
So, if you notice that your dog eating grass frantically, it may be a sign that they have an upset stomach. If this happens often, you should consult with a veterinarian as overeating grass might damage their internal stomach lining.
How to stop the dog from eating grass?
1. Change their diet
If you have ascertained that there is nothing wrong with their stomach and your pup just likes to eat the grass for the flavor, then incorporate some of it in their diet. You can buy special organic grass for dogs from the nearest pet store to keep them from munching on the wild grass.
2. Train the dog
Whenever you take your dog out for a walk, and it pulls the leash towards the grass, distract it by calling commands and swiftly pull it away from the grass. Reward its compliance by giving it treats to reinforce that behavior.
3. Keep your dog busy
Dogs often eat grass because they are bored. So, ensure to keep your dog busy as much as possible. Also, even if you have to go out for work, make sure it has a toy or two to play with so it doesn’t get bored in the backyard. You could also provide some rugged chew toys to keep their mind and jaw occupied.
Grass is not all that bad for your dogs, but the domestic grass that grows in the backyard is sprayed with chemicals that are harmful to both dogs and humans.
So, if your furry friend loves to eat grass, consult with the vet and try to incorporate some organic grass into their diet.