Dogs Eating Grass: Why Do They Do It?

Don't chomp away on everything they can if given the chance, and grass is no exception. But is it safe for them to be eating the grass? Our vets in Madison share some of the reasons why your dog might be eating grass and if you should be concerned.

The Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Grass

If you are confused by your dog's apparent love for grass, don't worry, you are not alone. Some dogs may even eat the grass, vomit, then go right back to chewing away on that green, green grass.

But does this indicate that your dog has an upset stomach? Is there anything poisonous in the dog's tummy? Is the dog self-treating a medical condition that has yet to be diagnosed?

Some dogs do vomit after eating grass, but this isn't true for all of them. The vast majority of dogs eat grass with no signs or symptoms of stomach upset. As a result, it appears that dogs do not eat grass to induce vomiting. Why do they do it, then? The vets at our animal hospital in Madison are here to answer some of your questions.

Grass-Eating Caused By Physical Issues

Just like we do, our dogs need fiber to help keep the contents of their stomach moving smoothly. Dogs, after all, are omnivores. This means that plant foods, as well as high-quality meat, are essential for good health. The grass is a simple way for your dog to get more roughage in their diet, which can help keep things moving through their digestive tract.

However, if your dog is eating grass but also displaying symptoms of stomach upset, there could be a medical issue. Dogs can develop a variety of stomach and gastrointestinal problems, including pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is eating grass and has other symptoms like a lack of appetite, low energy, diarrhea, or constipation, you should take him for a check-up with your veterinarian in Madison.

Psychological Reasons Behind Dogs Eating Grass

If your dog becomes bored then it is likely that they will turn to chewing on things like grass just as we would chew our fingernails. Consider psychological reasons for your dog's behavior if they aren't showing any signs of digestive problems but are constantly munching on grass.

If you are worried that your dog may be experiencing boredom you could try taking them on longer walks or playing with them more frequently.

Separation anxiety may also be the cause of your dog's grass-eating. When you leave the house, leave an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring, which will help them stop eating grass.

Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, your vet in Madison will be able to advise you on how to help your pup reduce obsessive behaviors.

Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?

If you keep your dog up to date with parasite prevention and you know that the grass isn't covered in pesticides then you can go ahead and let your dog chomp away!

In order to protect your pup you should also be sure that there aren't any fertilizers or herbicides along with pesticides before they start chewing. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog seemingly eating a large amount of grass or do you have other concerns regarding their behavior? Contact our vets at Gluckstadt Animal Hospital today to book an appointment for your pup.