It might have happened with you that you took your dog out for a walk and while you were busy talking to your friend, the pet began to chomp on a large mouthful of grass. Of course, in such a situation you must have called your vet to ask What Should I do if My Dog Eats Grass. This is a very common question that most veterinary doctors face. Many dog owners feel that this act of their pets may be harmful and that they will have to clean up the vomit mess post their pet’s grass-eating session but this is not always true. So, keep reading on and discover the reasons for your dog eating grass.
Why Is It So That Dogs Eat Grass?
There are many dog owners who consider grass eating as a form of pica (eating strange items) that is caused by a diet deficiency. These deficiencies might be because of missing vitamins, nutrients, or minerals that the pet is not getting from its daily supplements. But what if your dog’s diet is complete and balanced and still it is eating grass? Then, this activity of your pet might not be related to any deficiency rather it may be because of instinct. Since many people nowadays own pet dogs, therefore, the digestive systems, dietary needs, and cravings of the dogs have evolved and developed to fit the lifestyle of domesticated dogs. The wild dogs do not get their entire supplements from eating grass only so they eat other animals to get an optimal diet. Also, if they eat such animals whose diet consists of various plants then, the dogs get a complete bunch of nutrients from a single source. You must be knowing that dogs are omnivorous and naturally crave the act of eating grass as it is a part of their genetic makeup and this dates back to the times when they haunted their own prey.
Dogs enjoy a lot feeding on freshly grown grass emerging for the first time during spring as their taste and texture appeals to them.
Is Eating Grass A Psychological Need?
Dogs are loyal to their owners and once they have interacted with a human, they usually get attached to him or her. Watching their owners leave and eagerly waiting for them sometimes becomes boring for these little pups so, they end up eating grass for time pass. Nibbling grass helps them in filling the hours.
Another reason for your dog eating grass could be that it is craving human attention and is trying to get the same by inappropriate actions such as eating grass. So, do not let them feel neglected at any cost. Have you ever thought that why do people chew their nails? One of the many reasons could be that they are nervous similarly, to come over their nervousness, dogs do eat grass. So, we may conclude from this that there is a positive correlation between a dog eating grass and its owner’s disappearance time.
What can you as a dog owner do to avoid this? The best thing would be to provide your pet dog with a t-shirt of its owner’s familiar scent. Otherwise, you may also get your pet one of the best interactive dog toys so that he does not feel bored. There a lot of food-containing puzzle toys available in the market for dogs that help in mental stimulation and challenges the dog at the same time.
Is Eating Grass Bad for Your Four-Legged Friend?
It could be a sign that your pet’s stomach is upset and it is trying to relieve it. Also, some of the pups may vomit soon after eating the grass. But there are less than 25 percent of dogs that would vomit and only 10 percent show signs of illness prior to eating grass. From this, we can interpret that there are only a few percent of dogs that are eating grass because they are sick. In a way, eating grass is not very harmful to dogs but yes, it might cause some intestinal parasites that can be easily picked up from animal droppings and stool. Be very careful with the pesticides and herbicides that are you are spraying on your lawn because if the dog eats that grass, it can be harmful to him. You may try training your pup in such a case with one of the best shock collars for dogs available in the market to refrain them from eating the grass from your lawn.
When Is the Time to Take Any Action?
In case your pet is also among the ones who eat grass then, below are a few things that you should consider before taking any action:
- If your dog is eating grass more frequently or excessively then, it is time to be alert. Your pet might be having a potential illness that it is trying to self-treat.
- Weight loss
- Decrease in appetite
- Blood in stool
- Lip licking
If you have house plants, keep monitoring your pet dog because certain varieties of house plants may cause toxicity if they are chewed or ingested. You can train your puppy out of this behavior with the help of the best dog training collars. Such collars are easily available both online and in the market.
If you have a doubt that your pet has chewed on any toxic house plant or has ingested too much grass or any chemical, it is always better to consult your vet as soon as possible. The vet in this case might perform some assessments like fecal samples, blood tests, or physical examination to check upon your poor little pooch. What if your pet does not show any symptoms but you feel that it has ingested too much grass? It is simple, in such a case, keep your four-legged friend hydrated and allow him to fast for 8 to 12 hours then, introduce the food slowly. If even after 12 hours, the pet does not seem to be fine then, you might have to take it to a veterinarian.
Another thing that you can try if you do not want to take the pup directly to a vet is, getting your pet one of the best chew toys for dogs. Doing this might refrain it from eating grass as it will have something to play with thus, distracting it from the behavior.
What You Can Do on Your Part?
So, let us summarize that what all you can do to avoid the possible harm to your pet dog from its grass-eating behavior.
- Make your lawn a dog-safe space – It is advisable not to spray chemicals and pesticides on the grass of your lawn. This way you shall be able to refrain your pet from ingesting harmful chemicals while eating grass. If you can not do this then, train your four-legged friend not to eat the grass at all with the help of the best e collar for dogs available in the market.
- Cleaning up dog poop – The very first thing you should do is, to make sure if your dog eats grass then, it eats from your own backyard. This way you can reduce the risk of parasite transmission. Also, make sure that you dispose-off your dog’s poop regularly. In fact, you may consider making a pet-waste digester.
- Be careful from the mean seeds – There are many small, dry seeds produced by grass-type weeds and these are usually available in lawns. These, my dear dog owner, pose a serious threat to dogs. These weeds are known as foxtails and if they are present in your yard then, you should be diligent about removing them. To remove them, you may dig or pull them up, or you may even soak them up with vinegar at ground level. A caveat is long, rigid grasses with sharp edges that have been known to cause throat abrasions. If dogs eat them, it can cause serious medical issues. Your dog might show signs of coughing and irritation in the throat after eating it. If this is the case, you must consider calling or taking your pet dog to a vet immediately.
I hope the mystery around What Should I do if My Dog Eats Grass? is now solved to much extent. Many dog owners fear that whether they should grow grass on their balconies or not. Although it is said that grass is good for a dog’s digestive health, it is not very nutritious for them. There are many sprouts available as a healthy alternative because they contain digestible enzymes, vitamins, and minerals, therefore, we recommend you to go for them. Now, you know the reasons and what are the possible solutions for it. So, stop worrying and start taking control of the situation as directed above in this article.