Many dogs eat grass to settle an upset stomach. It’s a typical dog behavior that rarely indicates signs of illness.
Dogs can’t run to the pharmacy if their tummies are upset.
Nature, however, has provided dogs with the instinct to eat grass to help them rid their bodies of indigestible materials, such as toy stuffing, a sock, or pieces of undigested rawhide.
Many pet parents or dog owners get nervous about their dog’s grass-eating behavior. But pet owners don’t need to worry. The behavior is normal.
Dogs in the wild eat grass and plant material, and now our dogs do too if they have ingested something toxic. They also eat grass if there is excess mucus or bile in their stomachs because they are hungry.
And, some dogs like the taste of grass.
Grass also provides extra roughage that may be needed if your dog either has diarrhea or is feeling constipated. Some eat grass if they have intestinal parasites.
Consider what your dog eats
If your dog routinely eats grass, reconsider the food you provide. Watch your dog’s behavior prior to eating grass. If your dog acts like he’s hungry, and then eats grass, you may need to switch to higher-quality food to make sure your dog gets the nutrients they need.
Hungry dogs eat plants or grass to relieve themselves of the discomfort of the mucus and bile build-up in their empty stomachs.
Eating grass is typical for an otherwise healthy dog. If your dog eats grass excessively, take your pet to your veterinarian to check for a more serious medical problem.
You also may consider changing your dog’s diet, including a nutritional supplement, or perhaps adding an extra feeding per day.
Most dogs vomit after eating grass and if your dog ate grass, make sure they do not return to the house until they have vomited outside. Induced vomiting after eating grass may be necessary. Then, be sure to check it out. It sounds gross, but you may get a clue as to what is causing this behavior!
To keep your dog (and lawn) healthy, consider using pet-safe grass seed and organic fertilizers.
For dogs confined to condos or apartments or if you use chemicals on your lawn, provide them with wheatgrass. It is available at many pet stores. Cats love it too!
Why do dogs eat grass?
Your dog instinctively knows what is best. First, eliminate any medical causes for the behavior. If your dog continues to eat grass, don’t treat your lawn with chemical herbicides and pesticides.
Use natural treatments and let your dog eat safe plants and grass. It’s nature’s way of helping them stay healthy.
Karen A. Soukiasian is the owner of Good Dog! — Dog Training in St. Augustine, Florida. You can follow Karen on Facebook.