You're not alone if you've ever wondered why your dog eats grass! Our Santa Clarita vets are frequently asked about this. They're here to explain why dogs eat grass and when it might be a concern.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass
Many dog owners wonder why their dogs eat grass, and some dogs may vomit after doing so. This behavior can raise questions about their well-being, potential exposure to toxins, or underlying health issues.
Could this imply that your dog isn't feeling well and wants to get something unpleasant out of their stomach? Have they gotten into something poisonous? Is your dog drawing attention to an undiagnosed medical condition?
Some dogs do vomit after eating grass, but that's not the case for all dogs. Most dogs eat grass without showing any signs or symptoms of stomach upset. So, it seems unlikely that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting. Then why do they do it?
Physical Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Dogs require the right amount of fiber in their diet to keep their digestive system moving properly. After all, dogs are omnivores, so their good health depends on plants as well as high-quality meat. If your dog eats grass to add roughage to their diet and maintain digestive health, it's generally okay.
That said, if your dog is eating grass but also showing signs of stomach upset, there may be a medical problem. Dogs can suffer from a number of stomach and gastrointestinal issues, including conditions such as pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, it's whose to consult a vet for a thorough examination.
Psychological Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Boredom and anxiety can lead to your dog eating grass, similar to how anxious people bite their nails. If your dog doesn't show any signs of digestive issues but eats grass like there's no tomorrow, psychological reasons should be considered for the behavior.
If your dog could simply be suffering from boredom, increasing the length, distance, or intensity of walks could help to reduce grass eating.
Separation anxiety could also be the reason that your dog is eating grass. Try leaving an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog when you leave the house. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring and help to curb their grass-eating habit.
If your dog exhibits obsessive grass-eating, consult your vet for guidance on reducing this behavior. Some dogs show obsessive behaviors.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
For a healthy dog that's on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be a safe behavior.
Ensure the grass your dog eats is free from herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers to keep them healthy.
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.