Have you ever taken your dog for a walk, only to find that she is pulling at the leash in order to get to some grass that she then proceeds to eat? If you have noticed this type of behavior in your best friend, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, a number of dogs routinely eat grass. While this isn’t a behavior that is exhibited in every dog, it is something that a lot of dogs have a tendency to do. Most veterinarians and canine behavioral experts are unsure exactly why dogs eat grass. There are a lot of theories out there, but nothing has been proven conclusively. If you’re wondering about the reasons why dogs eat grass and whether or not you need to try to put a stop to it, you might want to explore some of the theories contained therein.
Your Dog Could Feel Bored
It might seem hard to believe, but one of the leading theories about why dogs eat grass is that they are doing it to curb boredom. It’s important to remember that this theory has not been proven, but it is one of the theories that both veterinarians and dog trainers commonly talk about. The thought process behind it is that if your dog is bored or lonely while hanging in the boundaries of their wireless dog fence, she may be eating grass just to give herself something to do to pass the time. If you’re finding this a little hard to believe, then you’re like a lot of other dog owners who don’t really buy into this particular theory. However, it is possible that your dog could be eating grass because she’s bored or she wants more attention. As a result, it’s important to explore that possibility, especially if your dog is eating excessive amounts of grass and you can’t figure out any other possible reason for such behavior. On the other hand, you may be convinced that this couldn’t possibly be the reason your dog is eating so much grass. If that’s the case, then you may want to move on to some of the other possible reasons for it.
Is Your Dog Stressed?
This is a very important question. Dogs can experience stress for a number of different reasons. In fact, dogs are somewhat similar to people in this respect. Some individuals have a tendency to more or less take things in stride while others might become stressed over relatively minor issues. In reality, dogs do exactly the same thing. For one reason or another, some dogs have a tendency to roll with the punches better than others. It all comes back to the fact that each dog has their own individual personality, complete with the tendency to remain calm or the tendency to become overly stressed over something that seems comparatively minor. If your dog eats grass excessively and this isn’t routine behavior for her, she may be stressed about something. Try to think about anything that could have changed in her routine over the course of the last couple of weeks. Did you move to a new house or adopt another dog? Is there a new addition to the family? Has your work schedule changed? If there is even the smallest change in your dog’s daily routine, she may be eating grass because she feels stressed and this gives her something to do. Many dog trainers agree that this behavior is similar to humans chewing gum when they feel anxiety coming on. It essentially gives your dog something to focus on other than whatever is causing her stress. It’s also important to remember that each dog exhibits their stress in a different way. While it’s entirely possible that one dog may eat grass because of stress, others may refuse to eat grass or anything else, preferring instead to be left alone without taking much food or water until they feel a sense of calm.
Could It Be An Upset Stomach?
Another reason that your dog could potentially be eating grass is to relieve an upset stomach or get certain nutrients she isn’t getting through her regular diet. Again, this theory has not been proven. That said, it is one of the most prevalent theories out there. Some veterinarians simply don’t buy into the idea that your dog could have an upset stomach and then eat grass in an attempt to make herself vomit, thereby relieving her discomfort. Others practically swear by this theory. The most important thing you can do is observe your dog. Does she have a tendency to vomit every time she eats grass? Does she go for days on end without being the least bit interested in eating grass and then suddenly tugs at the leash in order to get to it, only to throw up later on? If that’s the case, it may very well be because she has an upset stomach. If not, it’s probably time to move on to other potential reasons for the behavior. In short, every dog is different. Therefore, it’s imperative that you examine the behavior of your dog and then take it in the proper context.
What If Your Dog Has Never Eaten Grass Before?
Dog owners have a tendency to become quite nervous when their beloved pet begins exhibiting behaviors that have never been an issue in the past. If your dog has never really had a problem with eating grass and then suddenly can’t get enough of it, you may find yourself pacing the floor at night, trying to figure out what is going on. In some cases, it could potentially be because she is bored or feeling stressed about a particular situation. Some individuals would even argue that she could be eating grass because she has an upset stomach and she is consuming the grass in an attempt to make herself vomit. It’s also important to consider the possibility that she might be engaging in this behavior because she simply enjoys it. If you have any doubts about whether or not something is physically wrong with your dog, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your veterinarian. It’s much better to make an appointment and discover that nothing is wrong with your dog than it is to wait things out and hope for the best, only to discover that something is happening on a physical level that hasn’t been addressed in a timely manner. Making sure that your pet is seen by a veterinarian not only gives you peace of mind but also protects the health of your pet in both the short term and the long term.
How Do You Stop This Behavior?
If your dog has a problem with eating grass, you may be wondering what you can do to help stop the behavior. In cases where your veterinarian has recommended that you not allow her to eat grass, there are some different things that you can try. For starters, you can try identifying any possible issues that might be causing your dog undue stress and then working to rectify those issues, similar to helping a dog with separation anxiety. For some dog owners, simply spending more time with their dogs can help curb the behavior. As such, you might decide to play an extra game of fetch with your dog or take Fido for an extra walk as a means of giving her something else to think about besides eating grass. Pay attention to any possible signs of gastrointestinal distress, just in case she is trying to eat grass in an attempt to make herself vomit. Consider the possibility that she might need a different diet, potentially one that is high in fiber. As previously discussed, you also have to consider the fact that she simply enjoys eating grass. If it bothers you, try taking her for a walk where there isn’t as much grass or where there is a different type of grass. Making this simple change could potentially eliminate the behavior altogether. If you’ve already tried all of these things and your dog is still eating grass, it’s a good idea to get her a thorough check-up from your veterinarian just to make sure that there are no physical causes for the behavior. You can talk to your veterinarian at that time in order to see if there is anything you might be missing or if there is something else you can try to help curb the behavior.
At the end of the day, you will have to decide whether or not your dog’s behavior is a problem. Unless your best friend is eating grass obsessively, this behavior may not bother you enough to investigate the matter any further. Furthermore, there probably isn’t anything to worry about as long as you keep the behavior under control. The one exception is if your veterinarian has specifically told you not to allow your dog to eat grass for one reason or another. Of course, it is of paramount importance that you ensure there are no pesticides in the grass your dog eats. If you have any doubt about the presence of such chemicals, refrain from allowing her to eat the grass in that particular location . If you still aren’t sure whether or not this behavior is potentially problematic for your dog’s health, consider reading through the Frequently Asked Questions that are listed below. As previously mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. He or she can potentially help you shed light on your dog’s behavior. You can also get some additional insight into things you could do to help curb the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my dog eating grass all of a sudden?
There are a number of reasons that your dog could potentially be eating grass all of a sudden. The key component here is that she hasn’t exhibited this type of behavior before. In these types of cases, it usually has something to do with a change in her routine, something else that could potentially be causing her stress, or even some type of gastrointestinal discomfort.
Should I stop my dog from eating grass?
It’s really best to talk to your veterinarian about whether or not you should allow your dog to continue eating grass. In addition, consider whether or not there are any pesticides or other types of chemicals on the grass that she is eating. If any chemicals are present, make sure that she doesn’t eat the grass in that area. Aside from that, it probably isn’t a big deal if she occasionally eats grass, provided that your veterinarian doesn’t caution you against such behavior. On the other hand, you may want to try to curb the behavior if she seems to compulsively eat as much grass as she can possibly get access to every time you take her outside.
What does a dog eating grass mean?
There could be a lot of different reasons that your dog is eating grass, as previously discussed. As a recap, it could potentially be because she is experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort, she feels stressed out about something, or she is bored. Alternatively, it might simply mean that she enjoys eating grass.
Why does my dog aggressively eat grass?
The dog that is aggressively eating grass may be experiencing some type of discomfort. Whether that is a physical issue or a psychological one, there is probably something that has changed that is causing her to eat grass in this manner. If it concerns you or if the behavior continues, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian in order to try to get to the bottom of things.