Updated: Jul 24, 2020
Does your dog eat grass? Why does it happen? How often does it happen? Do you think that you should be worried about it? Is it healthy or unhealthy for your dog?
There are many reasons why dogs eat grass and ways to prevent it, such as:
A lot of times dogs get bored if they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation.
Eating grass is sometimes a reflection of a dog's health. In the grass, you can find fiber, minerals, and vitamins that can contribute to your dog’s health.
To induce vomiting
There were many studies done on this topic. Many of them show that the reason for eating grass is not (a lot of times, but it can be sometimes) an illness. Also, the studies show that the dogs that slowly eat grass don’t vomit. On the other hand, the dogs that eat grass very fast tend to vomit after it. If you notice any strange behavior in your dog, if the stomach is a bit swollen or the dog has gas, the best advice is to take your dog to the vet.
Anxiety is common in dogs, especially when you leave your dog home, the dog gets very nervous and the way to let that nervousness out is eating grass/plants.
It is completely natural for the dogs to eat grass for many reasons, but as always it can be bad sometimes for your dog. So to prevent them from eating it you can choose many ways for it and choose the one that works for your doggie.
For reducing boredom - you can play with your dog using different toys, walk with them, do some training such as sit-lay down-stop-bark, etc., running on a treadmill, play hide and seek with your dog and hide his/her food so that he/she can find it.
Alone time – if for any reason you have to leave your dog alone, make sure you leave them with food, water, and toys, many many toys. If your dog is inside of your house, make sure that your plants aren’t in your dogs’ reach. Make sure to put them somewhere higher than your dog’s height.
Anxiety – there are many ways that you can help your dog with anxiety that is connected to eating grass/plants. First of all, we talked about this, before you leave the house make sure that the dog is physically and mentally stimulated/tired. The usual thing to do for the dogs, after exercise is falling asleep and relaxing. Another thing that you can do is train them. You can leave the door of their pen open with plants in the room, and you can leave the room. Before you leave the room or the house you can tell them to stay or No if they come closer to your plants.
Finding the right diet for your dog – today you can find many different dog foods with different tastes: chicken, pork, fish, beef, etc. All of these foods contain a precise number of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Often when your dog eats food with a higher level of fiber they reduce eating grass. The ingredients that contain fiber are rice hulls, corn, soybean hulls, beet pulp, etc. Just because dogs are carnivores, doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy eating plants. Another way to get more fiber is by eating vegetables in their regular meal such as broccoli, potato, carrots, green beans, celery, spinach, etc.
Finding the right diet can of course help with vomiting too, which is again connected to eating grass (not always).
Train your dog not to eat grass – if you want to spend more time with your dog and teach him/her not to eat your grass or plants make sure you train them not to do it. The best thing to do is put a leash on your dog, take him/her to the grass. Tell them to sit or lay down. If they start chewing on grass (even the smallest movement towards the grass) say No. If they stop, make sure to reward them by giving them food, or throwing them a ball. Every dog is different so you should find the right method to motivate them. Some dogs are driven by other dogs, so if you happen to have another dog or your neighbors' dog, you can bring them together in your yard and try again. For some dogs, it might take a little bit longer because they tend to be stubborn and used to getting away with whatever they want to do but make sure you stay calm and positive. You can do this with your dog a few times a day, and before you know it, you will have your grass untouched.