Why is My Dog Eating Grass in Lake City, FL
The fact is, when it comes to your dog eating grass, no one knows for one hundred percent sure why dogs go after the fresh greenery at the times they do. One survey taken by IAMS first asked dog owners if their dogs ate grass? Sixty-nine percent of the group said yes. Then they ask those same owners if they knew why their dogs were eating grass? A whopping seventy-nine percent of the group was sure their dogs were eating grass to help digestion. Sixty-eight percent of pet parents determined their dogs most likely ate grass to aid intestinal difficulties.
While fifty percent of pet parents said their dogs only eat grass when they have an upset stomach and need to make themselves throw up. Surprisingly forty-four percent of pet parents thought their dogs were chowing down on their lawn seeking nutrients. We are delighted to tell you no one believed their dog was suffering from personality confusion, thinking they may be a cow in the wrong body.
Let’s have a more serious look at what research tells us about why our dogs eat grass. Along with a few dangers, we as pet parents need to be aware of; and some options for safe grass eating.
Grass is Appealing to Dogs
Even though there is no one reason, your dog eats grass. Your dog has the natural trait to seek out nutrition, making them grazers. Your dog will eat anything that helps them meet their daily dietary needs. It is quite possibly true your dog may simply like the taste of grass. Especially when they are happily dining away on the newfound fresh shoots of spring. Even though you may be feeding your dog the best diet possible, they may still simply like the texture and feel of the grass in their mouth or simply select it as part of their fiber needs.
Sometimes grass-eating induces vomiting, and if you watch your dog eating grass, you may notice they have different methods. Instead of slowly grazing enjoying every bite, you may notice your dog taking fast bites getting as much as fast as they can. This is generally a sign your dog has an upset stomach or swallowed something that makes them feel ill. Dogs instinctively induce vomiting to make themselves feel better. Some even suggest this happens because the grass tickles their throats from the lack of chewing.
If your dog eats grass, then they seem fine in a few minutes; they have most likely taken care of whatever was bothering them, which is generally the case. However, suppose your dog eats grass, vomits, and repeats the process. In that case, this is cause for concern, and you should consult your vet immediately. They may have gotten into something that seriously disagrees with their system or even something poisonous to them.
Once in a great while, dogs that eat grass suffer from a condition known as Pica. This is a serious issue for your dog and you because it is not limited to eating grass. Dogs with this condition will eat anything and everything and must be treated by your vet along with everything they instruct you to do at home.
Eating Grass Provides Extra Fiber
If you walked into your vet asking why your dog is eating the yard? Most veterinarians will tell you they do their best to answer this question for everyone who has owned a dog. You can breathe easier because this means lots of dogs eat grass. It is unlikely that your dog views those shoots of greenery as self-medication.
One study showed that less than twenty-five percent of dogs vomited after ingesting grass. Only ten percent of dogs showed signs of illness before eating grass. Your dog may be nibbling away on the lawn because they need a bit of roughage, an extra bit of fiber in their diet. A lack of fiber in your dog’s diet could cause constipation or hard stools. A little bit of grass chewing can go a long way and keep things running smoothly.
Dogs Eat Grass When They are Bored
While most dogs enjoy being outside, another reason you may notice your dog eating grass is simply out of boredom. Your dog may wander the yard selectively plucking blades of grass, or they may discover a patch of the green delight where they lay and dine away. You can determine if boredom is the issue if you notice when they have someone to play with or are given something to do, they quickly lose interest in the grass.
Dogs thrive on human interaction. They are so intelligent that they know inappropriate actions will get your attention at certain times. It is dangerous for your dog to eat grass at the local dog park. That grass could contain hookworms or roundworms from other dogs. Being aware of this danger, you should discourage your dog from eating grass at the public dog park. Still, if you’re distracted with another human or your phone, they could be nibbling away in hopes you will soon be back to playing with them.
Dogs Get Anxious and Nervous
Maybe you have taken your dog to a new park where there are many people or even more loud noises than what they are used to. Grass eating sometimes is quite like the nervous human chewing on their fingernails. If you know your dog tends to show they are uncomfortable by eating grass suddenly, you can put them in a thunder shirt to bring them hugging comfort. Having one of your old shirts available for them to lay on – your smell is always comforting to your dog – is a good idea.
Even a puzzle toy available for them to play with could distract from whatever is making them nervous or anxious in the first place. Dogs that spend a significant amount of time alone could be clearing patches of the lawn to signify that they want more social interactions. Dog parks where they interact with other dogs and humans are great places for this stimulation.
However, dog owners know life is busy, and sometimes time vanishes. If this could be the case for the bare spots in your yard, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker to allow your dog to burn some of their pent-up energy and have interactions. Sometimes your dog craves the stimulation they get from being around other dogs. Consider a doggie daycare, even if it is only a few times a week. This interaction could perk your dog up, allowing the grass to thrive in your yard.
How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Grass
Once in a while, your dog is seeking something more, and the grass they are eating could tell you what they desire. Young shoots with soft bright leaves that your dog may selectively be choosing may mean they are simply craving a snack. Treats you can give your dog that may be equivalent to the snack they seek could be fresh fruit chunks. Keep in mind there is no proof to this, only suggestions of what has been seen by pet owners, vets, and a few scientists. Sometimes dogs desire a particular grass. If you notice them always going after one type of grass, they may know that the fiber source benefits their body.
You can try things like carrot sticks or pumpkin chunks and see if they stop eating that particular grass. Even though scientists have been attempting to determine why our dogs are eating grass, the reasoning is unclear. This means as pet parents, we do our best to assess what our dog needs and when. We also want to pay close attention to when and where our dogs eat grass because humans use chemicals. Herbicides, pesticides, weed killers, and even fertilizers can not only make our dog sick those chemicals can cause death.
If you know an area has been treated, they say to keep dogs and children off it for three days. Some pet parents and vets even recommend staying off the treated grass until it has had a good soaking rain to reduce the risks of chemical exposure significantly. Mulch is one more thing that adds danger to your dog’s world. Even though your dog may not be after the mulch, they may accidentally get a piece in their mouth if they find blades of grass coming through it. The coloring of mulch is not the danger companies use dies that are safe for dogs. It is the chunks of larger, sharper pieces that could cause damage to your dog’s throat, bowels, or stomach.
There are many studies of why our dogs eat grass; however, even though scientists have been looking for the answer, there is no direct answer to why dogs eat grass. We know dogs are opportunistic and will always eat what they enjoy. We also know they use grass to remedy an upset stomach and keep things moving smoothly.
When your dog is eating grass, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. As humans and their pet parents, we know that the grass they enjoy could be a risk to their health. We can use tactics such as distractions or treats when we have concerns about the grass they are eating.
We can provide a safe grass-o-licious option for our beloved dogs as their pet parents. And when we have concerns about the grass or the amount of grass our dogs eat, our vets are always happy to answer questions or guide us with options when we are worried.