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Why do dogs eat grass?

Why do dogs eat grass?

You're out for a walk with your pup when he stops suddenly and starts indulging himself on a patch of grass. Should you be worried? Our Bellevue vets talk about this habit and when to worry.

Why does my dog eat grass?

Watching your pet chow down on a bunch of green grass can be quite confusing. Why do they even like it? In fact, there are some dogs who will eat the grass, vomit it up then get right back to eating grass.

Should you be worried that your dog is experiencing gastrointestinal issues? Have they gotten into something poisonous? Is this a sign that they have an illness or condition that needs to be diagnosed?

Some dogs vomit after eating grass, but not all dogs do. Most dogs eat grass without showing any signs or symptoms of stomach upset. So it seems unlikely that grass is eaten by dogs to induce vomiting. Then why do people do it?

Physical Reasons Why a Dog Eats Grass

The answer to dogs eating grass may simply be that they need more fiber in their diet. After all, dogs are omnivores, so their good health depends on plants as well as high-quality meat. Eating grass may be an easy way for your dog to add roughage to their diet, helping to keep things moving through their digestive tract.

However, if your dog is also showing signs of a potential stomach condition, there may be a potential concern. A number of stomach and gastrointestinal issues can affect dogs, including conditions such as pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is eating grass and experiencing other symptoms such as lack of appetite, decreased energy, diarrhea, or constipation, you should take your pup to the vet for an examination.

Psychological Reasons Why a Dog Eats Grass

Just as you or I can become bored or anxious, your dog can too. 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.

Your dog may be eating grass due to separation anxiety. When you leave the house, leave an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog. The familiar scent may reassure your dog and help curb their grass-eating habit.

Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, your vet will be able to advise you on how to help your pooch reduce obsessive behaviors.

Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?

If your dog has no health concerns and is up to date on preventive care then feel free to let them gnaw away on clean patches of grass.

To help keep your grass-nibbling pooch healthy, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog enjoys. 

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.

If your dog is exhibiting strange behaviors such as grass-eating or any other concerns, please contact our Bellevue vets to schedule an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Sawtooth Animal Center Bellevue is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Bellevue companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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