Is your dog sick? Is he bored? Has he suddenly got a taste for it and now only eats the lush green of meadows? We clarify the causes and reveal whether you should stop it from eating grass.
My Dog Eats Grass: Is It Bad?
We have long assumed that our dog would feel bad eating grass and that he was doing it to make himself vomit. It may well be, the theory has not yet been refuted (although some claim that it is beyond the mental capabilities of the average dog to devise a plan to get well).
But there are other reasons that the dog might eat grass. The most obvious of these is that he quite simply likes the taste of weed.
Grass has a salty, piquant taste, especially in spring, which has a very appetizing effect on some dogs.
There is no harm in the dog if he eats grass in moderation, as this is normal behavior in dogs, but too much of it may make him vomit. A dog who feels sick may have found, through trial and error, that eating grass causes vomiting or small amounts of it soothe its stomach.
But why is the dog not feeling well? And does he have any other symptoms associated with his malaise? Is there any cause for concern? Let’s review a few other reasons dogs eat grass.
Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
Eating grass in dogs can be a sign of a physical or mental problem. One must therefore watch for other unusual behaviors or physical symptoms so that one can act accordingly.
The dog likes the taste of grass
It’s simple: your dog likes the taste of fresh grass. In spring the grass is juicier than in late summer and therefore particularly tasty!
The dog eats grass and vomits
It is controversial whether a dog “knows” that grass affects its digestive system.
Perhaps your dog saw one of its siblings doing this as a puppy, or perhaps its mother. It could also be instinctive behavior.
Whatever processes are at work in the background, a dog sometimes eats grass to make itself vomit. If he does this because he is feeling bad, you can tell by the fact that he is frantically eating grass.
Weed soothes his stomach and stops stomach rumbling
Some studies of wildlife nutrition suggest that eating grass or other plant fiber can relieve or cure intestinal ailments (such as intestinal worms) by increasing the mobility of the intestines. Some grass-eating dog owners report that this habit stopped after they started adding more fiber to their dog’s diet.
Grass contains nutrients for the dog
The nutrient content of the upper part of the most common type of grass that grows along roadsides in Germany (common ball of grass) is as follows:
- Proteins: 16%
- Dietary fiber: 30%
- Sugar: 10%
- Carbohydrates: 5%
- Grass also contains minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
Even though the grass is high in nutritional value, it is not easy to digest. Having your dog eat grass is more likely to help increase the mobility of his intestines.
Dog eats grass because of boredom
Your dog may also be eating grass because he is bored. If you suspect that boredom is causing this, you need to entertain him differently. Here are a few ideas for activities:
- Hunting substitute games and retrieving;
- Search for clues;
- learning new tricks;
- Long walks;
- Tugging games.
Dog eats a lot of grass: but when is it too much?
If you think your dog is eating a lot of grass then you should speak to a veterinarian to find out why. Many different factors can trigger weed eating, but virtually any of them require further investigation and possible action.
If grass-eating is done in any of the following ways, the situation is more serious:
- The dog eats a lot of grass and no longer touches its food;
- Your dog repeatedly eats grass and vomits and does so for several days;
- As well as eating grass, your dog has other symptoms or behaviors that are unfamiliar.
Can My Dog Eat Grass or Should I Stop It?
Whether or not you should stop your dog from eating grass depends on the causes. If he eats grass to increase bowel motility, consider making the diet higher in fiber instead. A balanced diet can keep them from eating grass. If he does it because he’s bored, then he needs more entertainment.
You should definitely stop your dog from eating grass if you suspect it has been treated with a herbicide. Certain chemicals found on lawns and roadsides because they are found in weed killers and insecticides can in exceptional cases be toxic to dogs.