You may have wondered why your dog will stop to have a munch on the grass while out on your daily walks. A common theory is that dogs eat grass if they are unwell or have an upset tummy. However, this is not always the case. Recent studies have concluded that there is no evidence that dogs eat grass because they are unwell.
Dogs eat grass for various reasons, not just to settle an upset tummy. The main one is that they may enjoy the taste of grass or are thirsty. A 2008 survey of approximately 1500 dogs found that only a quarter of dogs were sick after eating grass.
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Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Grass
Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat meat and plants. Recent studies have revealed that it is normal dog behavior for dogs to eat grass. And it doesn’t mean they feel under the weather or needs to be sick. Some of the reasons dogs eat grass are:
- Enjoys the taste of grass
- Is thirsty
- Need extra fiber to help bowl activity
- Use grass as an antacid
- Help remove parasites
I must stress that even though there have been recent studies on this, these are only suggestions from the researchers.
Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass
It shouldn’t be a concern if your dog is regularly wormed and otherwise healthy and only eats grass occasionally. However, it would be best if you did not allow your dog to eat grass that has been treated with pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizer.
You should also be aware of parasites that can be passed from the grass to your dog, from feces, slugs, and snails, such as lungworm or hookworm. Always consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.
Speak to your vet if:
- Your dog is eating grass but not their usual food
- Vomiting or diarrhea after eating grass
- Eating excessive amounts of grass
- Generally unwell
My own Husky Luna has been known to munch on grass. This tends to be if she gets thirsty on a walk, has an empty stomach in the morning, and has a bit of stomach acid that needs to be settled.
How Can I Stop My Dog from Eating Grass
If your dog is eating excessive grass, you should seek advice from your vet. Your vet will be able to run tests to ensure that there is no medical reason behind the behavior.
If you prefer your dog not to eat grass, you must determine why it’s eating grass.
If your furry friend is eating grass because it’s bored, you can provide toys to keep it occupied. For example, take your dog for longer walks that include opportunities for lots of sniffing. Play with your dog more. Introduce puzzle toys to increase mental stimulation.
If your dog is eating grass because it is thirsty, always ensure fresh water is available.
Teaching your dog the ‘leave it’ command is also good, and using treats and positive reinforcement to teach your dog to leave the grass alone. However, your dog must be supervised in the garden to ensure they do not eat the grass. Always reward your dog for the behavior that you want.
I don’t allow my dog to eat grass that I am unsure of, such as if it’s been treated by sprays or fertilizer. However, I don’t mind if she has the odd chomp of a bit of grass. If the grass is safe and your dog is otherwise healthy, I don’t think a bit of grass will hurt.
As always, if you have any concerns about your dog’s health, you should seek a consultation with your vet.
I hope you have found this article helpful.