Dogs will sometimes eat grass to soothe an upset stomach or simply because they want a snack. However, this can sometimes be a sign of illness in your pup. Our Lexington vets share below why dogs eat grass, if it is safe, and when owners should be concerned about it.
Why Dogs Eat Grass
There are a few reasons your dog might be eating grass. The two main reasons are:
The biggest reason why you see your dog eating grass is that they need to have roughage in their diets (same as us). The grass is an easily accessible, good source of fiber for your furry friend.
Neglect of fiber in a dog's diet can impact their ability to pass stools and digest food. Eating grass can be your pup's way of helping their body function more smoothly.
Although, if you see your dog displaying symptoms of an upset stomach on top of eating grass, there could be a more serious issue happening. Make an appointment with your vet so they can rule out any medical problems that may be occurring, or provide the needed treatment.
Another reason why your dog might be eating grass is that they are bored or are experiencing anxiety.
The majority of dogs have no problem keeping busy when they are outside but sometimes they can become bored when they are alone and can start to chew on grass to help occupy themselves.
When a dog is anxious or is experiencing anxiety it might start to eat grass as a subconscious comfort, just as some people can start to chew on their hair or fingernails. Lots of people find that their canine companions eat extra grass when they start to feel lonely, anxious, or bored.
If you believe your dog is eating grass due to anyone of the psychological reasons mentioned above there are a few solutions that may help.
If your dog has separation anxiety, provide them with one of your old blankets or t-shirts so they will have a familiar scent to keep them calm and comfortable when you are not home.
For a pup that tends to get bored provide them with a puzzle toy to keep them mentally stimulated. However, if your dog likes to be active take them for walks more often and engage in strenuous play to tire them out and give them the exercise they need.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Grass?
The grass is completely safe for your dog to eat, especially if they are on consistent parasite prevention. The only time there is a reason for concern is if they are eating too much grass or they experience an upset stomach.
Also, make sure that there are no pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers used on the grass they are eating, this may be dangerous for your dogs.