Eating grass isn't unusual behaviour for dogs and there are many reasons why they do it. 'Pica' is a technical term for an eating disorder that is eating things which aren't food, such as grass. Pica could suggest that your dog is lacking nutrients in their diet. Although, as mentioned, there are many reasons why dogs eat grass, so let's take a look.
Reasons Dogs Eat Grass
BOREDOM - Dogs need mental stimulation, and if they are not getting this, they may turn to behaviours, such as eating grass. They also thrive off human interaction, so instead of just leaving them in the garden on their own, go and play with them. Keep them occupied by providing a food puzzle toy, practising positive reward training or playing a game of fetch.
DIET DEFICIENCY - Some veterinarians assume that eating grass could be caused by diet deficiency. If your dog is fed a well balanced diet, then this should not be a problem for them, but if they eat grass often, think about speaking to your vet about switching their dog food.
LACK OF FIBRE - Dogs sometimes eat grass to increase their fibre intake. This helps them to digest their food and pass stool. It might be worth speaking to your vet about changing their food to one with a higher fibre content.
THEY LIKE IT - Dogs may simply like the taste of grass, especially around spring time, when new grass is surfacing. It could also be a sign of thirst, so make sure to keep fresh drinking water in your garden and out on a long walk.
THEY NEED TO BE SICK - Some people believe that when a dog eats grass, they are trying to make themselves sick because they are feeling under the weather. However, research suggests that it is more common for dogs to eat grass and not be sick afterwards.
You shouldn't worry about your dog eating grass, unless the habit becomes too much. If this is the case, you should seek veterinary advice. You should also seek advice if your dog is; eating grass and not their food, vomiting for a few hours after eating grass or if they eat grass and don't seem themselves. It would also be worth recording a log of when your dog eats grass, and for how long each time and pass this onto the vet so they can advise you on what to do going forward.
How To Stop Your Dog From Eating Grass?
1. Increase their mental stimulation and reduce their boredom by playing games with them or give them a puzzle feeder. You could also practise positive reward training whilst out on a walk.
3. Speak to your vet about reviewing their diet or any recommendations for digestive supplements, as they may need a high fibre dog food.
4. Always supply fresh drinking water in the garden and when out on a walk.
5. Feed your dog smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.