Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass?
One of the most confusing things to witness as a dog owner is your furry friend dining on a nice green patch of grass. Is this normal? Why do dogs love eating grass so much? Why does one of your dogs eat grass but the other doesn’t?
This is not actually uncommon. Many dogs eat grass, and many dogs eat grass habitually. And while dog specialists have no concrete explanation as to why this occurs, the fact remains that it does, and it is completely normal.
If you are wondering whether you should stop the behaviour or let it go on, you can absolutely let your dog eat grass. There is no harm that can come from it unless your dog maybe gets stung by a bee. The only time you need to start worrying is if they are eating grass a lot. If your dog is eating grass to the point that it seems excessive, even for a wild animal, you may want to put a stop to it. You may also want to contact the veterinarian and see what they think.
However, mild grazing is totally fine. Just make sure your dog is not eating poison ivy or grass that has been sprayed with pesticides.
Here are a few main reasons why your dog may be eating grass.
They Just Like It!
Some dogs just like the taste of grass. Just like some people like to eat glue, some dogs are a little weird and they like to eat grass. Keep in mind that dogs are descendants of wolves and other natural scavengers, which means they still have a natural tendency for grazing and foraging. This is why you may find your dog scrounging in your garden.
Additionally, some experts have reported that dogs could be eating grass due to nutritional deficiencies in their current diet. It could be that the dog does not have enough fibre, and it knows instinctively that grass can give it more fibre. While there have not been any studies to confirm this, it is one of the possible reasons.
Then again, your dog just might like the taste of grass.
They Are Bored!
Have you ever eaten out of boredom? Have you ever sat on the couch and shovelled an entire bag of chips into your face just because you were bored? Well, your dog could be doing something similar when it is eating grass.
It could very well be that your dog is not getting enough stimulation mentally or physically while outside, and so it starts to eat grass because it is extremely boring. If this is the case, you should probably give your dog a little more attention and a little more exercise.
Leave them something to play with, or go outside with them for 20 minutes and stimulate their brains and let them get some good exercise. If you give your dog some quality playtime, and after you see they do not want to eat grass anymore, chances are they only started eating it in the first place because they were bored and had nothing else to do.
Another great way to increase the activity for a dog is through the BrainTraining Program by professional CPDT-KA certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli. You can check out more about it by clicking HERE.
Some experts claim dogs eat grass because of the way they have evolved. Because dogs have evolved from their wild predatory ancestors, those who ate lots of herbivores, it could be that modern dogs still have a small urge to eat grass and plants, since there was an abundance of it in their ancestors’ diets.
This theory is supported by the fact that some wild canines, like foxes, have been caught eating berries and other types of plants. This could very well be a way to try and normalize their diet when eating nothing but dog food. They may not even know they’re doing it. It could be an instinctual thing.
They’re Just Digging
If it looks like your dog is eating dirt and grass, it could actually just be digging. There is a high probability that your dog smells something it wants to explore deep in the soil, and so it is using its nose to push apart the dirt while using its teeth to rip out the annoying grass in its way.
Rather than immediately assuming your dog is a lunatic who eats dirt and grass, it could just be a dog is hunting for buried treasure. It also could be that your dog is not eating grass at all, but is actually eating dirt. This is generally a behavioural issue, or it could be that your dog is trying to eat dirt to supplement their diet with minerals.
Dirt eating is very similar to grass eating and is not generally a cause for alarm. Unless your dog starts eating dirt habitually, you can probably relax. The same for grass. Unless your dog is really going bananas on the greens in your garden, do not stress!
Dog Eating Grass Frantically
Sometimes your dog might take grass eating to a different kind of extreme. You may see your dog eating grass frantically, chowing down on big hunks of green as if trying to gorge itself to death. This can almost appear desperate like the dog is frantically trying to get as much grass into its mouth as possible.
If you witness this kind of behaviour, don’t be alarmed. Your dog probably has a tummy ache. Believe it or not, this is the number one reason why a dog will eat grass frantically. It is possible that their tummy is upset, and they are trying to get relief from the pain by eating a lot of grass.
While there is no clear explanation as to why exactly dogs frantically eat grass when they feel sick, it is likely because something in their brains draws them to the act. It could be because the blades of grass help them to vomit by tickling their throat, or maybe because the grass is not easy to digest. It’s not entirely clear. But it’s definitely not an issue or a reason to panic.