It's no secret that dogs like to eat grass or other plants. But you may not know whether or not this is an okay, or even safe, thing for them to do. Here, our Avon vets fill you in on why your dog eats grass and what may be the cause.
Why do dogs eat grass?
One of the main reasons dogs eat grass is that they require roughage in their diets, just like people. Grass is a good, safe and readily accessible source of fibre for their diet.
Just like in people, a lack of roughage or fibre in your dog's diet may hinder their ability to effectively digest food and pass stool, so eating grass may be an effort ot help their bodies function smoother.
However, if your dog is showing signs of stomach upset in addition to eating grass, there may be something more serious going on. Visit your vet so that they can rule out any medical issues, or provide treatment.
Some dogs may eat grass as a result of boredom or anxiety.
While most dogs don't have any issue keeping themselves occupied while outside, some may eventually get bored if left alone and nibble on grass to pass the time.
Anxious dogs may eat grass as a sort of mindless comfort, much in the same way some people chew their finger nails. Many people notice that their dogs eat more grass when they're feeling bored, lonely, or anxious.
If you think your dog is eating grass for psychological reasons, there are several possible solutions.
For dogs suffering from separation anxiety, some kind of item that holds a scent (like a blanket or shirt) may provide them with come comfort while you are away.
A puzzle toy can provide mental stimulation for bored dogs. If your dog is more active, more frequent walks and strenuous play sessions may be beneficial. And for dogs that require socialization with other dogs, doggie day care or visits to the dog park may be in order.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
Unless your pup is excessively eating grass or showing signs of an upset stomach (and they are on parasite prevention medications) eating grass is a perfectly safe practice and is nothing for your to worry about.
Please ensure that there are no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass that your dog eats, as this can be dangerous.