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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass? Is my Dog Poisoned?

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass? Is my Dog Poisoned?

Are you worried about your dog's habit of eating grass? Today, our Delaware County vets share some psychological and physical reasons why dogs eat grass and when you should worry.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

Worried dog owners often wonder why their dogs seem to enjoy eating grass. In fact, many dogs that consume grass will vomit and then continue eating grass again.

While some dogs do vomit after eating grass, the truth is that not all dogs vomit. Actually, the majority of dogs eat grass without showing symptoms of stomach upset either before or after eating grass. This seems to indicate that it's unlikely that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting. So, why do they do it?

Physical Causes of Grass Eating in Dogs

In order for dogs to have a digestive system that functions efficiently, they need to have enough fiber in their diets. After all, dogs are omnivores. This means that optimal health depends on plant foods as well as high-quality meat. Eating grass could be an easy, and seemingly tasty way for our canine companions to get enough roughage in their diet, helping to keep things flowing through their gastrointestinal tract (GI or digestive tract).

However, if your dog is eating grass and is also showing signs of stomach discomfort, there could be a medical issue. Dogs can suffer from a number of GI problems such as gastric reflux, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

If your dog is eating grass and is suffering from additional symptoms such as lack of appetite, decreased energy, diarrhea, or constipation, you need to bring them to your vet.

Psychological Reasons Why Your Dog May Be Eating Grass

Similar to humans that bite their nails mindlessly, dogs will often eat grass because of anxiety or boredom. If your pooch isn't displaying any symptoms of digestive problems but continues to relentlessly munch on grass, psychological issues might be the source of this behavior.

If your pooch appears to be bored, you may be able to reduce the amount of grass they eat by increasing the length, distance, or intensity of their walks.

For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, try providing them with an old blanket or t-shirt that has your scent on it when you leave the house. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring and help curb their grass eating.

Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, it's time to see your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to recommend ways you can help reduce your dog's obsessive behaviors.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Grass?

Eating grass is usually considered safe for healthy dogs that are on regular parasite prevention medication.

To make sure it's safe for your dog to eat grass you need to be certain that there aren't any herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, or other poisonous or toxic substances on the grass your dog is chewing.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our vets in Delaware County immediately if your dog is exhibiting signs of gastrointestinal tract upset.

New Patients Welcome

Stoney Creek Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Delaware County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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(610) 328-3600