The other day, my dog, Peanut, and I were on our daily stroll through the park. Instead of trying to chase down the squirrels or sniff every park bench like he usually does, he was obsessed with eating the grass. I’ve seen Peanut eat a few blades of grass before, but this time I could barely pull him away from mowing down the lawn. This got me thinking… Is my dog sick? Is eating grass bad for him? Does the grass fulfill some nutritional need that his food isn’t giving him?
So, I did a little research.
Why is my dog eating grass?
Is eating grass bad for my dog?
Turns out eating grass is actually quite normal. Most veterinarians consider this “normal” dog behavior. Pets.WebMD explains that in a small study, 79% of dogs had eaten plants.
Although, if your grass is treated you should probably keep your dog from eating it. Some grasses have pesticides or herbicides on them that can be harmful to dogs if ingested.
Why do dogs eat grass?
There’s a term for eating things that are not food called “pica,” and it’s common in dogs. Younger dogs may eat grass because they’re bored. If you think this is the case for your pup, make sure he’s getting enough exercise. Maybe play an extra game of fetch or go for a longer walk.
Sometimes eating grass isn’t just for fun or because they like the feel of it. Dogs may eat grass because they are suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Signs of this are: whimpering to be let out, eating large amounts of grass, and vomiting afterwards. Grass eating can be an instinctual action to get rid of whatever is making them feel bad. If your dog eats grass then throws up and seems fine, there is probably nothing to worry about. If the behavior continues, you may want to take your dog to the vet.
Is grass nutritious?
Overall, grass really isn’t too nutritional. BUT, eating grass could be sign of a nutritional deficiency. If you think this is root of your dog’s grass eating behavior, try switching to a better dog food. A high fiber food could alleviate the problem.
As for Peanut, he is doing just fine. Being that he didn’t vomit or seem unwell and he hasn’t eaten grass since, I’m assuming he was just being his odd self.