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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Many people believe dogs eat grass purely to cause them to vomit when they’re feeling unwell. Though it is a reflex for us to be concerned about our canine companions when we see them eating something they shouldn’t, it is not an immediate cause for alarm. Some professionals say it can be a sign of boredom, especially if you see it happen with young dogs or puppies. As for the claim that it is done by dogs to self-induce vomiting when they’re feeling ill, it is hard to prove whether dogs are intelligent enough to link the two together and make this sort of decision. Vomiting, after all, is not a guaranteed reaction after grass ingestion – less than 25% of dogs will vomit after consuming any. Other suggested reasons for eating grass are improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, and trying to meet a nutritional deficiency, such as fibre. While these may have some merit, it is possible dogs enjoy the taste and texture of grass.

Though there are small risks associated with consuming grass, one thing to be careful of is if your pet has access to grass that may have been treated with herbicides or pesticides as these chemicals are not safe for ingestion and can be toxic. There are also other plants your dog may try to munch on while it is picking at the grass, and there are many plants that are toxic to them when ingested. It is best to keep your pet from chowing down in case they get into something they shouldn’t.

When it comes to stopping your dog from eating grass, it may be a matter of working out what the potential cause is. If the desire stems from boredom, the dog would likely benefit from further exercise and stimulation. As for dietary deficiency, a higher fibre diet may be warranted to spark a change in the dog’s behaviour.

Written by: Tracey Westhaver, Reception Manager

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