Why does my dog eat grass?
This is a common question asked by many dog owners today an there are many theories about why dogs eat grass including:
Inflammatory Stomach Conditions: Some dogs feel nauseous (shown by licking at the air, restlessness, or extending his neck and swallowing a lot) and thus eat a lot of grass before promptly throwing up. When a vet conducts an endoscope they find the dog has an inflammatory condition in their stomach or that their lower esophagus is red. Both are signs of gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease and are treatable.
OCD: Some dogs grow fixated on eating grass. Fortunately, this is rare. A few of these dogs are actually quite particular about the grass they eat – like a fine wine connoisseur. They'll only eat the finest blades of grass and it's a very specific type of grass too. Typically, these dogs don't suffer any repercussions (e.g. vomiting) as long as the grass doesn't contain any herbicides or other toxins.
Evolution: In the past, dogs survived thanks to their good hunting abilities and pack survival skills. Over the years this behavior evolve to include eating grass to help them hide their scent from their prey, much in the same way as rolling in garbage is also thought to work.
Poor Nutrition: When dogs are excessively hungry or if they have poor nutrition they'll often eat indigestible matter. This is something that you and your vet must also consider, especially if you're feeding your dog homemade dog food. In this case, you'll want to talk to a professional to make sure you have the correct nutritional value in the food you're making and serving your dog. It's also important to understand that dogs eat more often than cats, which is why they need a midday meal.
Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?
While grass has no nutritional value for dogs it won't harm your dog. Most dogs won't throw up from eating it. In fact,according to Web MD, “less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.” Even renowned dog whisperer, Cesar Millan says that “Many veterinarians consider grass eating a normalbehavior.” Of course, you don't always know whether the grass is safe or not, so you'll really need to pay attention to it. This is the main reason why so many people don't want their dogs to eat grass today. At the same time, you'll also want to make sure your dog is healthy. When both the grass and your dog are healthy, let them have at it without worrying about it.
How can I stop my dog from eating grass?
Since there's no real known problem with your dog eating grass, there's no real need to break them of eating it. However, you can train your dog to stop eating grass in a few different ways if his habit is really bothering you. If your dog is food oriented, you can very easily train him to stop eating grass by using treats for rewards. Just make sure you never leave home with your dog without his treats. When he's tempted to eat grass use a treat to distract him from doing so. You can also do the same thing with affection by turning his focus towards this and away from the grass when the temptation arises. Another option is teaching your dog the “heel” command. All of these are well-known methods that people have used to stop their dog from eating grass when they didn't want them to.
So rest assured when your dog nibbles on his DoggieLawn that there's a good reason for it!