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My dog keeps eating grass. Should I stop him?

Worried about how much grass your dog is eating? Today's post looks at some of the reasons why dogs eat grass and discusses whether eating grass is a problem.

Why does my dog keep eating grass?

Grass eating is a common behavior in dogs that leaves many pet parents baffled and concerned. If your dog loves to chomp on mouthfuls of grass here are a couple of possible reasons why:

Are There Physical Reasons Why My Dog Eats Grass?

It is generally believed that dogs eat grass to get more fiber in their diet. Grass can be a good and readily available source of fiber that our canine companions appear to find tasty.

As with humans, a diet lacking in fiber can result in poor digestion, which may make it more difficult to pass stool. Eating grass may be your pup's way of helping their body's gastrointestinal system function more smoothly.

That said, if your dog is showing signs of an upset stomach after eating grass, something more serious may be going on. Contact your vet to book an examination for your dog so they can test for any medical issues, or diagnose them and provide treatment. 

Psychological Issues That Can Lead to Grass Eating in Dogs

If your dog relentlessly eats grass, it could be due to boredom or anxiety. Some dogs are perfectly content to occupy themselves while outside, but others are easily bored and may amuse themselves by nibbling on grass.

In much the same way as people who bite their nails, dogs who are feeling anxious will often eat grass as a sort of mindless comfort. You may notice that your dog eats more grass when they're feeling lonely, bored, or anxious.

How Can I Stop My Dog from Eating Grass?

If you think that your dog's grass-eating is due to a psychological reason there are a few tricks you may want to try to help curb their grass-eating habit.

  • For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, try leaving an old t-shirt (unwashed) or blanket with your dog while you're away from home. Having something close by that smells of you may help to reassure your pup.
  • If your dog is bored, it's time to add some extra mental stimulation to their day. Try occupying your dog with a puzzle toy to help provide extra mental stimulation.
  • High-energy dogs will likely benefit from longer, more frequent, and more vigorous walks, combined with some strenuous play sessions to help settle their restless mind and body.
  • Dogs that enjoy socializing with other dogs may need extra socializing time. Perhaps taking your dog to a doggie daycare or on visits to the local dog park will help to stop your dog from eating grass.

Is It Safe For Dogs to Eat Grass?

Unless your dog is eating grass in excessive amounts or is showing signs of stomach upset, eating grass isn't typically believed to be a problem. As an added precaution, make sure that the grass your dog has easy access to is free from pesticides and keep your pup on appropriate parasite prevention medication as directed by your veterinarian.

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.

Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson provides specialty and emergency care for dogs in need. If your dog is experiencing a health emergency any time of the day or night, contact our Tucson vets right away.

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Our board-certified critical care specialists and skilled emergency veterinarians are here for you and your pet. If your dog or cat needs emergency care, get in touch with us right away.

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