Does your dog sometimes start to graze on plants? This behavior surprises you and you wonder why dogs eat grass? Rest assured, your dog does not think he is a cow! This behavior is not usually abnormal. While most of the time your four-legged friend will purge, it’s best to be vigilant. In some cases, this behavior may be a sign of health problems.
Why does my dog eat grass?
Many owners witness this strange situation: their dog suddenly starts eating grass. In fact, there are three main reasons for this canine behavior.
He seeks to purge himself by making himself vomit
Many times, your pet will graze on grass to trigger vomiting. If he is having trouble digesting or has eaten something that doesn’t pass, the dog will naturally try to make himself vomit to relieve this intestinal discomfort. We say that he purges himself.
For him, there is nothing better than a herbaceous diet: the ingested plants irritate his stomach, thus provoking the regurgitation of food.
Be careful not to confuse this purging with vomiting linked to acute renal failure in dogs. This disease is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea or urinary problems.
It adopts an instinctive behavior
Another hypothesis is that your dog eats grass purely instinctively, a normal behavior inherited from the wolf. As his ancestors fed on herbivorous prey, the dog would also have developed a slight taste for plants. His little occasional pleasure!
He simply loves grass
A final theory as to why your dog eats grass is that he simply enjoys it. In fact, there is one type of grass that is particularly attractive to our faithful companions, and the name says it all: quackgrass.
While it may be the bane of gardeners, this invasive herbaceous plant is a joy for dogs! Rich in fiber, quackgrass can also be devoured by an animal looking to fill a low-fiber diet.
Does my dog have pica disease from eating grass?
If your dog is eating grass, he may have an eating disorder called “pica”. It’s a condition that also affects humans. A dog prone to pica seeks to ingest non-food materials: cloth, rocks, metal, sand, dirt, cardboard, plastic, feces … in short, anything that comes within range of his nose. Grass is no exception to the rule.
If your hairball’s consumption of plants is accompanied by the absorption of unusual substances, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to clarify the situation.
How can I help my dog if this behavior becomes excessive?
Grass eating is a natural behavior for dogs. Take the time to observe him while he is grazing in the garden or on a walk. Do you feel that your dog’s grass consumption is too frequent? It may be time to look at his diet or make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Review your diet
Is your dog eating too much grass? Consider changing his diet to quality foods that are sources of fermentable fiber, such as legumes or fruits and vegetables. Fermenting them in the stomach will make you feel fuller, and therefore less likely to want to eat your lawn. Remember that a good diet must be adapted to your dog’s needs.
Calling a veterinarian
If you have any suspicions or concerns, the best thing to do is to contact your veterinarian. Your dog may be bothered by parasites in his stomach or may have other health concerns. By examining your dog, your veterinarian will be able to make a diagnosis and take the necessary steps to get your dog back on his feet.