Dogs do many bizarre things, some of which confound pet lovers. One of those intriguing behaviors is when canines decide to chow down on some grass. This phenomenon brings up a few questions that are worth learning the answer to.
There's a term, "pica," that refers to dogs eating things other than food. In the worst case, pica can indicate that the dog lacks nutrition. When dealing with younger dogs or puppies, it means they're bored and looking for anything to consume, so they take a taste of grass. That's typical dog behavior and shouldn't raise too many eyebrows.
However, the practice can sometimes cause problems, so you may want to put an end to your pet's newfound hobby. Fortunately, there are a few techniques you can use to prevent this behavior.
How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Grass?
You probably want to implement a few reasonable barriers to prevent your dog from eating grass.
● Find out if the dog's behavior is from pica. If it is, a change in diet will be in order. Likely, the dog's current diet hasn't fulfilled its basic dietary requirements.
● If the dog wants to play on the lawn, try playing fetch with their favorite toy. That will keep it happy and focused on something other than eating that yummy lawn.
● Get your pet a chew toy. If your dog is simply eating grass out of boredom, providing it with an alternative could solve the problem.
● Deny your dog access to areas with grass. That will quickly break the habit and prevent further digestive issues.
● Swap dog foods. Sometimes pups become bored with their current food supply.Is Eating Grass Actually Bad for Dogs?
Eating grass isn't ideal for dogs. For about 25% of dogs, consuming grass will induce vomiting, which is reason enough for concern if your dog falls under that percentage.
It can also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, so you may want the dog to have an exam at the vet. These types of problems grow worse if left untreated. It could be that the grass eating is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Fast action will ensure that your pup's health remains stable.
In the event of any nutritional problems, it could be time to switch to better dog food for a more balanced diet. Better health will offset the higher cost of the food. Be sure to browse different brands of kibble and carefully read the nutrition labels. Avoid potentially harmful or unhealthy ingredients like corn and wheat gluten, meat/grain meals/by-products, BHA/BHT, artificial colors and dyes, and white flour, just to name a few.
For the other 75% of dogs, eating grass is no big deal, but if your lawn or backyard has been treated for pests, this is definitely a direct danger to your furry friend’s health. If you’ve recently applied pesticides to your lawn, it’s best to keep your dog out of the yard for at least 48 hours to allow the chemicals to adequately disperse. However, in this situation, the longer, the better.
In the end, the act of grass-eating is fairly minor in most cases. If you live in the Denver area and your dog exhibits more concerning traits, such as aggression and nuisance behavior, call on Ancillary K9 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. (720) 239-2424