When you’re sitting in the backyard or the park watching your dog, you might find him nibbling grass every now and then.
You might question whether you bought yourself a dog or a sheep at that moment. Why does your dog eat grass? Following are 5 possible reasons your dog might be behaving this way.
Reason 1: Your dog has an upset stomach
After eating grass, your dog might start vomiting. So you might be wondering why he’s doing this to himself. In some cases, your dog might feel sick and eat grass to induce vomiting. It is believed to be a natural behaviour that dogs use to self medicate when they feel sick. It takes up to half a stomach filled with grass for your dog to start throwing up, so unless he is eating a lot of grass, it’s likely that this isn’t the case.
Reason 2: Your dog likes the taste of grass
There are dogs who just seem to enjoy the flavor of eating grass. A puppy uses its mouth as a tool to get to know the world, so they might nibble on some grass and like the taste of it. As long as your dog is walking around happy and calm and is only occasionally eating or nibbling on some grass, you shouldn’t worry about it.
Reason 3: Eating grass is a nervous habit
Dogs that get nervous or anxious often like to chew on stuff. You can see nervous dogs running around with something in their mouth to shed their frustration. The chewing behaviour has the possibility of calming them down. Much like this, dogs may start chewing on grass to shed their nervousness. In this case, you should try to calm down your pup since excessive eating of grass is not a good thing for dogs.
Reason 4: Fulfilling your dog’s digestive needs
The ancestors of your dog had to hunt to get their food. Most of their prey were herbivores. After killing the prey, they ate almost every part of the animal. This includes the stomach, because of the high fiber content that the stomach contains. Fiber is known to keep the digestive system of animals healthy.
Often though, the stomach of these herbivores is filled with grass and thus the dog would eat grass when consuming his prey.
So your dog might just eat grass because he’s following his instinctive needs. As long as your dog isn’t eating grass until he feels sick, there’s no need to worry about it.
Reason 5: Nutritional deficiencies
Since not all dog food is equal, there might be some foods that don’t have all the nutrients your dog needs. Your dog might be nibbling on grass to get these extra nutrients. Changing the food you give your dog or providing him with some vitamin supplements might help in this case. Before giving your dog any supplements, make sure to visit your vet.
Should you let your dog eat grass?
In most cases, I would say ‘yes’. As long as your dog isn’t obsessively eating grass, it probably won’t do any harm. Of course make sure the grass your dog is eating, isn’t sprayed with weed killers or other pesticides. This might result in serious health problems for your dog. If the habit of grass eating gets out of control, you might want to consider talking to your vet to make sure there aren’t any nutritional deficits or a dog trainer if this isn’t the case.