If you have a four-legged friend in your life, chances are you’ve caught him grazing on his daily make-up once or twice. With puppies that do this, owners often wonder why exactly dogs eat grass. Over the years there have been numerous stories of old women’s behavior that many believed was for the purpose of self-medication – but is that true?
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs that eat grass are very common, but there is little evidence as to why they do. Behaviorists and veterinarians have been confused about behavior for years, but some of their theories include:
Chances have you heard this one get an answer on why dogs eat grass. It is commonly believed by dog owners that if a Dog feels nauseous they eat grass to throw up and then feel better. However, this still remains a theory. Actually, Dogs who vomit after ingesting weed are quite rare, less than 25 percent do this and only another 10 percent show signs of illness beforehand.
2. You like the taste of it
Another reasoning might be that they just like the taste. Dogs are descended from wolves and, as such, are natural scavengers – meaning they may be grazing your yard for food. Additionally, some veterinarians have suggested that dogs could eat grass to make up for nutritional deficiencies in their diet. This is supported by a study outlined by Fetch by WebMDA dog who ate grass every day for seven years stopped when it was switched to a high-fiber diet. However, right now there aren’t enough studies on the subject to satiate whether that’s why dogs eat grass or not.
3. Eating grass out of boredom
If you only let your dog out in the yard to play alone and don’t provide enough mental and physical stimulation, your dog may eat grass. Make sure it is you to reduce behavior Give your puppy plenty of exercises and get some toys to play with within the garden too. Puzzle games are great for mental stimulation, chew toys are great for getting bored, and your dog will love a ball game too!
4. Dogs may need grass in their diet
Another explanation for why dogs eat grass could be in the way they evolved. This theory relates to the fact that wild canids will eat an entire animal when they catch it. The animals that wild canids – your dog’s ancestors – would catch and eat were usually herbivores. This means that once the wild canids have eaten these animals, they may also have eaten a lot of grass and plants that were in the intestines of their prey.
Wild canids like foxes are also known to eat certain berries and other plant material, which supports the idea that dogs eat grass because it is part of their normal diet.
Why do dogs eat dirt?
Sometimes, after your puppy has chewed on grass, you will find that he has a muddy face too. Dogs that like to eat grass also like one or two soil samples, but why do dogs eat dirt? Are they the same reasons why they eat grass?
Dirt contains minerals. So if you see them digging in the dirt with their tongue, they may be trying to supplement their diet with these. If the food you are currently offering your dog isn’t high in minerals, switch to one and see if the behavior continues.
You could dig instead
While it may seem like your dog is eating dirt, they are actually just digging in it. If your dog smells something wonderful in the ground, it will use its nose to help dig and find the object in question. If it’s in your yard, do this, you may be looking for your own buried treasure!
Many of the reasons your dog eats dirt are the same as why they eat grass too. These include behavior problems, upset stomach, and just like the taste!
Is it okay for my dog to eat grass and dirt?
Eating grass is normal behavior for dogs and is not a problem unless they do it excessively. If they are overeating and appear to be out of their own accord, or if they repeatedly eat weed and vomit over a period of a few hours, it is time to contact your veterinarian.
If your dog likes to graze in your yard, make sure it are not sprayed with Pesticides or chemicals that can be harmful to your dog. And keep an eye out for poisonous plants too. It’s not uncommon for dogs that love to eat vegetation to try other plants, some of which can be dangerous.
If you are still concerned about your dog eating grass, we recommend that you discuss this with your veterinarian just in case. They are happy to check your dog for rest so that you can enjoy each other’s company without worries.