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My dog won't stop eating grass, is it safe?

Why does my dog eat grass? Is it safe for dogs to eat grass? How can I stop my dog from eating grass? Today our Lincoln Park vets answer these questions and more.

What could be the reasons why my dog eats 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:

Physical Reasons Why Dogs Sometimes Eat Grass

It is generally thought that the main reason that dogs eat grass is that they need more roughage in their diets — just like humans. Grass is a good and readily accessible source of fiber for our four-legged friends.

As with humans, a diet lacking in roughage 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.

Tips To Curb Your Dog's Grass Eating Habit

If you think that your dog's grass eating is due to a psychological reason there are a few tricks you can try in order to curb their grass eating habit.

  • For dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, try leaving an old t-shirt (unwashed) or blanket with your familiar scent on it, with your dog while you're away from home. Your pet may find comfort in having your scent close by.
  • 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 or more frequent, longer or more vigorous walks, and some strenuous play sessions.
  • 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.

Concerns About Dogs Eating Grass

Unless your dog is eating grass in excessive amounts or is showing signs of stomach upset, and as long as they are given parasite prevention medication consistently, eating grass is perfectly safe, and nothing you need to worry about.

A note of caution: If your dog enjoys eating grass, be sure that there are no fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides used on the grass where your dog likes to nibble.

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. 

Are you concerned about your pup's grass eating habit? Contact our Lincoln Park vets to book an examination for your canine companion.

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Dix Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Lincoln Park companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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