Does your dog seem to constantly nibble at the grass like he’s channeling the spirit of a goat every other week? Are you finding grass and spit-up in the fur around your dog’s mouth? I feel like I am constantly cleaning the grass out of my little schnauzer’s beard. When this first happened, I remember initially being pretty concerned. Was he sick? I ended up waiting it out to see how he was doing in a few days, and there seemed to be no real negative side effects. So for years, I just accepted this as weird dog behavior and I didn’t think very much about it. However, in recent weeks, I got curious: why does my dog eat grass? Should I be more concerned than I have been in the past? Is he just a strange dog with dreams of growing up to be a goat?
Mainly, dogs eat grass for two reasons: boredom and upset tummies.
Chances are your pooch is just bored. Young puppies, in particular, are very likely to just be bored. From your puppy’s point of view, it probably goes something like this:
I’m bored. My owner is busy and can’t play tug of war or take me on a walk right now. I have been trying to catch my tail for at least a half an hour. There’s nothing to do but lay in this green stuff until my owner has time to play. This green stuff smells good. It’s more interesting than the dozen or so toys my caring owner has bought for me. Maybe it tastes yummy. It does! Look at this awesome pastime I’ve found.
Before you know it, your puppy is happily gnawing on the lawn. All in all, this isn’t a terrible pass time for your pet. An easy way to combat them chewing on the lawn is to just get them some new toys or rotate their toys. Some people will keep a box of toys for their dog and every two weeks or so they exchange the current toys for ones in the box. I’ve found this does a pretty good job of keeping your puppies engaged.
Sometimes your puppy will eat grass to help their tummies feel better. Often, eating grass will help them vomit up whatever is bothering their little stomachs. For a lot of dogs, it’s a form of self-medication. It seems to help a lot of the time as well. As far as my pup is concerned, he is usually re-energized after he tries this. Remember that if your pooch seems sick, take them to the vet!
On the flip side of this, if you put a lot of pesticides and weed killers on your lawn, you should probably not let your dog eat the grass. These chemicals can be harmful to dogs and also cause a snowball effect for your pup. They might eat the grass to get their tummies to feel better, but then because of the chemicals, their stomachs may hurt worse, and then they’ll try eating the grass again. Keep this in mind when you put stuff on your lawn. If your pooch eats a lot of grass, make sure your lawn is a safe place for them to eat it.
What has been your experience with dogs eating grass? Got any ideas to keep your puppy from getting bored enough to eat the grass? Know good ways to keep your dog’s tummy happy and healthy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!