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Why do Dogs Eat Grass?
Is your dog an avid grass-eater? If you've noticed this odd behavior also known as pica (the term for eating things that aren't food), there's nothing to worry about. It's a very common and natural behavior that is observed among both domestic and wild dogs. Grass is actually healthy for your pet because it contains phytonutrients and is high in potassium and chlorophyll.
The most common reason people think dogs eat grass is to make themselves vomit and feel better. Simply munching on grass won't actually make your dog vomit. However, if your dog is seemingly gulping down the grass instead of nibbling on grass, they may have an upset stomach, and your dog may vomit as a result of the grass blades tickling the throat and stomach lining.
In addition to settling an upset stomach, dogs will also eat grass to:
- Improve digestion
- Treat intestinal worms
- Fulfill some unmet nutritional need (like fiber)
They might even just do it out of boredom or because they like the way it tastes or feels.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
Grazing and eating grass isn't harmful to your pet, but keep in mind that certain herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals that are used on lawns can be toxic if ingested.
How to prevent my dog from eating grass
If your dog is eating out of boredom, try to make sure they are getting enough exercise and interaction. If it's possible your dog is eating grass due to a lack of fiber, switch your dog to a high fiber diet. For example, add raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables to your dog's diet. Dog-friendly fruits and vegetables include sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, green beans, cucumber banana, apples (no seeds), and lettuce and cabbage ends.