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Today's Quick Question: Why Does My Dog Eat Grass and Should I Stop Them?

Hi there lyndall Pinchen, canine naturopath from canine vitality back again with today’s quick question/ Why does my dog eat grass and should I stop them?

Thanks for stopping by. Did you know that this question ranks on google as one of the most commonly asked questions by all dog owners. I found this interesting- are people concerned about grass eating or merely curious as to why it happens. Anyway lets look at this in todays video.

So yes, dogs eat grass. And the truth is that many of them simply enjoy the taste and texture of grass. Some also eat grass out of boredom or even anxiety in some cases too. Eating grass falls under the name of ‘pica’ where a dog eats something that is not classed as their normal food.

Three common reasons they may chomp down on some grass is firstly if they are feeling unwell. While this is the most common thought around this topic, statistics show however, that only around 10% of dogs ate grass after they were feeling sick in the stomach so it is actually a small proportion. If your dog has an upset tummy they are often going to go out looking for some grass. Why? grass contains fibre which can help soothe stomach problems. In addition, grass has been shown to help settle their stomach by bringing the stomach's pH level down and helps to soothe the pain and symptoms. A few months ago, my dog oppy unfortunately got into some cooked chicken bones (yes, I am still not sure how she even got into them) and she spent much of the afternoon eating a large amount of grass before vomiting the bones back up. Of course I was monitoring this the whole time but instinctively, she knew what to do. She recovered well thankfully.

The second common reason may be due to general digestive issues- and this is more likely when your dog is regularly consuming grass. The soothing nature of grass an ease bloating and gas in your dogs gut along with helping to expel parasites via vomiting or diarrhoea.

Finally they can often look to grass when some nutritional need is not being met- I find that this is the case with dogs that are on long term commercial kibbles and other processed foods. Just like us humans, dogs need vitamins minerals and trace elements that are sometimes not available from their normal diets. Grass is rich in potassium, B vitamins, chlorophyll (great for general inner cleansing) and digestive enzymes- all of which may not be found in a conventional kibble base diet and even dogs on a raw diet may need occasional boosts of certain nutrients. You will often see a dog look for a certain types of grasses or a particular blade of grass – instinctively they know what they need in that moment and may be looking for a particular nutrient in that moment. Fortunately, their stomach and digestive system is built to handle this

The main thing to remember is that grass eating is completely normal and as long as it is occasional there is no need to be concerned or to stop your dog. However, if the grass eating becomes excessive, is leading to alot of regular vomiting or your dog seems only interested in grass and not their normal food, it is worth having your vet check them out to be sure there is nothing more serious going on. And Something to be aware of – if your dog is snacking on some grass along the roadside or in parks, please be aware that while the grass is not an issue, the herbicides and other sprays that may have been sprayed on the grasses are- if your dog ingests these they can cause potential problems due to the chemicals. So please avoid these areas if your dog loves eating grass.

By the way, adding in probiotics, digestive enzymes and small amounts of liquid chlorophyll to your dogs diet can ease the need for eating grass but please always have your pet checked out if you are concerned

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