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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Have you noticed your dogs eating grass lately? Eating grass is a fairly common behavior for dogs, but the truth is that no one knows exactly why dogs eat grass. However, there are some pretty strong hypotheses out there about what causes this strange behavior.

Top Four Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

Here are four well-accepted explanations for why you may see dogs and puppies eating grass.

Natural Instinct

As we domesticated dogs, we changed their eating habits and their diets. The food that we feed our dogs today is pretty different from what they would eat in the wild. Dogs are actually omnivores and scavengers, meaning that they are willing to eat all sorts of different foods.

It’s possible that dogs eating grass are just following their natural instinct to scavenge. Wild dogs today will eat vegetation including fruits and grass, so our domesticated dogs may eat grass to satisfy the same natural instinct.

Stomach Upset

Dogs may have an alternative motive to eating grass: Soothing an upset stomach. The grass is tickly, and it can make a dog throw up. Dogs who eat grass may be attempting to relieve an upset or gassy stomach. While the end result isn’t at all fun for us to clean up, it’s possible that our dogs know what their bodies need and are eating grass as a way to make themselves feel better.

Anxiety

Grass eating in dogs can be a sign of anxiety. This behavior can be compulsive, and if a dog gets worked up or upset, he may turn to eating grass to help soothe his nerves. If you notice that your dog is highly anxious or upset when he eats grass, it is likely that anxiety is at the root of his grass eating, rather than one of the other possible causes.

If you suspect that your dog is eating grass because of anxiety, there are a number of ways that you can help to treat the anxiety. Consult with your vet about holistic treatments that may help your dog. It may take some time to pinpoint the source of your dog’s anxiety, but taking the time to get to the root of the issue can allow you to better help your dog.

Enjoyment

It’s also possible that some dogs just like grass. Dogs may like the taste or texture of grass. Even if grass may make dogs vomit, it’s possible that dogs enjoy eating it so much that the end effect isn’t enough to convince them to stop. Some dogs may just see grass as a special, delicious treat.

The Best Grass for Dogs to Eat

Now that we’ve established that it’s pretty common for dogs to eat grass, let’s talk about how to keep your dog safe when he decides to chow down on the lawn. The best grass for dogs to eat is grass that has not been treated with chemicals or pesticides. Never let your dog eat grass when you’re out at the park or in an unfamiliar place since you don’t know how the grass has been maintained.

You may want to create a safe patch of grass just for your dog to eat. Maybe you want to grow a tray of grass within your home, or in your yard so that you know your dog isn’t at risk of ingesting pesticides or other chemicals.

Keep an eye on your dog when he eats grass. This is particularly true for puppies eating grass, since ingesting too much grass or pieces of grass that are too large may cause an intestinal blockage in a puppy.

Grass eating is one of those behaviors that we don’t yet fully understand. If you’re struggling with grass eating in your dog, then our Behavior Consulting or Nutritional Consulting services may be just right for you.

 

References Noted:

http://www.akc.org/content/entertainment/articles/why-does-my-dog-eat-grass/

http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/vet-s-take-why-dogs-eat-grass/297

https://www.caninejournal.com/why-dogs-eat-grass/

FLEAS, TICKS & SKEETERS… OH MY!!!!

With the warmer temps come all the insect critters. We’re fully stocked with shampoos, sprays, diatomaceous earth, essential oils, herbal collars and monthly spot-ons that are safe for your dog and for your family, and made in the USA! From noted holistic vet, Dr. Peter Dobias DVM, here are “Eight Steps To Choosing A Safe Flea Product For Your Dog” (for the full blog article, please visit peterdobias.com for this and other great information)

  1. Choose a topical product over oral treatment
  2. Choose a residual wash or and spray product used together over a highly concentrated spot treatment that absorbs and stays in the body for a month
  3. Choose a natural product over chemical ones
  4. Read reviews of other dog lovers before you purchase a new product
  5. Pick a product that is not preserved with artificial chemicals
  6. Go with brands not manufactured in China to avoid poor quality or tainted ingredients
  7. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website to see if there are any reports of fatalities related to the product. If there are reported fatalities, do not risk your dog’s life by using such product.
  8. Go for a product that is guaranteed to work so you do not waste your money and can help your dog promptly.             (and we’ll add 9.) If the product says “use gloves to apply” you can bet you won’t want it around your children or on your pet. So, come see us for better choices that really work!

BRUSH UP ON YOUR PET’S DENTAL HEALTH!

February is dental month for pets! And, the best products for better dental health are better foods! Great choices like our raw, dehydrated, or freeze dried foods or higher protein kibbles don’t have the useless carbs and sugars that allow tartar or yeast to develop, which then causes bad breath, gingivitis and tooth decay. Stock up on digestive enzyme products, like Leba III Spray, ProDen Plaque Off, Indigenous Dental Bones or Willard Water. These products are extremely helpful and easy to use. Plus we offer a great selection of toothbrushes and toothpaste and we’ll be happy to show you how to get your pet used to regular brushing. Don’t forget, teeth brushing is included at no charge when we groom your dogs or cats! Here’s to great smiles for all your pets!

BE OUR CANINE (and feline) VALENTINE!

We’re celebrating the ones who give us unconditional love February 11 – 14 with fun events, store specials, and gifts from our heart to yours! Sign up for PET PORTRAITS, SUNDAY. FEB 12 from 1-4 pm – a photo of you and your met makes the perfect Valentine card! WIN $100 OF HONEST KITCHEN “LOVE” – over 40 lbs of grain free, ranch raised beef and veggies, holistic goodness your dog is sure to love! Register all week long, winner announced Feb.14. FREE SMOOCHES AND NUZZLES, yummy treats also from Honest Kitchen you’ll want to give all year long. VALENTINE’S BAKERY GOODIES – beautifully decorated cookies for dogs, and we’ll have sweet treats for their people too! SHARE THE LOVE WITH PET RESCUE GROUPS! We’ll also be accepting donations for pet food and supplies, a true gift from the heart for pets in need! Check out our Facebook page for more info and events you won’t want to miss!

TIME TO SWITCH TO “COLD WEATHER PROTEINS”

We’re big believers in changing your pet’s food choices along with the seasons. With the cold winter months, it’s time to try warming proteins like chicken, pheasant, venison, trout and lamb. They’ll help create inner warmth they’ll need for extra energy now through March. If their joints are a little stiff and sore especially on these cool damp mornings, add a little tumeric to their diet to help keep them flexible and supple. If you are feeding our higher protein kibbles, like Orijen or Acana, we recommend a little warm water or bone broth, not only for the extra liquid intake, but to keep their tummy’s warm! You can always warm up any of our frozen or dehydrated food options to make they extra yummy, too.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about cold weather proteins.