You’re taking your dog out for a lovely morning stroll before you head to work or school. The warm sun is brushing your face and setting a positive tone for the rest of the day. Then, out of nowhere, your furry friend sits down and starts chomping on grass.
Why do they do that, anyway?
Dogs are full of peculiar behaviors that baffle us. Sometimes they tilt their heads when they talk. Other times they’ll bark all day long without apparent reason. Dogs eating grass certainly looks strange, but you’ll be glad to know it’s perfectly normal behavior.
We’re going to break down the 5 reasons your dog eats grass, regardless of breed or age. You may just find a whole new appreciation for grass fields by the time you’re done!
Reason #1: Improving Digestion
This is one of the most well-known reasons why dogs eat grass. Grass is a healthy plant that many animals rely on...up to and including our own pets!
Although grass isn’t good for the human digestive system, it comes with a significant amount of enzymes that help digestion in dogs. The high fiber count is also suitable for keeping stool from becoming too runny or too rigid. In fact, let’s take things a step further with reason #2 on the list...
Reason #2: Treat An Upset Stomach
Just like we turn to Tums or ginger ale to soothe an upset stomach, so too can a dog turn to grass. They don’t always have the language to tell us what’s wrong, after all!
If a dog feels bloated or uncomfortable, the high fiber count in grass can provide a soothing counterpoint. Another lovely aspect of grass dogs can appreciate? It’s plentiful and easy to access at a moment’s notice.
Keep in mind certain dog breeds are prone to bloating, such as Dachshunds, Boxers, and Basset Hounds.
Related: Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?
Reason #3: Boosting Fiber Count
Grass is very high in fiber. If you’ve noticed your dog going to the bathroom more than usual, their diet could be incompatible with them.
Your dog has a unique diet requirement compared to its meat-exclusive ancestors. You have to carefully adjust their daily food intake to be compatible with details such as:
- Unique health issues
- Activity level
Consider double-checking your dog food and treats for their fiber count. Your dog may turn to grass to make up for something lacking. Make sure you don’t constantly sneak them food from your plate, either, as that can expose dogs to unsavory reactions.
Related: Why Do Dogs Chatter Their Teeth?
Tired of fumbling between toys and leashes when taking your dog out for playtime? Run Ball has created some of the most convenient dog toys around so everyone can have a good time!
Reason #4: Boredom
This is one of the downsides of a dog eating grass. While some dogs turn to grass to supplement their diet with fiber or reduce a stomach ache, sometimes they’re just bored.
Dogs, just like us, need regular stimulation to stay happy. If you fail to provide them with an energetic and attentive day-to-day, they run the risk of developing bad coping habits. This can manifest as chewing on your sofa, barking too much, or eating whatever they see. Grass included!
How stimulated is your dog? Take a few minutes to ask whether your dog’s daily activities include:
- Recreational walks
- Cuddle time
- Socializing with people
- Socializing with other dogs or pets
It’s recommended most dogs have a morning and evening walk to get out their excess energy. Older dogs are usually content with just one walk a day due to their lower energy levels and aching joints.
Related: Why Does My Dog Snort Like a Pig?
Reason #5: It Just Tastes Good
Now for the final, resounding answer to your dog eating grass: it just tastes nice!
Yes, it can be hard to imagine the acrid smell of chewed grass to be pleasant, but it’s true. Dogs actually don’t have as many taste buds as we do, averaging less than 2,000 to our 9,000. Fewer taste buds may play a part in them enjoying an otherwise strange taste!
Should My Dog Eat Grass?
Eating grass is perfectly normal for dogs. In many cases, it’s pretty healthy. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful!
Grass is often coated in harmful herbicides and pesticides, which can lead to serious health problems such as diarrhea or cancer. You also have to be mindful of anything else in the grass they could eat. They could be poisoned or choked with elements such as:
- Poisonous plants
- Poisonous flowers
- Small toys
This isn’t a cause for alarm most of the time. Every time your dog starts to eat grass, just take a moment to monitor their chew spot. A few seconds of scrutiny could save them a trip to the vet.
“Why does my dog keep eating grass?”, you sigh as you try to get them back onto the sidewalk again. Never fear. They probably have a good reason for doing so.
The 5 reasons your dog eats grass are to aid digestion, reduce a stomach ache, improve their fiber, stave off boredom, or because it tastes good. Monitor your dog’s behavior closely so you can whittle down the reasons for the habit.
Do you need to liven up your dog’s life? Contact Run Ball today to see how you can give your dog a physical or emotional wellness boost.