Why Do Dogs Eat Grass in Clifton Park, NY?
Do you and your dog spend a lot of time outdoors? If so, you have probably, at some point, seen them eat grass. While it is a common thing for dogs, it is one that can be confusing to dog owners in Clifton Park, NY. Most think that it is a sign that their dog’s stomach may be upset, but that is not always the case.
The truth is that every dog is different, and there are many different reasons that your dog could be chowing down on grass. So, how do you figure out why they are eating grass? And what can you do about it?
Reasons Your Dog May Be Eating Grass
For some dog owners, it can be concerning to see their dog devouring grass, especially if they are also throwing up. The medical explanation could be a condition called pica – eating unusual things.
Pica is many times caused by missing nutrients, vitamins, or minerals in your dog’s diet that help the body to function properly. However, eating grass is common in dogs, and may actually be a part of their genetic makeup – dating back to before dogs were domesticated, and received an optimal diet from eating animals that lived on a variety of plant life.
So, if you see your dog eating grass it could just be instinct, or one of the following:
It is entirely possible that the answer to why your dog eats grass is simply that they enjoy the taste. Grazing on grass, without having any side effects, is common in dogs. Even dogs that are fed a balanced diet may just like the flavor or texture.
It does not hurt that the grass can provide some extra fiber in their diets. Dogs are natural scavengers, so they can find even minimal amounts of nutrients, like the fiber in grass.
In some dogs, grazing can point to your pet being anxious and maybe bored. Dogs need to be challenged regularly, both physically and mentally. If you notice that your dog is only grazing on grass when you are not playing with him or her, or that they do it only when they are alone, it may just mean they are looking to pass the time.
Your dog could also be trying to make themselves vomit after eating something that upsets their stomach. This is very common, as well. You may notice that your dog is quickly eating the grass, as opposed to grazing, and barely chewing it before swallowing it.
Experts say this may be due to the fact that the long blades of grass stimulate the throat to make them throw up whatever was causing the problem.
This is more often the case if your dog begins eating grass all of a sudden, or is in a panic to try and consume the grass. You may also see that your dog is stretching its neck and making swallowing motions. This is likely an effort to make themselves throw up whatever is bothering.
Is Eating Grass Dangerous for My Dog?
In general, grass eating necessarily point to anything being wrong with your dog. However, you do want to be sure that the grass your dog eats is not treated with any dangerous fertilizers or pesticides, and this is a common way dogs become poisoned during the warmer months of spring and summer.
Many of house plants are also toxic to dogs, so if your dog likes to nibble on grass, you want to keep an eye out and make sure they are not also munching on the plants. If your dog eats grass, then vomits and goes back to their normal self, you can assume that they have relieved whatever it was that was bothering them.
If you notice your dog is continuously eating grass and throwing up, it is probably time to seek some advice from a your veterinarian. Whether your dog’s compulsive grass eating is caused by pica, or some other cause, your veterinarian can help you to decide what the best treatment for them might be.
How Can I Stop My Dog from Eating Grass?
Adjust Your Dog’s Diet
Changing up your dog’s diet may be the solution to cutting down on their grass grazing. Veterinarians may recommend that you switch to a diet that his higher in fiber.
Many pet owners have found that the grass eating either completely stops, or is significantly reduced, with a minor change.
If you think boredom may be the reason your dog is eating grass, then there are a couple of things you can do to help alleviate the problem. Toys are a great way to entertain dogs and keep them busy, especially if you can find a toy that also treats them as the play.
You can also simply spend a little more time with them, either taking walks or playing, so that they are consistently being active. If you cannot be with your dog as much as they would like, there are options like doggie day cares that can provide socialization, and exercise for your pet when you are not there.
Use Non-Toxic Products
If your lawn needs a little help to look lush and beautiful, be sure that you are using non-toxic chemicals to treat it. You can also consider giving them an alternative to the grass growing in your yard.
There are many plants that are safe for dogs, so you can provide an area of grass and herbs that will not cause you to worry if you see them eating it.
Though rare, some causes of eating grass in dogs will require treatment from your veterinarian. Upset stomachs are sometimes more than just your dog eating something that they should not have. It could be a sign of issues such as inflammatory bowel disease or gastric reflux.
When you and your dog are outside, or around plants inside the home, it is best to keep a close eye on them. Of course, if you are concerned that your dog is suffering, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital of Clifton Park was founded in 1989 as Animal Care Hospital of Clifton Park. We began with 10 employees, 4 of whom are still working with us today. The name “Cornerstone” has special meaning to Dr. Knott and his family, both because it symbolizes their commitment to “faith, family, and then everything else,” and because it promotes the animal hospital as a cornerstone of the Clifton Park community.