Does your dog love grass? Have you noticed a dramatic increase in the amount of time your dog spends chomping on a freshly-mowed lawn? Are your gardening and landscape design dreams slowly deteriorating as a result of your pup’s outdoor appetite?
Animals of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and species are naturally inclined to munch on a little grass now and then, so it’s nothing to worry about.
But if your dog’s vegetarian diet has gotten out of control, we’re breaking down the reasons why he can’t stop chomping on grass. We’re also spelling out a few tips to steer your pup away from the lawn, and towards his fresh food bowl.
For many animals, grass is an organic digestive aid and, chances are, a part of your dog’s brain knows that grass is nothing but good for the gut. Hence, a craving for the green stuff.
What’s so great about grass? The probiotic fibers in grass keep your dog’s intestinal flora balanced, resilient and plentiful. If your dog feels a stomach ache coming on, they go to grass knowing the fibers will ease feelings of nausea while sometimes helping to remove toxins. Think of grass like an organic Pepto-Bismol for your pup.
If you’re concerned because the family pup’s been purging grass after spending a day snacking on shrubs, understand that occasionally getting sick can be the best thing for pets who’ve eaten something they shouldn’t or otherwise need a sour stomach soothed.
Grass also helps combat intestinal worms, which may save you an emergency trip to the vet later on. Worms are a serious health concern and grass often acts as a natural antidote.
Aside from digestive help, grass provides a wonder of nutrients for growing pups such as potassium, chlorophyll and basic phytonutrients essential to helping your dog reach milestones and remain active and able.
Health benefits and dietary needs aside – some dogs simply love grass! They enjoy the feel, smell, taste and whatever else stimulates their senses. If you don’t see anything wrong with your beloved pup, it’s safe to let him indulge in a little greenery now and then.
In short, plants acts as a natural daily vitamin to help animals achieve that feel-good body balance, so there’s nothing to worry about if your dog sometimes snacks on a few shards of green grass.
When To Step In?
If you spray your lawn with pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals otherwise toxic to your dog, it’s probably not a great idea to let your pup munch his little heart out.
You may also notice excessive grass eating. While grass is good in moderation, too much chowing might be a warning sign for something serious.
If your dog constantly sports a mouthful of green, something may be wrong with his digestive tract, and it’s worth visiting the vet to have his diet and GI tract professionally examined.
Of a milder concern, your dog may be going to grass because the food you’re feeding him is low in necessary vitamins and minerals.
Consider switching up his dog food, filling his bowl more frequently throughout the day, adding protein sources, probiotics and digestive enzymes to his food, or simply transitioning away from processed kibble and towards an entirely raw and nutrient-rich diet.
What To Do?
Sometimes it’s not an option for your dog to be munching on grass all day and all night. You may have harsh chemicals coating your lawn or you may be in the process of gardening and reconstructing your beloved backyard.
Either way, grass eating can become a serious inconvenience for both your dog’s health and your own personal sanity, so we’ve broken down a few ways to combat the outdoor munchies.
As previously mentioned, switching your dog’s diet – either by changing flavors, adding vitamins, or drastically reconstructing his food intake completely – can help prevent your dog from seeking vitamins and minerals in your flower garden or backyard bush.
Check out this video for more tips and tricks on smoothly changing your pup’s breakfast, lunch and dinner for the better.
If you’re less concerned about your dog’s health and more concerned about the quality of your lawn that’s slowly but surely getting nibbled away, invest in a few indoor grass gardens. Place flower pots filled with fresh grass around the house so your pet has an indoor alternative to satisfy his grassy cravings.
It’s also possible that your pup is bored. Look for things to keep him occupied and consider purchasing a dog toy specifically designed to hold his attention for long periods of time.
Once your dog is constantly playing around the house, getting a full day’s worth of exercise or receiving his daily dose of parental attention, he’s less likely to seek outdoor occupation in the form of grass nibbling. Check out these treadmills, hand toys and agility hoops for creative ways to meet all of Skipper’s playful needs.
If you’re unwilling or unable to spend thousands of dollars on dog toys, make sure you’re scheduling in time to play with your pup. Thirty minutes a day throwing a frisbee or tennis ball around can sometimes make all of the difference for your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing!
A recent study found that 79% of domestic dogs eat or have eaten plants at some time in their lives with grass cited as the most commonly consumed plant. Some dogs eat grass because they’re unwell, some do it to fill nutritional gaps, and other dogs simply enjoy the taste and feel of a smooth blade!
Whether it’s changing his diet, adding more toys around the house, planting some indoor grass gardens, visiting the vet or adjusting to your dog’s newfound love for outdoor treats, take your dog’s specific needs into consideration and decide what’s best to help manage his grass gobbling.
More often than not, grass is good. But never be afraid to intervene when something doesn’t feel right as a puppy parent.
Have more questions or comments about grass eating and raw doggie diets? Comment below!