I have an emotional support dog and by that, I mean a dog who has helped me overcome several depressive episodes during the pandemic. However, there is an interesting thing that I would like to share with you. As a dog owner, I am sure you know a lot about your dogs’ grass-eating habit. They gorge on grass as they would do with their favorite treats. In fact, more than 60 percent of the people say that their dogs feed on grass.
At the onset, I was quite worried about my dog eating grass and I always wondered to myself, why is he eating grass? Is he hungry? Should I double his meals or is it some kind of disorder? While my mind was drowning in all these questions, I decided to take hold of the situation and consulted a local veterinary. At first, the vet smiled a bit and then asked me to calm down because it’s completely natural for dogs to eat grass. However, out of curiosity I politely asked him to help understand the reason behind every dog’s grass-eating habits. So, this is what he had to say. Read on to find out.
My Emotional Support Dog Is Ill
If you think your dog is ill and that is the most likely reason for grass eating. You are highly mistaken. Most people think that grass eating is a way for dogs to show that they are ill. Scientifically speaking, this is not even true. According to a study with dog owners as subjects showed that only 8% of the respondents reported signs of illness before their dog started eating grass. On the other hand, 22% of the subjects reported that their dogs vomited after eating the grass.
Similarly, another study comparing the grass eating behavior of several dogs concluded that healthy dogs were more likely to eat grass than dogs with gastrointestinal problems. Although, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that dogs submit to anxious behavior before running out into the lawn to eat small and big grass. This, in turn, causes the dog to vomit out everything he or she has eaten. The bottom line is that dogs do not eat grass because they are ill and we do not have enough evidence to support the hypothesis. However, dogs do exhibit irrational behavior that we will try to decode in the next point.
Eating Grass Is A Normal Dog Behavior
Just like I mentioned earlier, eating grass is a normal dog behavior. However, you dog might be experiencing behavioral changes. These behaviors do not necessarily bring about a drastic change in the dog’s health. If you are providing your dog with good food and care there’s no reason for you to be sacred. In fact, it’s quite possible that your dog is eating grass to pass time or to help aid in the digestion process. Or else your dog is eating grass because he or she thinks that it tastes and smells really nice. Interestingly, there’s another theory to this behavioral change. The theory says that grass has wolf-scat on it and scientists have found several samples of the same. So, it’s likely your dog might have adopted the behavior from their wild ancestors.
Also, dogs have an interesting genetic, physiological, and dietary structure. Scientists believe that it helps them adjust to the natural habitat. This means that it wouldn’t be wrong to say that grass eating is a part of adaptation and natural behavior. In fact, grass has fiber and it can help dogs with nutrition issues. Speaking of which, make sure that you include enough sources of fiber in your dog’s food. Particularly food items that make the gut healthy.
You Have Dog-Friendly Grass
Some people like to keep their law grass dog-friendly because certain chemicals and toxins can hinder the health of the dog. Also, if your grass is fresh, organic, and safe for your dog to munch on. This allows your dog to gladly nibble on the grass. In contrast, if you leave dog poop on the grass and allow chemicals to set on the grass. Your dog will smell the grass and realize it’s not worth eating. Which is best for you because your dog will no longer eat grass. Or else worse, the dog will eat the grass and fall ill. So, I believe it’s best to keep the backyard or lawn chemicals and poop free.
Your Dog Is Fulfilling Unmet Nutritional Need
The grass consists of high fiber. If you have fresh, organic grass in your backyard, it’s likely your dog is trying to meet some nutritional requirements. Although I am not sure how true this point is because veterinarians believe that it is not a sure-shot reason. On the other hand, your dog might actually suffer from malnutrition. Particularly when you are feeding your dog with unhealthy treats.
You see we all love our dogs but that doesn’t mean we have to submit to everything they want. This is where comes the role of discipline and good behavior. In my personal opinion, it is our responsibility to help dogs with good behavior. And that includes making them eat nutritious food. After all, dogs cannot survive on treats. You may survive on street food or junk food but dogs have a sensitive digestive system. They need a healthy diet just like humans do. So, make sure you serve your dog healthy and nutritious food.