It can be a concerning thought for any dog owner to think, why does my dog eat grass? You might even start to think there is something wrong with your dog.
You are not alone in thinking that.
I had the same thought when my Bichon Frise Scully started eating grass for no reason. So out of my concern, I did some research online to find the reason why and to put my fears to rest.
Eating grass is widely considered to be perfectly normal behavior for most dogs. The most common reason put forward is that dogs eat grass due to a nutritional deficiency. The other common reason is simply due to boredom.
Now that we know why dogs eat grass, let’s examine if they actually should eat grass and how we can get our dogs to stop eating grass and plants.
Should You Let Your Dog Eat Grass?
Knowing why your dog is eating grass is one thing, but the next question to ask is should you let your dog eat grass?
The simple answer is that in most cases it is perfectly fine to let your dog eat grass. The exception comes when your dog starts to eat grass excessively or if they eat grass that has been treated with pesticides or fertilizers.
With this in mind, it’s highly important to check your lawn care products to ensure they are safe for pets.
If you find that your dog is eating grass excessively, it’s also a good idea to consult with your vet to understand why this might be the case.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
While your dog eating grass is perfectly normal behavior and generally safe to do, there may be reasons why you want to stop your dog from eating grass.
The simple way to think about how to stop your dog from eating grass is to consider why they eat grass, which we talked about above. Then work to resolve each case.
Let’s look at this in more detail below:
Firstly, if your dog is bored, make sure they get more exercise and mental stimulation. There are plenty of activities that can be done outside in the fresh air or even indoors when the weather isn’t so great.
Secondly, if you think your dog may have a nutritional deficiency, take a look at the dog food you are feeding them. If possible, upgrade to a better quality and high fiber dog food.
I always recommend the Hills Science Pet Plan range of dog food as that is what we use and have used since our Bichon was a puppy.
Does Eating Grass Make Dogs Sick?
There is a commonly held belief that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick.
While this can seem to make a lot of sense when you think about it, the studies show a slightly different picture.
A study I read online during my research linked here found that of the 79% of dogs that ate grass, only 22% would subsequently be sick.
The main outcomes from this study indicate that dogs eating grass is normal behavior and doesn’t make a dog sick.
Why Is My Dog Eating My Plants?
Another common thing to see in dogs is eating plants.
The reasons why your dog eats plants are likely the same as why dogs eat grass: a nutritional deficiency or boredom.
There may not be grass anywhere in sight but any plants around are the next best thing for your dog.
While eating grass is generally harmless for dogs, the more concerning aspect to eating plants is that they could be poisonous to dogs. Therefore this is something you should try to prevent your dog from doing.
The simple way to prevent your dog from eating your plants is to move them out of reach of your dog.
This can be achieved by moving them up high or by fencing off the areas where your dog shouldn’t go.
Additionally, teaching your dog the “leave it” command is a key part of any obedience training practice.
That way if you see your dog with something in their mouth, saying the “leave it” command should have them drop what they have so you can easily retrieve it.
What Can I Give My Dog To Settle His Stomach?
Though it may not be definitively related to eating grass, you may be wondering what to give your dog to settle their stomach.
The first thing you do to help settle your dog’s stomach is water. It’s possible your dog is just not getting enough water and may be suffering from dehydration.
Always having a clean bowl of fresh water in reach is important to your dog’s general health.
The foods you can give to your dog to settle their stomach are: bananas, boiled chicken & rice, or banana baby food. These foods are bland in taste but nutritious so should do a good job of settling your dog’s stomach.
We were able to cover some really useful information in this article. Let’s summarize before we finish:
- First, we answered the question: Why does my dog eat grass?
- Next, we talked about if you should let your dog eat grass
- After that, we looked at the question: Does eating grass make dogs sick?
- Next, we examined why dogs eat plants
- Finally, we covered some simple tips for things to give your dog to settle their stomach when feeling sick
I hope you found some value from this article. If you did, I’d really appreciate it if you shared this article on social media. It will help others to find it.
Finally, if you enjoyed reading this article, I recommend you read these next:
- Bichon Frise Health Issues – Here’s What You Need To Know
- My Dog Has Bad Breath What Should I Give Them?
- What Is The Age Span Of A Bichon Frise?
Sueda, K.L.C., Hart, B.L. & Cliff, K.D. (2008). Characterization of plant-eating in dogs. Applied Animal Behavior Science, 111, 120-132.