November 27, 2012

Worried About Your Dog Eating Grass?

We have all seen it in our backyards, walking our pups, and at the dog parks. We watch that other dog eating grass without thinking twice about it until we notice our own dog eating grass, and suddenly, panic washes over our faces. Why is the dog eating grass? What’s wrong with him?

It’s funny that we automatically assume that a dog eating grass indicates something is wrong. In all reality, WebMD’s pet site says that this behavior is seen as perfectly normal by many veterinarians. In fact, I once asked my own vet why my dog ate grass, and he told me that sometimes dogs do that because their bellies ache. Something in the grass helps to settle their upset tummies, he proclaimed.

That was all the reassurance I needed about my dog eating grass. Although WebMD found that fewer than 10% of dogs who ate grass seemed sick, it further proposed that some dogs eat grass because it improves their digestion, treats intestinal worms, or even adds fiber and other nutrients to the diet. So, for the same reason that humans eat lettuce, dogs eat grass.

Vets and other pet resources alike all say to not worry about a dog eating grass on the whole. However, many yards are sprayed with pesticides and these are bad for dogs. In fact, they are quite toxic and could make a dog very ill through poisoning him. The only time a dog parent should prevent the dog eating grass is when a yard has pesticides.

A couple options can keep a dog from eating grass. First, make sure the pup receives plenty of exercise. This will stop a dog eating grass out of boredom. Second, switch to a better, more nutritious dog food especially one high in fiber. If dogs obtain all the nutrients from their diet, they are less likely to eat grass for the nutrients. And third, don’t worry. That dog eating grass might be your dog, but he’s perfectly normal.

Of course, if you have any concerns or think your dog might have gotten into some toxic grass, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Otherwise, though, a dog eating grass is nothing more than an average day for pups.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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