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Do Dogs Eat Grass When They Are Sick? Let’s Find

Dogs eat grass for various reasons, but what if your dog is sick? Learn about the causes, risks, and prevention of grass eating in sick dogs in this informative article.

If the dog is hungry, or if its diet is not well balanced, it may start eating grass.

Dogs eat grass when sick. Have you ever noticed your furry friend munching on grass in the backyard or during daily walks? If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve witnessed this behaviour at some point. But have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass, especially when under the weather? 

It’s a common question among pet owners, and the answer might surprise you. This article will delve into the intriguing world of canine dietary habits and explore whether dogs turn to grass as a remedy for their ailments. So, let’s unravel the mystery of why dogs eat grass when they are sick!

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Many theories and opinions exist on why dogs eat grass, but no definitive answer exists. Some of the possible reasons are:

  • Instinct: Dogs are descended from wolves, omnivorous animals that eat meat and plant matter. Grass is a source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help digestion and nutrition. Some dogs may eat grass to supplement their diet or to satisfy their natural urge to forage.
  • Boredom: Dogs may eat grass out of boredom or curiosity, especially if they have limited access to other activities or stimuli. Grass eating can provide mental and physical stimulation for dogs and a way to explore their environment.
  • Stress: Dogs may eat grass as a coping mechanism for stress or anxiety, such as separation anxiety, noise phobia, or changes in routine. Grass eating can help dogs calm down and relieve their nervousness or frustration.
  • Nausea: Dogs may eat grass to induce vomiting when sick or have eaten something toxic or indigestible. Grass can irritate the stomach lining and trigger the gag reflex, which can help dogs expel unwanted substances from their system.
  • Taste: Dogs may eat grass simply because they like the taste or texture of it. Grass can have different flavours depending on the season, the soil, and the type of grass. Some dogs may prefer certain kinds of grass or enjoy chewing on fresh or dried grass.

If your dog frequently eats grass to vomit, it’s a good idea to consider why they feel nauseous and address any underlying issues. For dogs that spend time on artificial grass, clean it regularly with a pet-safe cleaner made for artificial turf, like the best artificial grass cleaner for dog urine.

Dogs are active and curious creatures by nature and get bored quickly if they are not stimulated with interesting activities. Dogs start chewing on objects (such as socks) when they are bored and need to do something.
Does your dog eat grass because he is bored? The solution is simple! Try to keep him busy with new activities.

Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass When Sick?

The answer to this question depends on the cause and severity of your dog’s sickness and the type and amount of grass they eat. Occasionally, grass eating is not harmful to dogs and may be beneficial for some conditions. 

However, excessive or compulsive grass eating can indicate a more severe problem and should be addressed by a veterinarian.

Some of the situations where you should let your dog eat grass when sick are:

  • Mild stomach upset: If your dog has a mild stomach upset, such as gas, bloating, or diarrhoea, eating some grass may help them soothe their stomach and regulate their bowel movements. Grass can act as a natural laxative or anti-diarrheal agent, depending on the situation.
  • Dietary deficiency: If your dog has a dietary deficiency, such as a lack of fibre, vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants, eating some grass may help them meet their nutritional needs and improve their health. Grass can provide some essential nutrients your dog may miss from their diet.

Parasites: If your dog has parasites like worms or giardia, eating grass may help expel them from their intestines. Grass can act as a natural dewormer or anti-parasitic agent by scraping off the parasites from the intestinal walls and flushing them out.

Some of the situations where you should not let your dog eat grass when sick are:

  • Severe vomiting: If your dog has severe vomiting, such as frequent or projectile vomiting, eating grass may worsen their condition and cause dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. Grass can irritate the stomach lining and increase gastric acid production, aggravating vomiting and damaging the oesophagus.
  • Toxic ingestion: If your dog has ingested something toxic, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, xylitol, antifreeze, or rat poison, eating grass may not help them eliminate the toxin and may even delay the treatment. Grass can interfere with the absorption of some toxins and reduce the effectiveness of activated charcoal or other antidotes.
  • Foreign body obstruction: If your dog has swallowed a foreign object, such as a bone, a toy, a sock, or a string, eating grass may not help them pass the object and may even cause more complications. Grass can wrap around the foreign object, creating a more significant mass obstructing the intestines or perforating the bowel.

If your dog needs to wear a diaper or protective garment to prevent soiling while ill, follow proper guidelines on keeping a diaper on a dog.

Is Eating Grass Harmful for Dogs?

Sometimes eating the herb may be a symptom of malaise. The herb tickles the throat and causes the vomiting reaction.
Your dog is probably trying to get rid of something, and this remedy helps him feel better.

Eating grass is not harmful to dogs in moderation and under normal circumstances. However, you should be aware of some potential risks and side effects of grass eating and prevent them if possible. Some of these are:

  • Pesticides: Some grasses may be treated with pesticides or herbicides that can be toxic for dogs if ingested. Pesticides can cause various symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, or organ failure. You should avoid letting your dog eat grass from areas sprayed with chemicals or use organic or pet-friendly products on your lawn.
  • Parasites: Some grasses may be contaminated with parasites or their eggs that can infect your dog if ingested. Parasites can cause various symptoms, such as weight loss, anaemia, itching, or blood in the stool. You should deworm your dog regularly and avoid letting them eat grass from areas frequented by other animals or have poor sanitation.
  • Allergies: Some dogs may be allergic to grass or its pollen and develop allergic reactions if they eat or come in contact with it. Allergic reactions can cause various symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, itching, or hives. You should consult your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has a grass allergy and avoid letting them eat grass from areas with high pollen counts or use hypoallergenic products on your lawn.

Choking: Some dogs may choke on grass if they swallow it without chewing or overeating. Choking can cause various symptoms, such as gagging, coughing, drooling, or difficulty breathing. You should monitor your dog while they eat grass and prevent them from eating too fast or too much of it.

How do you prevent or reduce grass eating in dogs?

Grass contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are good for your four-legged friend.
If your dog starts to chew grass or other plants, consult a specialist to ensure your puppy’s diet is balanced. It may be appropriate to include cooked vegetables in his diet.

If you want to prevent or reduce grass eating in dogs, you should first identify the possible reason why they are doing it and address the underlying issue. Some of the steps you can take are:

  • Provide a balanced diet: You should provide your dog with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and preferences. You should also avoid feeding them human foods that can upset their stomach or cause allergies. You can consult your veterinarian for the best diet for your dog and supplement it with fibre, probiotics, or antioxidants if needed.
  • Provide adequate exercise and enrichment: You should provide your dog with good exercise and enrichment that keeps them physically and mentally stimulated and satisfied. You should also avoid leaving them alone for long periods or exposing them to stressful situations. You can play with your dog, take them for walks, provide them with toys, puzzles, or games, or enrol them in training classes or dog sports.
  • Provide alternative treats: You should give your dog alternative treats they can chew on or eat instead of grass. You should choose safe, healthy, and appealing treats for your dog and offer them in moderation. You can use natural treats like carrots, apples, celery, and parsley or commercial treats like dental chews, biscuits, or jerky.
  • Discourage grass eating: Using positive reinforcement techniques, you should discourage your dog from eating grass. It would be best not to scold or punish your dog for eating grass, as this can increase their stress or anxiety and make them eat more. Instead, it would be best to redirect their attention to something else when they showed interest in grass and rewarded them when they obeyed.

When should you consult a vet about grass-eating in dogs?

You should consult a vet about grass eating in dogs if:

  • Your dog eats grass excessively or compulsively
  • Your dog eats grass frequently and vomits afterwards.
  • Your dog eats grass and shows signs of illness or discomfort
  • Your dog eats grass and has a history of medical conditions
  • Your dog eats grass, and you suspect they have ingested something toxic or harmful.

Your vet can examine your dog and perform tests to determine the cause and severity of their grass-eating behaviour and recommend the best course of treatment.

Well, That’s a Wrap

Dogs eat grass for various reasons, such as instinct, boredom, stress, nausea, or taste. Eating grass is not harmful to dogs in moderation and under normal circumstances and may even be beneficial for some conditions.

However, excessive or compulsive grass eating can indicate a more severe problem and should be addressed by a vet. You can prevent or reduce grass eating in dogs by providing them with a balanced diet, adequate exercise and enrichment, alternative treats, and discouraging grass eating. 

You can also provide some natural remedies to help them with upset stomachs without eating grass.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

Dr Dimitrios Tachos, a seasoned veterinary professional at Pets4pets, Liverpool, embodies the spirit of unwavering commitment to canine well-being.

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