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Grass Eating in Dogs: Dangerous Habit or Harmless Quirk?
April 1, 2021

Does your can ine pal sometimes eat grass while you are walking him? If so, you’re definitely in good company. This is a fairly common behavior for dogs. If you’ve been wondering whether or not this is safe, or just curious about why your pet insists on eating the neighbor’s lawn, read on! A Wake Forest, NC vet discusses Fido’s penchant for snacking on grass below.

R  easons

There are actually several potential reasons your pooch could be eating grass. In some cases, this may be a type of pica. Pica is a term that means eating things that are not food. (Our canine companions have also been known to eat socks, phones, remotes, earbuds, jewelry, rocks, and other items, but that’s another topic.) It’s also possible that in some cases, this is Fido’s way of trying to address a nutritional deficiency. For instance, he may need more fiber. However, these reasons don’t explain every case. Some dogs may just like the taste.

Possible Concerns

Most types of grass are not toxic to Fido, at least in and of themselves. Grasses and plants that have been treated with pesticides and fertilizers are a whole other story. This is one reason it’s best to try and keep your canine buddy from gnawing on strange grass. Another concern is the possibility of parasites. It’s also important to understand that many plants are dangerous to dogs. The ASPCA has a full listing of toxic and nontoxic plants here . Toxicity isn’t the only concern, however. Some dangerous plants, like foxtail grasses, aren’t poisonous, but can still be deadly. Foxtails have sharp seeds that can burrow under pets’ skin. Unfortunately, because of the way they’re angled, they don’t typically work their way out. Instead, they keep going deeper. Yikes!

What To Do

So what do you do if your furry friend keeps eating grass? Have your vet give him a thorough exam to rule out potential medical issues, and watch for potential signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Given that Fido is already inclined to eating plants, you’ll also need to be extra vigilant about making sure that everything growing on your property is safe. Finally, try to keep your pooch from eating other people’s lawns. Ask your vet for more information.

As your Wake Forest, NC veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!

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