You have certainly seen your dog licking grass, chewing or even eating it and you wonder why and what consequences can this behavior have? In this article you will finally understand why your dear canine friend sometimes lick and eats weed and especially when should you worry about it.
First of all, be aware that a dog licking grass is perfectly normal, even if he ate some and is regurgitating or spitting out what he has just swallowed.
It is often said that a dog purges himself when he eats grass. This is true in the sense that eating plants can help a dog eliminate harmful elements such as intestinal parasites from their body, but this should not be seen as deworming.
Indeed, the fact that eating grass can help the dog have a better intestinal transit does not exempt it from appropriate bi-annual deworming treatment (prescribed by a veterinarian).
Also, be aware that it is often through the ingestion of grass that the dog becomes contaminated with digestive worm eggs. So be sure to administer a suitable dewormer to your dog two or even four times a year.
But “purging” itself isn’t the only reason your dog eats grass. Here are a few more!
Dog licking grass on instinct
One of the hypotheses put forward by some specialists is that the dog is reproducing the behavior of its ancestor, the wolf, who killed herbivorous prey and therefore ate what the digestive tract of its prey contained, namely grass, plants, etc. .
Dog licking grass or eating it for taste
Even if the most developed sense in dogs is clearly not taste, in fact, the dog ultimately has very few taste buds compared to humans (1,700 compared to 10,000 in humans), it is not uncommon for dogs to be “food craving”.
Food craving is characterized by a strong desire to eat a particular food (chocolate for some people as an example). Some dogs are therefore very fond of weed, for no particular reason, other than taste or smell. However, it is quite important to ensure your dog does not ingest grass or weed treated with chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers.
Dog eating grass to digest
As mentioned earlier, the dog may feel a need to eat grass to get rid of whatever is bothering him in his stomach. Thus, eating the weed without taking the time to chew it will then allow him to vomit. While this behavior is not commonly observed, it is not considered abnormal. However, if your dog is adopting this habit on a regular basis, consult your veterinarian quickly as it can hide an illness or disease.
My dog eats grass because he has pica syndrome
Do you know of the pica syndrome? It is a behavioral eating disorder that prompts the dog to ingest different substances that are initially not meant to be eaten (dirt, sand, feces … grass, etc.).
So, if you observe your dog licking grass or even eating it but also other materials considered to be non-nutritious, and on a regular basis, quickly consult your veterinarian because this is a disorder that in many cases indicates a nutritional deficiency or an illness.
You must act quickly because pica disorder can lead, for example, to intestinal obstruction or perforation.
My dog eats grass: what’s the action plan?
The first thing to do is not to worry without having observed your dog’s behavior for several days. Indeed, if you walk into the vet and tell him “my dog just ate weed,” he might laugh at you.
Here are the different situations for which it will be preferable to consult a veterinarian:
- If your dog eats grass in an excessive manner
- If your dog suddenly starts eating grass in large quantity
- If your dog eats chemically treated grass
- If your dog eats other non-nutrients
If and only if one of these 4 situations apply, then yes, go to your vet with the information so he can determine what is the best solution for your dog!