You always adore your dog. You are mad about your dog. You put all your heart and mind in taking care of your pet. You always keep a clear track of their behaviour, their psychology and most importantly their food and nutrition. We would never want them to fall sick. We always like them moving and jumping around the house and cheering us up. We love them dearly and want them to love us back.
Most dog owners have probably seen their canine friend graze on grass at one point or another. A few theorists exist to explain this as an odd beahviour but nothing is definitive. Dogs love yo munch away on grass and some even make it a part of their daily routine. But why exactly do they gobble up the green stuff in your yard?
One common reason we make up is that ‘dog eating grass’ is an act of them falling sick. Dogs use that grass to binge and purge because of a build up of bile in their stomach. Many dog owners get startled on seeing this kind of a behaviour. They think if their dog is retarted or something. However, on consulting the vet, he or she explains that they eat grass to try to force themselves to throw up to make themselves feel better. The gallbladder produces bile and it is excreted into the stomach which aids in the digestion of fats. On an empty stomach, bile can cause an acidic or sick feeling that triggers the dog to to grass in order to vomit up whatever is making them feel ill. Most often a dog vomits up the bile and grass combo only to dive into their breakfast a few minutes later as if nothing wrong ever happened.
When should you be worried? If the grass eating frequency increases or occurs more than once a week, a visit to a vet is needed. The nausea or acidic stomach could be caused by an unknown condition and only antacids can calm that hollow stomach. So not exactly harmful, your dog may be eating grass for a specific purpose, or simply just idly chewing on it for no reason. Many theorists speculate that a dog who chew on grass may have an anxiety issue. Just as we try to ease off our anxiety, dogs try and control their anxiety through a compulsive disorder, in this case through chewing and eating grass. If you notice your dog expressing signs of anxiety like excessive blinking, panting or turning in circles for no concrete reason, and then out of nowhere you see it eating the grass, it maybe doing so to control anxiety. It is important that we consult our vet about the nervous dog and he may prescribe a mild sedative to administer in the event of another episode.
‘Pico’ is a technical term for the disorder characterized by eating things that aren’t food. Sometimes Pica indicates that your dog has some type of nutritional deficiency though it is often simply a sign of boredom, especially when practiced by puppies and younger dogs. Dog eating grass is actually quiet common and has been observed in wild dogs too. It is completely natural and this form of pica does not usually cause too much problem. While most veterinarians consider it a normal dog behaviour, grass is the most commonly eaten item among the dogs.
There are many suggested reasons why your dogs eat grass. This includes improving digestion, treating intestinal worms or fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fiber. A published study reports on a miniature poodle that ate grass and vomited constantly for seven days. Three days after putting the dog on a high-fiber diet, the owner reported that the dog eventually stopped eating grass entirely. So there remains a possibility that your dog just likes the way grass tastes or feels. Gastrointestinal issues like upset stomach, nausea, bloating and illness from pathogenic microbes makes the dog run frantically out of the house. Once out, it will chow down on any grass available or maybe even plant leaves, taking large bites and swallowing plants whole. It is their natural remedy. They also do it in the hunt for a specific type of plant and after proper identification, it will calmly nibble on the plant. Wolves and other wild Canids are known to regularly eat plant matter, suggesting dog’s grass eating as innate and perfectly normal.
Dogs unlike their catty counterparts aren’t carnivores. But they are also not like your garden-variety omnivores. For tens of thousands of years, these opportunistic scavengers have devoured anything and everything, as long as it fulfilled their basic dietary requirements. The modern dog, partly because because of evolution and domestication, is no longer like its ancestors, which frequently ate their prey entirely, including stomach content of plant eating animals. Instead dogs seek out plants as an alternative source. It is grass – the closest at hand- while wild canines are known to feed on wild berries, fruits and other vegetable matter too.
Nutritional necessity: Some experts see no danger in letting your dog might crave, especially if its on a commercial diet. If your dog has been munching away on grass or houseplants, then you may want to introduce natural herbs or cooked vegetables into his diet. Dogs aren’t finecky like cats, but aren’t very fond of raw vegetables either. But they gulp down anything that they find is tasty. Giving them a carrot to snack on during the day or buying a good quality green dietary supplement to their meal will reduce their habit of grass eating. Proper suggestions will come from a knowledgeable pet store employee or a food store that carries healthy dog food.
However the potential dangers follow. Lawns sprayed with herbicides and pesticides can be very lethal and toxic to your dog if it chews affected grass. Fertilizers, weeds build up in their systems certain troubles like accidental indigestion. Keeping the lawn clear of chemicals and natural and diacouraging your dog from random munching while on walks is every owner’s randon duty. If you find that the grass eating is out of boredom, engage your pet in some interactive,fun activities. Interactive games and giving it a toy to chew rather than letting it resort to grass eating method is what should be done. Discourage it from eating grasd that is not soft, green cultivated grass that we enjoy in our backward gardens, although this is not pverly detrimental to the dog. We can also buy a small tray of grass or start a herbal home garden just for the sake of our pooch. This gives him an alternative to the outdoor grass and landscaping, thereby protecting him from further discontentment and vexation. Also other animals can leave feces behind that will e infected with worms or flea eggs and if the dog fees on the infected grass and is not vaccinated, it is very likely that your dog will contract them.
Trainjng your pooch, keeping a watchful eye when its outside and being dilligent with your discipline is the key to bteakjg your dog off from this behaviour. Give poaitive reinforcement when the dog doesn’t eat it and negative reinforcement when it attempts to eat it. Reward your dog. Regular veterinary appointments to monitor your dog’s health is necessary. And never hesitate to discuss with your veterinary doctor regarding trivial matters. Understanding your dog’s difficulties is what they expect of you. It’s not so difficult as learing rocket science absolutely new. Just a different way of communication which we, at times confuse to comprehend.