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Thread: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

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    Dog Park Attendant TonkaTruck28's Avatar
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    Default Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Hey all, Tonka has started eating grass pretty much every time he is outside and more recently mud! Its constant! Why would you think he is doing this? Lacking something in his diet, bored, "special" lol. I came home from work today to a great surprise all over my almost shag rug and a house that stunk so bad you could barely walk in due to what I think was eating a bunch of mud in the backyard last night. Any insight would be appreciated as always

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    I've asked my vet this question before with a Cocker Spaniel, who I thought was imitating a cow in grazing on the grass outside. My Vet told me something lacking in the diet, Vitamins or minerals, But what bothered me was after eating grass she always regurgitated rather quickly, and usually without notice. I started supplementing her Science Diet at the time with Vitamins, and the grass eating halted. When I see a pet eating grass or dirt now, thats the first thing that comes to mind.

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
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    Your beloved canine companion clearly isn’t a cow, so you might be confused when you see him eating grass. You might even be worried. Is he hungry? Bored? Sick? Will eating grass hurt him?


    First, rest assured that you’re not alone in your concern, especially if your dog is eating grass and vomiting.


    Pica is the 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.


    Dogs eating grass is actually quite common (it has been observed in wild dogs, too, and may be completely natural) and this form of pica does not usually cause too many problems. In fact, most veterinarians consider it a normal dog behavior. One small-scale study of 49 dog owners whose dogs had regular access to grass and other plants found that 79% of the dogs had eaten plants at some time. Another survey about plant-eating dogs found that grass was the most commonly eaten plant.


    Is My Dog Normal? Grass Eating, Scooting, & Other Puzzling Dog Behavior
    Why is my dog eating grass?


    There are a variety of reasons your dog might be grazing on your lawn.


    Some people propose that dogs might turn to eating grass when they don’t feel well as a way to make themselves vomit, and then feel better. Others dispute this idea, on the basis that dogs are not proven to be smart enough to decide to treat an upset stomach by eating grass.


    Evidence suggests that most dogs that eat grass aren’t unwell beforehand, or at least they don’t seem so. In fact, fewer than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before eating grass, according to their owners. And grass-eating doesn’t usually lead to throwing up -- less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.


    Other suggested reasons why your dog might be eating grass include improving digestion, treating intestinal worms, or fulfilling some unmet nutritional need, including the need for fiber. One published study reports on a miniature poodle that ate grass and then vomited every day for seven years. Three days after putting the dog on a high-fiber diet, the owner reported that the dog stopped eating grass entirely. And, of course, there is also the possibility that your dog simply likes the way grass tastes or feels.


    Should I stop my dog from eating grass? If so, how?


    If you suspect your dog is eating grass because he’s bored, it might be beneficial to be sure he’s getting enough exercise. Engage him in some fun activities. Try tossing a Frisbee or playing another interactive game with him, or buy him a sturdy chew toy to keep him occupied.


    On the chance that your dog’s pica behavior is caused by a nutritional deficiency, switching to a better dog food, especially a high-fiber variety, could help alleviate the problem.


    Although most experts agree that grazing itself isn’t harmful, one thing to keep in mind is that certain herbicides and pesticides used on lawns can be quite toxic, especially if ingested. In fact, fertilizers were one of the top 10 causes of pet poisoning in 2008. Additionally, a number of common house and garden plants are toxic, which could lead to problems if your dog munches on them along with the lawn. To make sure the plants in and around the area where your dog is eating grass aren’t dangerous, check the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center web site, which maintains a list of toxic and non-toxic

    When the Tummy's Grumblin'
    A dog will seek out a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach, and grass, it seems, may do the trick. When ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed.

    Although dogs don't typically graze on large amounts of grass like a cow, they may nibble on grass, chew on it for a while, and not throw up (an unwell dog will tend to gulp the grass down in big bites and then throw up). This may be because they find the texture of the grass palatable, or just because they need to add a little roughage to their diet.

    Nutritional Necessity
    Whatever the reason may be, most experts see no danger in letting your dog eat grass. In fact, grass contains essential nutrients that a dog might crave, especially if they're on a commercial diet. If you notice that your dog has been munching away on grass or houseplants, then you may want to introduce natural herbs or cooked vegetables into their diet. Dogs aren't finicky like cats, but they're not too fond of raw veggies either. They're kind of like big furry kids that way.

    So, when you think about it, grass munching isn’t that bad at all. However, watch out for a sudden increase in grass eating; it could be a sign of a more serious underlying illness that your dog is trying to self treat, and that requires immediate veterinary assistance.

    You may also want to buy a small tray of grass just for the dog, or start an herbal home garden. This will give your poor pooch an alternative to the outdoor grass and landscaping, the eating of which could lead to accidental ingestion of pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals that have been used to treat your (or your neighbor's) yard.
    Last edited by Vikinggirl; 06-05-2013 at 09:24 PM.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    i have talked to my vet a few times and every time I ask.... 'it means nothing and they just do it to do it.' Dirt, you need to be more careful and there can be stones which could cause a blockage. banks LOVES to eat dirt, but we can't let her because we are in a new construction development and there are more rocks/stones than actual dirt.
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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Hope it helped you
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Dog Park Attendant TonkaTruck28's Avatar
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    @Casper What kinds of vitamins do uou supplement with?
    @Vikinggirl Thanks so much I'm still wondering exactly why hes doing it but I feel better that its somewhat normal, just annoying.
    @2BullyMama he seems to like either pulling up grass and eating a "hole" into the yard, which let me tell you, looks FABULOUS. Or he goes over to a small portion of our newly sodded yard that is a straight up soupy mudpit and slurps out of there, which is what he did yesterday and what I think caused the diarrhea today. I don't think theres any rocks in there, but i've always been worried about them :S

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    You're welcome
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Honestly...they just will eat anything! Bark..sticks..dirt. @KMARINO has Vegas, who loves sand! you do need to watch closely if they eat something that could case a blockage or too pointy or sharp to *** safely.

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    @TonkaTruck28, I would first ask my Vet for his/her recommendation, as Monica posted the Pica article a while ago, Vitamin Defficiency. Same thing my Vet explained to me, and at that very moment I asked what a good supplement was, he gave me several to try, and even samplers to figure out which my cockers would like the best, I found one she didn't have a problem taking that she actually liked, and that's what I gave her, It was Multi Vitamin and & Mineral for Dogs.

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Thank you for posting. Porkie was vomiting at 1:07 AM I didn't know what to do. I posted in my fb my NZ friend replied fast! She's my life saver to explain it's normal. She has dog who eats grass as well. She asked me did Porkie eat grass and she did.

    I felt like a mommy with a sick child. She was fine and went back to her bed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Eating Grass and Dirt!?

    Tucker eats grass whenever we go for walks, which is twice a day, and he's on NuVet Plus for supplements. He does end up spitting up the grass, and it's pretty much everyday, he is on Natural Instinct right now. He has been on 4 other high rated dog foods as well. I think Tucker does it because he can, and it's usually the thick blade grass.


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