By Shannon Furrow

Every dog I’ve ever owned has eaten grass. It’s just been one of those things that I assumed most dogs do. I’ve heard many theories about why dogs do this but really, when it comes right down to it, what’s most important to me is the question, “Will eating grass hurt my dog?”

The short answer is, No. But why do they do it? And is there any way to stop them?

Eating grass might not seem like a big deal unless your dog wakes you in the middle of the night to go out and it’s only to eat grass and not to relieve himself. Mine does this every so often and while it annoys me while I’m standing out there in the cold (especially in winter) I have never worried that it was a big deal.

After doing some research, I discovered that no one really knows why dogs eat grass. Some believe it’s because they are lacking nutrients in their diets. However, if you are feeding your dog a high quality dog food, rest assured that he is getting the essential nutrients.

Another theory is that dogs eat grass to make themselves throw up. I can vouch that this isn’t the case as my dog regularly consumes grass and does not then throw up. Besides if he wants to throw up, he can easily do so on the spur of the moment inside the house without having consumed any grass.

While eating grass in itself is not harmful for your dog, you will want to be cautious of some situations. If your dog does enjoy munching on grass, you will want to make sure that he’s not eating any grass that’s been treated with pesticides, snail bait, or any other garden chemicals as these are toxic to dogs.

Also, if you mow the lawn with a gas-powered mower, the grass that falls back to the ground will be contaminated with gasoline fumes and grease which could make your dog sick. In most cases though, your dog likely won’t eat it anyway as he won’t like the smell or the taste and will prefer fresh clean grass.

Generally speaking, eating grass is not a habit that you need to worry about. Obviously your dog enjoys eating grass or he would stop.

For more information on dog psychology and general canine behavioral traits, with a particular focus on problematic behaviors, take a look at Secrets to Dog Training. It’s a complete, detailed manual for the responsible dog owner, and covers everything from obedience training to preventing and handling a huge variety of common problem behaviors. Well worth checking out! []

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