Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?
Eating grass is common in dogs and cats, and there's no doubt that the occasional nibble is quite normal.
When this becomes habitual, compulsive or excessive however, there is usually an underlying reason which needs addressing for this to be resolved.
Once medical conditions have been ruled out by a vet, the 3 commonest causes of this are:
1. GUT FLORA (MICROBIOME) DISTURBANCES
Signs of this often include:
- soft or sloppy stools
- excessive wind
- bad breath
- recurrent indigestion
- bringing up small amounts of bile
- a history of being given oral antibiotics
2. ADDITIONAL MICRONUTRIENTS NEEDED
If a pet is not getting what they need from their diet, an instinctual urge can drive them to eat grass in an attempt to obtain what is missing from elsewhere.
(This can also be the reason why some pets eat stools, soil, sticks, wall plaster and other inedible materials.)
Infection with intestinal worms can result in nutrient deficiencies, even though a good diet is fed, if the number of parasites present interfere with digestion. It is important therefore to rule out tapeworms, hookworm, whipworm etc as a cause of grass eating by screening stools with this kit.
3. GASTROINTESTINAL DISCOMFORT
Eating grass can be an attempt to:
- relieve trapped gas
- induce vomiting
- ease indigestion
- soothe aching bowels
In our experience, the following approach helps many dogs who eat grass because of the above.
- Add Digestion to the diet, along with a good probiotic, to support the development of a strong, healthy gut flora population.
- After 2 weeks if the stools remain well-formed an health otherwise good, give Vitality too, to provide a rich supply of essential nutrients which the body cannot manufacture for itself or store, and so need to be present in the diet every day.
- Give Stomach and Bowel Support 3 times daily for 3 weeks and repeat after that at the first sign of any intestinal upset (gurgling, gulping or lip smacking, for example) until all such signs have passed.
If there is no improvement after several months, a complete change of diet can often be beneficial.
An individually tailored raw diet works best for most pets.
If routine haematolgy and biochemistry test are normal, measurement of blood B12 and folate levels should be performed. This can detect abnormalities in the small intestine, which may be affecting the assimilation of nutrients from food.