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Authors

  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.
  • Karen London, Ph.D.
    London is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Pet Dog Trainer who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in the domestic dog.

« Behavior Problems in Dogs Relinquished for Re-Homing | Main | It Doesn’t Mean She’s Been Abused »

May 02, 2009

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I know cows eat grass, and dogs it it when their owner doesn't feed them.

Sara Wiegmann

My dogs are 9 month old lab-retriever mixes, brother and sister, and they eat grass, and ANY kind of wood they can find. They LOVE the clumps of grass left by the lawn mower, if I don't get them raked, they eat them all. They chew on tree branches, both live and dead, my deck, my daughter's swingset, and dig fir tree roots! What can I do to stop the destruction?

Ares

My dog eats grass all the time. I have heard many different things, from 'It's good for their digestive system' to 'She's gonna DIE!'. She never eats too much, so I have to believe that she doesn't eat it for food, but for some kind of self-medication!?!

Colleen Falconer, CPDT

This is a very timely topic for me - thanks so much for blogging about it! I have basenjis and both of them are major grass eaters. Now that spring has sprung here in MN, both of them are out in force, gorging on the new blades. I've notice both dogs have a preference for "quack grass" (the thick bladed grasses) and seek that out, avoiding the shorter, lighter, thinner grasses. Mina, my female, frequently awakes and immediately appears distressed; when I let her outside, she makes a beeline for the thick grass, chomps some down and immediately vomits it back up. She's always had digestive issues and it appears that the grass-eating helps alleviate that temporarily. I've tried a variety of things to help with tummy issues, but the only thing that's seemed to help is to put her on cooked or raw food, which I unfortunately don't offer consistently, due to cost and time constraints.
cheers,
Colleen Falconer, CPDT CTC

Randall Johnson

My 10-year-old English cocker spaniel, Goldie,shares something in common with Zephyr in that she often suffers from stomach upsets, eats grass, and later vomits the grass, along with a greenish-yellow liquid. Four-year-old Suzie, a minpin, often eats grass and shows signs of seeking it out, but without vomiting afterwards. In her case, grass-eating may be a case of supplementing her diet. As for Aladar, a Dalmatian mix I adopted off the street a little more than a year again,I've not yet seen him eating grass or any other type of plants. (However, as a former street dog, he still shows occasional interest in the contents of unprotected garbage bags.) Although we think of dogs as being carnivorous, they are technically omnivorous because grasses--and other plants-are also a part of their diet, although to a lesser extent.

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