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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience:  Veterinarian
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why does my dog eat leaves from small plants and weeds does

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why does my dog eat leaves from small plants and weeds? does it have anything to do with worms? he ate cat poo a month ago and got worms from it, we dewormed him with over the counter medicine, could he still have them? what else can a dog get from eating cat poo?

Hi thereCustomer


Thank you for your question regarding your boy who has been eating both plants AND cat poo! Firstly, there have been a large number of thoughts within the Veterinary world as to why dogs eat grass and plants! There actually appears to be two types of plant eating behavior in dogs. Some dogs take a few nibbles, while others eat quickly, barely chewing the grass. Unchewed plants/grass often translates to near instant vomiting. Dogs that are careful grazers, on the other hand, may not get sick from doing so.


If your boy eats plants and weeds on a regular basis, this could suggest dietary imbalance, though many Vets do not agree with this. You may want to consider giving the dogs some green vegetables if they appear to want "something green." Cooking the vegetables first may make them more digestible. It's also important to be careful when your dog eats plants regularly. Obviously there are all sorts of chemicals and fertilizers that may be put on to plants and weeds and you need to be sure your dog does not ingest grass from anywhere there has been these chemicals applied. You also need to be aware that many small plants are infact poisonous and can cause all sorts of symptoms (depending on the plant) ranging from kidney failure to cardiorespiratory arrest!


If your dog eats plants as a new behavior, and is exhibiting frequent vomiting, it is quite important you get him checked out with your vet. A dog that suddenly begins to have a taste for plants, grass or weeds may be trying to compensate for gastrointestinal problems. This could signify viral or bacterial infections and might require veterinary treatment. On the other hand, when dogs eat grass only occasionally, you can chalk this up to normal canine behavior. A mouthful of grass or two may mean cleaning up some nasty dog messes, but it is unlikely to signify poor dietary health or illness.


It is also interesting he has an affliction for cat poo! Whilst it is not likely he will catch anything from doing so other than perhaps parasites, or possibly an infectious GI problem such as giardia, salmonella or coccidia, it isn't a nice behavior either! I wouldn't be too concerned, however do get your boy wormed in the next week or so to cover him. I would also suggest giving him a loud guttural growl if you catch him in the act of doing so. You could even try lacing a few of these cat feces with tobasco sauce or bitter apple and leaving them out of the lawn. After a few bites of these 'laced' feces, hopefully your boy is less willing to try and eat the cat poo!


I hope this all makes sense - and do get your boy wormed soon. I wouldn't worry about the cat poo so long as your dog hasn't had any vomiting or diarrhea - however if we can stop this behavior then great! Also - try and deter him from eating plants. Grass is generally ok, but I get very wary when dogs start eating leaves off shrubs and bushes, due to the large number of poisonings that can occur as a result of doing so.

Best of luck and do reply if you need any further info won't you.


Thank you for your question and please now click ACCEPT.


Kind Regards,


Dr M D Edwards

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