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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
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Experience:  We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
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My 2 year old pitbull eats grass like its going out of style

Customer Question

My 2 year old pitbull eats grass like its going out of style but never throws up and ive always been told they only eat grass if their stomachs are upset. She doesnt have the runs either but she eats grass every time she comes across it is this normal? Am I not feeding her the right kind of food?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine conducted the first time ever study and survey about dogs and grass eating. Hopefully I’ll have the published findings soon, but until then, the most accepted reasons that veterinarians in research and teaching hospitals can determine is that dogs eat grass because they like the taste and that they like the taste because it’s hardwired for them to crave a certain amount of fiber.
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At other times, a dog may ingest grass in order to cause vomiting. If they’ve eaten something foreign or that is causing stomach upset, they add fiber in the form of grass to push the offending item(s) through or give enough bulk to it to be brought back up. It can act as an irritant.
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There are a few cases where owners find their dog eating grass to seemingly “settle” an upset stomach after vomiting. What’s more likely happening is that the dog is replacing food and fiber with something they (we’re back to this) like the taste of.
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If your dog is grass eating after being sick, keep your companion away from this opportunity until they’ve had something that’s better for them. Boiled chicken without skin/bones and no spices, onions or garlic – with regular white rice boiled along with it – served with a bit of the broth (obviously when cooled) is a good choice. Just about ½ to 1 cup. Add a teaspoon to tablespoon of natural, 100% pumpkin for added fiber and then wait 1-2 hours before letting the dog in the grass. It might just do the trick.
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If she's not being 'sick', chances are it's just because it tastes good or she needs the extra fiber. Other options for good sources of high fiber tolerated by your gal would be to sprinkle a couple spoons of wheat bran (or brewer’s yeast), offer a couple dried plums (aka: prunes), dried figs or even a bit of unsweetened dried coconut.
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Carrots, pears, bananas and well cooked brown rice are other good fiber sources that dogs seem to like. Just be sure that you never allow them to ingest fruit seeds or pits; no grapes or raisins; no onions and garlic should be limited.
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Metamucil can be offered as well, usually a teaspoon for a medium sized dog every 8 to 12 hours.
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Basically though, to answer your question, no, it's not unusual at all for dogs to eat grass. Some like it more than others; some need it more than others and of course it's always a good idea to have a hands on examination by your vet to be sure nothing else is going on.

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Hopefully this helps give you some peace of mind - just let me know if I can help further ok?


S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7387
Experience: We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
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S. August Abbott, CAS
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We rescue what others leave behind; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults