When the weather warms up, our pets spend more time outdoors and you sometimes notice that your Australian Shepherd eat grass. Is that bad? After all, they are certainly not herbivores. You probably question yourself, maybe a pet is hungry? Maybe he is bored? Lack of vitamins? The most wrrying thing is when a dog eats grass and then vomits everything.
There is such an unusual medical term – picacism. It means eating things that are not food. Sometimes this may indicate that your dog is missing some nutrients, but it is often a sign of boredom, especially if your Australian Shepherd is still a puppy.
Why Is My Australian Shepherd Eating Grass?
One explanation for why dogs eat grass, has to do with their evolution. This theory is based on the fact that wild canine beasts (such as dog-like wolves and foxes) eat the entire animal after they caught it.
Wild dog beasts – the ancestors of your dog – usually hunted and ate herbivores. This means that by eating these animals, wild dog beasts could eventually eat a lot of the grass and plants in the middle of the prey.
In addition, foxes and similar wild dog animals are known to eat certain berries and other plant material. As a result, it can be assumed that dogs eat grass because it is part of their normal diet.
Another reason why your Australian Shepherd eat grass could be curiosity. Especially if you have a young puppy, they might be eating grass just so they get to know the world around them.
It is also believed that dogs eat grass to improve digestion, get rid of intestinal worms, or get some nutrients, especially fiber.
If you suspect that your Australian Shepherd is eating grass just because he‘s bored, just play with him outside. Run together or do some other activities – it will only benefit you and your dog. If a dog eats grass because it lacks nutrients, change the food to one that has more fiber.
Should I Stop My Australian Shepherd From Eating Grass?
While eating grass itself is not harmful, you need to keep in mind herbicides and pesticides, which can even be very toxic. You would also benefit from getting to know poisonous and non-poisonous plants.
There is no strict requirement to allow or prohibit a pet from enjoying the greens. However, you should pay attention to the amount of grass your Australian Shepherd eat and find out the reason for eating. And the reason can be more than one – from boredom to malnutrition. It also depends on where the pet found the greens, it is safer in your garden if you know that the plants are not sprayed with various chemicals.
It is also important to follow the dog‘s behavior and well-being after enjoying such a vegetarian food. If your Australian Shepherd vomited once by vomiting a tuft of herbs, nothing terrible. But, when the dog vomits a lot and the herbs are no longer visible, it is possible to suspect poisoning and it is worth worrying about.
Pay attention even if your Aussie has diarrhea. This may be a sign that the dog has eaten the poisonous plant, the toxins have traveled further into the digestive tract and irritated the digestive system. If your dog has diarrhea for a long time, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Do Australian Shepherd Eat Grass to Settle Their Stomach?
Even dogs that don‘t like grass are still looking for it sometimes. The herb can be a natural remedy to help with bloating, increased stomach acidity, nausea, or gastrointestinal upset.
The gusty surface of swallowed grass irritates the lining of the throat and stomach, causing vomiting. The dogs vomit the grass overwhelmed by the stomach mucus, at the same time removing the accumulated excess juice.
A sick dog trying to induce vomiting eats grass a little differently than a gourmet – one who enjoys the plants, tries to chew them thoroughly. Sick animals do not enjoy the taste, they simply tear and swallow the stalks, so these would more irritate the stomach.
Why Does My Australian Shepherd Eat Grass and Vomit?
Vomiting after taking the grass is not a very common phenomenon. In a survey of about 2000 dog owners, 67 percent reported that their dogs eat plants (mostly grasses) daily or at least once a week, 10 percent said that dogs do not feel sick before eating plants and 23 percent said that their dogs are vomiting after eating grass.
Dogs that are unwell before eating grass are more likely to become overwhelmed. The findings suggest that eating grass in dogs is a common behavior and vomiting is uncommon.
However, as we wrote earlier, if it is a one-time phenomenon of vomiting – there is no need to worry much, but if it happens again, then watch you Aussie and consult a veterinarian.
Should I Stop My Australian Shepherd From Frantically Eating Grass?
Dogs have been eating grass for many years, and there is no evidence that this can be harmful. So don‘t worry if you see your Australian Shepherd eating grass. True, in rare cases, such a hobby can be a sign of some serious illness that the dog is trying to treat on its own.
However, if eating grass and vomiting has not become a habit after that, it is not worth worrying about. Concerns about this behavior can only be raised by the question of whether the grass is not contaminated with chemicals (herbicides, fertilizers) that can poison the pet. Therefore, it is best to avoid this hobby in an unknown place.
Although dogs are predators whose main part of their diet is meat, they will usually not give up plant food (of course, if there is no meat). Plants are used by dogs as an alternative food source, and sometimes grass is a real treat for dogs to indulge in whenever possible.
In fact, eating grass is a normal behavior for dogs, and you shouldn‘t worry about it unless your Australian Shepherd eats it a lot. Another cause for concern may be a sudden change in the dog‘s behavior, such as if he starts eating a lot of it even though the dog hasn‘t been interested in it before. If you are still worried that your dog is eating grass, we would advise you to talk to your veterinarian about it.