Whether your Pitbull suddenly started with this random behavior of eating grass or he/she has been doing it for some weeks, months or years, it’s most likely a cause of concern for you.
You may have noticed your Pitbull begs you to be let outside only for him/her to head straight for the grass and start eating it and then promptly vomit it all up. On the other hand, your Pitbull may be pickier and only hunts for specific grass blades to feast on with no side effects after eating, leaving you to wonder “why does my Pitbull eat grass?”
The first thing you need to know is that your beloved Pitbull pet is not alone in this behavior so breathe easy and relax. You may be wondering why your beloved Pitbull is doing this seeing as he’s not, in fact, a cow. You may even be confused and sometimes worry that he’s bored or hungry or maybe even suffering from a strange sickness. In this article, we will explain why Pitbulls (and dogs, generally) sometimes tend to eat grass.
Why Does My Pitbull Eat Grass?
Rest assured that you’re not the only dog owner who is concerned or even baffled about your dog eating grass. For some dogs, it gets even more worrying as they may also be vomiting as a result of this behavior. The technical term for the disorder which is characterized by eating things which are not food is called Pica.
Sometimes Pica is a sign that your Pitbull may have some type of nutritional deficiency however your Pitbull eating grass is often a sign of boredom. This is especially true when practiced by puppies or younger dogs.
Your Pitbull eating grass is actually quite common and this form of Pica does not typically cause a lot of problems. It has also been observed in wild dogs too so it may be quite natural.
As a matter of fact, most veterinarians consider it to be one of the behaviors normal to dogs. A small scale study of 49 dog owners whose dogs had access to grass or other plants discovered that 79% of dogs had eaten the plants at some time or the other. Another survey carried out on plant-eating dogs discovered that grass was the most commonly eaten plant.
Dogs may not gain any real nutritional value from grass and it may also not hurt them. This is true as long as there are no dangerous herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers used on the grass itself.
To ensure your Pitbull is not harmed in any way as a result of eating grass, use only non-toxic products on your grass. If you’re walking him/her in public places, keep an eye out for any signs warning that chemicals have been applied to the grass.
You can provide a safe option by growing a herb garden or grass near your home just so your Pitbull can snack on it. At the very least, you’ll know he’s snacking on something safe. There are various reasons why your Pitbull may be eating grass.
1. Your Pitbull May Not Feel Well
Some people speculate that some dogs may be eating grass when they don’t feel well so they can find a way to make themselves vomit. Others are against this idea and dispute it because they believe dogs have not been proven intelligent enough to treat their upset stomachs by eating grass.
Evidence suggests that a number of dogs that eat grass are actually not unwell before they decide to eat grass. At the very least, they don’t seem to be unwell. As a matter of fact, less than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before they go foraging for grass according to their owners. In a lot of cases, eating grass does not lead to the dogs throwing up as less than 25% of dogs who eat grass vomit frequently after grazing.
In some cases, if your dog happens to have stomach distress, it may be a sign of something more serious. He/she may have inflammatory bowel disease or gastric reflux so you may need to call your veterinarian for advice.
2. Your Pitbull May Be Trying To Fulfil An Unmet Nutritional Need
This is another suggested reason why your beloved Pitbull may be eating grass. This reason also ties in nicely with other reasons given such as treating intestinal worms and improving their digestion including the need for fiber in their diet.
One of the published studies gives an account of a miniature poodle breed that ate grass and then proceeded to vomit every day for seven years. It was also reported that owner reported the poodle was put on a high fiber diet. Shortly after this, the poodle stopped eating grass altogether.
3. Your Pitbull Simply Likes The Way Grass Tastes And Feels
It’s crazy for us humans to imagine grass tastes and feels good to eat however it’s a very possible reason your Pitbull may be eating grass.
Your Pitbull probably eats every last bite he can find under your dinner table while or after you eat so why should he/she stop there? Dogs are natural scavengers so they are naturally programmed to search for nutrition anywhere they can find it.
It’s very possible that your Pitbull may find the texture or flavor of grass quite yummy.
4. Your Pitbull May Be Bored
In some cases, your Pitbull may be eating grass because he’s bored and just needs something to do to while away some time. He may have full access to your backyard (assuming you have one) but he may not have much to do while he’s there.
Make sure that you provide mental challenges and regular exercise for your Pitbull so he doesn’t get bored and start eating grass. This may be especially true if you notice your Pitbull is eating more grass when you’re not playing or walking him.
You can prevent your dog from getting bored by providing him with a chew toy. If you don’t want to do this, make sure you’re available to provide your Pitbull with a consistent exercise routine.
To see a YouTube video where a vet explains possible reasons your Pitbull may be eating grass, watch this:
How Do I Stop My Pitbull From Eating Grass?
If you suspect your Pitbull is eating grass because he’s bored, you need to make sure he’s getting plenty of exercise. Try engaging him in different fun activities such as tossing a Frisbee. If you like playing football, you can kick a ball around and make your dog fetch it for you. He would absolutely love the quality time he gets to spend with you as well.
On the chance that your Pitbull’s pica behavior is being caused by a nutritional deficiency, it’s advisable to switch to a dog food which has higher fiber content. This could help to improve the problem.
Even though a number of experts are in agreement that dogs eating grass isn’t necessarily harmful, it’s helpful to remember that the chemicals used on grass can be quite toxic. Also, a number of common garden and house plants are quite toxic and could cause issues if your Pitbull eats them in addition to the grass.
To make sure the plants around the area where your dog is eating grass is not dangerous, do check the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Centre website. The website has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
If you still have questions concerning some of your pooch’s peculiar behaviors, we might have answered some of them. For instance, in one article, we answered the question: Why Does My Pitbull Sleep So Much? Click here to read it.