You may think your dog has the spirit of a horse or a cow inside them. Otherwise, why else would they graze or munch on grass?
Well, you should know that it is very common for Beagles or any dog to eat grass. It might not be a comfortable sight to see for the parents. In such cases, parents might worry and take them to the vet.
However, there is less to worry about. Beagles will eat grass, leaves and plants to throw them up later. They might do this because of physiological problems or issues with the digestive system.
This article will get into all the details: why they eat grass, whether it is safe for your dog to eat grass and how to stop them from doing so. This is so that you know when it becomes an actual problem.
Reasons Why Beagles Eat Grass
There are many reasons why your Beagle might be fond of eating grass. While dogs may seem tame now, owners often forget that they are descendent of wild animals. These wild animals survived on their own in nature. So, grass was a staple food for hunting dogs back then.
According to the American Kennel Club, some owners and vets believe that grass-eating is a form of Pica. Your dog might be eating grass to compensate for the deficiency in nutrients like fibre, minerals, vitamins in their daily meals.
One thing owners are not aware of is that dogs cannot digest leaves. They do not have the enzymes to break down the fibres. That means that they either find it tasty, they are bored, or they are deliberately trying to get something out of their system that didn’t sit well with their stomach.
However, if you provide them with a complete and nutritious balanced diet, their indulgence might be a biological instinct.
Your dog might be eating grass out of stress or anxiety as well.
1. It is common
It is very common to eat grass for dogs with an upset stomach. They will try to force themselves into puking to alleviate the contents in their gut. Another possibility is that they fear they have consumed something dangerous.
You only need to worry when it becomes excessive or if you notice a lack of appetite, laziness, and diarrhea.
Eating grass is self-treatment for your dog.
If dogs are bored, they will chew on the grass. They might get bored of their kibble, so they eat grass to bring some variety. If you aren’t providing enough exercise and mental stimulation, they will become because there is nothing to do. So, they will turn to grass to pass the time. Your dog will consider this activity as fun and will try to do it while outside.
It can also be a way to get your attention since most owners will come running to stop them from eating grass.
As they lived in the wild alone, it was an instinct to eat grass. This trait remained in our domestic dogs. Your Beagles might eat grass when you go for a walk after waking up.
However, it can also be that they like and enjoy the taste. They may just have the urge to nibble on something flavorful.
Is it safe for Beagles to Eat Grass?
Beagles are omnivorous, so it is safe to consume grass if they are healthy. The grass might contain nutrients and vitamins that a Beagle may need. Vitamin A, Iron, and Chlorophyll provide different things, but there is little evidence to support this claim.
You need to worry if the grass is treated with pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. These substances can be poisonous to your dog. Do some research on the types of plants your dog can and cannot eat because some plants are toxic to your dog. Don’t let them eat anything unsupervised.
Any sign of discomfort in the stomach means your dog might have gastric reflux, pancreatitis, or inflammatory bowel disease.
Long grass can get stuck in the eyes, ears, and paws, leading to irritation.
Dogs can pick up ticks that can carry Lyme disease.
If slugs and snails are present, they can pass on lungworm.
How To Stop Them From Eating Grass?
There are many things you can do to prevent them from eating grass. The first, though, is to use non-toxic products on your lawn. There are many pet-friendly products online that you choose from.
1. Chew Toys
We have already established that dogs can chew grass when they are bored. So, provide chew toys as an alternative. Keep them occupied with good quality chew toys and make sure to change them from time to time. This will keep them interested and prevent them from eating grass.
You can also use Kong toys and puzzles to help in this endeavor.
2. Regulate Their Diet
A lack of fiber in your Beagle’s diet may lead them to eat grass. They eat grass because they feel they are not getting enough of the fiber in their everyday meals.
So, make sure you provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet with high fibers.
Offer them steamed fruits and veggies. However, remember that all the safe fruits and vegetables for humans may not be for dogs.
3. Treats & Commands Can Help
Teach them basic commands like “drop”, “leave it”, or “no”. Train them not to eat grass in this manner. Otherwise, it will have an adverse effect. Offer verbal corrections whenever they try to reach for the grass. Use a verbal signal like “heel” and give them treats when they listen to you.
4. Supervise Their Activity
Keep an eye on them whenever you take them out in the garden or the backyard. This is to prevent them from consuming toxic plants and leaves.
Try to go for walks on the sidewalk instead of places with heavy greenery.
Keep them on a leash so that you can pull them back when they attempt to eat grass.
When your dog eats grass, there is a high chance that they simply crave the taste of grass or are bored and don’t know what to do. If they eat and throw up, their stomach is upset, and they want to get rid of anything that doesn’t sit well with them.
They might eat due to stress and anxiety as well. However, if you notice excessive eating, it is best to consult a vet.
Keep your gardens and lawns free of chemicals to prevent poisoning your dog. Provide them with regular exercise, chew toys, and do not forget to supervise them on walks and strolls.
We’d like to know your experience, so leave a comment below.
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.