My three dogs, Reesie, Captain Jack, and Dobie, all eat a lot of grass. I was told the dog food I feed them is a good one. When I feed them, I add a little water to the food, so it isn’t so dry. I do not let the food get soggy. I think, if they didn’t eat grass, they might not be able to poop. All three act like they are starving and they do get enough to eat. I feed them twice a day. Are they missing something in their food that makes them want to be fed all the time and should I give them something to loosen their bowls? I have had dogs all my life, and I am almost “older than dirt”, and I have never had a dog eat grass unless it wanted to throw up. Do you have any insights on this?
— Carleen Bubenik, Sanger, CA
Thank you for including your dog’s names. I love to know the names of the pets I am trying to help.
Nibbling on a grass usually isn’t cause for concern unless Reesie, Captain Jack and Dobie are eating copious amounts of grass, and then vomiting. You mention they might need grass to poop, which may mean they are not getting enough fiber in their diet. Veterinarians say dogs need 2.5 to 4.5 percent fiber in their food. Ask your vet if the food you are feeding provides enough fiber. If you don’t want to change their food, you can add a little canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes or canned green beans to their diet daily to see if that helps.
You also mentioned you feed them twice a day, but they always act like they are starving. Of course, some dogs treat every meal as if it’s their last meal and practically inhale their food. This behavior, however, also can lead to tummy troubles that may make them want to eat grass. If they are speed-eaters, buy each one of them a “slow food dog bowl,” which is designed with twists and turns to slow them down. Eating slower can help their digestion.
Finally, their grass-eating habits could indicate they all have intestinal worms. Take samples of their poop to the vet to rule out that possibility. And, let me know what you eventually find out.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal