Dogs eat grass for many reasons, such as trying to get more fiber into their diets, trying to induce vomit or simply craving non-food items -- a condition known as pica. But eating grass and leaves is not always a good idea, especially if the area has been sprayed.
Increase the amount of fiber in Rover's diet. There's at least a small chance he's eating grass and leaves because he needs more fiber, which is essential to stay regular and improve digestion. The solution? Give Rover some steamed broccoli or sliced carrots as snacks throughout the day. Not only are they great sources of fiber, they're also low in calories and much healthier than most commercial treats.
Switch to a premium dog food. Pica is sometimes caused by some kind of nutrient deficiency. Feeding your doggie high-quality food will ensure he gets all vitamins and minerals he needs to stay healthy and strong. No guarantees he'll give up the grass-eating habit, but it's worth a try.
Keep a watchful eye on your pal while you're trying to train him to stop eating leaves and grass. You could go out into the garden with him and stop him with a firm "no" every time he tries to munch on something. If you're out, a gentle pull on the leash -- along with the "no" again -- should be enough to dissuade him.
Give the pooch plenty of chewing sticks or bones to keep himself entertained. Some dogs eat grass simply because it gives them something to do. A bored dog will look for something to do, and if there's no food, toys or chewing options available, he might end up eating grass just because it's an option.
- If you're worried about the presence of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals in grass and leaves -- rather than about grass eating itself -- you could grow your own grass indoors. Small grass kits are sold at pet stores and usually meant for indoor cats. Since you're not adding any chemicals to this kit, you could let your dog indulge his grass cravings safely.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.