Dogs eat all sorts of things, both natural and unnatural. Some dogs love to eat grass, while others are obsessed with eating leaves.
This behavior can be confusing for dog owners, as it’s not something that dogs often do in the wild. Most experts don’t recommend that you encourage your dog to eat leaves or grass.
However, some benefits of this behavior are unique to dogs as a domesticated species with relatively little exposure to the wild world around them.
When your dog eats leaves and grass, they are getting additional vitamins and minerals that their diet may be lacking due to their restricted food intake.
While it’s unusual for dogs to hunt for these natural foods (outside of trees), it’s beneficial for them from a nutrition standpoint.
There is also some evidence that eating specific types of plants aids in the digestion process by adding prebiotics and other nutrients to the digestive system.
What types of leaves does your dog eat?
Dogs have different preferences regarding the types of leaves they like to eat. Some dogs prefer to eat grass, while others will munch on various kinds of leaves found in the garden.
Many dogs even go so far as to eat potted plants. While there are differences in the nutritional value of these different types of plants, your dog’s preference for one over another may be due to a few factors.
Your dog may prefer to eat grass because it is easier to access than other leaves.
This can be particularly true if your dog is eating indoor plants.
The nutritional value of indoor plants may be limited, so it may not be worth the effort for your dog to eat them. You can try to deter your dog from eating indoor plants by placing them out of reach.
Benefits of dogs eating grass and leaves
Harmful effects of dogs eating grass and leaves
How to deter your dog from eating grass and leaves?
Try an Anti-Coprophagia Spray – If your dog is eating grass or leaves ↗ because of social behavior, an anti-coprophagia spray can be helpful. This spray is designed to make the grass less appealing to your dog.
Remove Access to Plants – If your dog is eating potted plants or grass from your outdoor garden, you can try to remove their access to these things.
Is it wrong for dogs to eat grass and leaves?
There are no significant downsides to your dog eating grass or leaves if they eat a healthy diet.
If your dog is eating these plants regularly, it could indicate a nutritional deficiency in its diet.
You’ll need to speak with your veterinarian about correcting the issue if this is the case. If your dog is eating grass or leaves occasionally, it does not cause concern.
Prevention of Eating Leaves
Cost of Eating Leaves
Although eating leaves and grass is harmless for your dog, it can be a bit of a nuisance for you if you don’t want them to be eating these items.
The easiest solution is to find something else for your dog to chew on. Of course, this won’t address the underlying desire to eat leaves and grass.
The next most straightforward solution is to use an anti-chewing spray on the plants you don’t want your dog to eat. Finally, you can erect a barrier and protect the plants you don’t want to be eaten.
POINTS OF CONSIDERATION IF YOUR DOG EATS LEAVES
WRAPPING THINGS UP
As long as your dog isn’t eating grass or leaves regularly, there is no harm in them eating these items.
They are getting additional nutrition from these plants that they usually wouldn’t be able to get from their daily diet.
There may be times when eating grass or leaves is beneficial for your dog.
Dogs eat leaves for several reasons. Some dogs eat leaves out of boredom, while others may consume them to treat a stomachache or upset stomach.
Additionally, some dogs may eat leaves to cure other health issues they may be experiencing.
If your dog is consuming leaves, it is essential to be aware of the potential dangers. You can take the appropriate action to keep your dog safe and healthy if they are poisonous.
You can do things to prevent your dog from eating poisonous leaves and plants. First, always keep fresh greens and plants out of your dog’s reach.
You can also install a doggy door or cage, preventing your dog from accessing areas where the plants are.
You can also place the bitter apple on the leaves or plants so your dog will not consume them. Lastly, you can trim back trees or bushes so that they are no longer within reach by your dog if possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my dog eat plants outside?
Your dog may be eating edible plants and grasses because they are highly palatable to dogs, they may contain nutrients your dog’s diet may be lacking, or they may be an instinctive behavior to eat roughage and greens.
Ingestion of plants or grasses by dogs is not necessarily dangerous. However, it could poison your dog if the plant contains alkaloids or is ingested in large quantities over a long period.
Your dog may have learned to eat plants outside because there is not enough food or water in the house. Your dog might feel a need to fend for itself at mealtime.
Why is my dog eating leaves and weeds?
A dog eating grass is not a sign of illness. It’s the equivalent of us chewing the ends of our hair when stressed — it’s normal behavior for dogs.
The reason why dogs chew grass is due to the biological makeup of their stomachs. They are equipped with a muscle that grinds food into smaller pieces and helps with digestion. Dogs also produce gastric juices that break down protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Though dogs do not need to munch on grass, they often do so to soothe their nerves when feeling anxious or stressed out. This is because eating grass can help regulate their blood sugar levels, relieve gastritis symptoms, and help them pass diarrhea in some instances.
Dogs may also chew on grass if they have an iron deficiency or need to increase their overall iron intake. In addition, they may chomp on such plants when they need magnesium, calcium, or sodium. So while you may view your four-legged friend’s chewing on some lawn greens as something they shouldn’t be doing, it’s beneficial for them to ingest this plant matter as it can assist with overall health.
How do I stop my dog from eating leaves?
The only way to stop a dog from eating leaves is to remove the access to the leaves. You can do this by either removing the leaves from the tree or by putting up some barrier that keeps the dog away from the leaves.
If you have a large tree, you may be unable to get all the leaves off it. In this case, you may need to limit the area the dog has access to while they are still on the tree.
Another thing you can try is putting some bitter substance on or around the leaves. This will make them less appealing to your dog and may help them lose interest in them. Be careful not to use anything toxic, as this could be dangerous for your dog.