Despite being marvelous, intelligent dogs, German Shepherds have a habit that many new dog owners find odd, and that habit can be distracting.
Whenever you take your German Shepherd outside, he will start eating grass.
It’s basically completely normal behavior, but you need to know why your dog is doing this because sometimes there are some related medical issues.
This post will help you understand why the German Shepherd eats grass — reasons associated with it and how we can overcome this problem.
7 Reasons Why do German shepherds eat grass?
There are a number of reasons associated with this problem that your German Shepherd eats grass. On this post, we will discuss 7 important reasons one by one.
German Shepherd eats grass for grazing purpose
The most famous and common reason that first comes to mind is that the German Shepherd might eat grass for grazing. They graze happily, and the most important thing is that they do not suffer any negative effects. Each dog has its own unique trait, but grazing is what is common to all dogs.
Most nutritionists suggest that German Shepherds eat grass because they may have some nutritional deficiencies, but dogs that eat a well-balanced diet have also been seen to eat grass.
German Shepherds like the taste of grass
Many people also assume that the German Shepherd eats grass because they like the taste. This is because every time you take them into your backyard, and they find an opportunity, they will start eating grass.
German Shepherds eat grass because it is their physical need
It is seen that most German Shepherds eat grass to relieve their upset stomach because most of the time when they eat grass, they vomit immediately afterward.
This debate about eating grass has two aspects behind it. Some people believe that the grass-eating German Shepherd develops pain and then vomits. On the other hand, many people believe that they eat grass because they are in pain and do it to calm their sick stomachs.
According to the results of different studies, only 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass. Similarly, less than 10% of dogs show any signs of illness after eating grass.
The German Shepherds eat grass because it is their natural instinct
If you look at the ancestors of German Shepherds, they did not eat canned food or kibble. Ancient dogs that live in the wild used to hunt their prey and eat it whole, including meat, bones, internal organs, and stomach contents.
By eating the whole animal, dogs get a completely balanced diet because the prey’s stomach is full of grass that can easily satisfy their need for fiber. A study was conducted on wolves’ stool samples showing that almost 47% of them eat grass.
In today’s world, the German Shepherd does not have to hunt their prey for food, and they have everything in front of them on their plate. Still, the ancient instincts are present in them, and even after getting a completely balanced diet, they still want to eat grass.
German Shepherd eats grass when bored
When you leave your German Shepherd alone for a long time, he may get bored and suffer from separation anxiety. However, some German Shepherds enjoy being alone, but most start doing destructive things to pass the time.
Most German Shepherds eat grass when left alone. They do this when they feel neglected and when they want to get your attention.
This grass-eating behavior is similar to that of humans who bite their nails when they get anxious. So when a German Shepherd is left alone, his grass-eating behavior increases as the contact time with the owner decreases.
German shepherds eat grass when they are in pain
Sometimes German Shepherds start to whine and then eat grass; this means that they suffer from an upset stomach. Dogs often suffer from this situation when they eat something that does not fit their stomach.
Normally, when dogs eat something toxic or suffer from a kidney infection or when they have pancreatitis, they will whine and eat grass. The dog eats grass in such conditions that it causes vomiting.
If your dog eats grass and does not vomit but continues to whine, he will most likely suffer from bloat.
German Shepherd eats grass due to nutritional deficiencies
If your German Shepherd is not getting a proper diet that does not meet his nutritional requirements, then there is a greater chance that he will start eating grass.
Since the dirt that is present in the grass is a source of minerals, and when they eat grass, they try to meet their mineral needs. If your German Shepherd is having this problem, try giving him a different food that is rich in minerals.
Does the pregnant German Shepherd eat grass?
Pregnant German Shepherd eats grass for many reasons. Basically, pregnancy itself is one of the reasons for this behavior.
When German Shepherds become pregnant, they feel more nauseous, and to overcome this condition, they will start eating grass. If your dog has never eaten grass in her life, she can eat while pregnant.
The pregnant German Shepherd also suffers from a condition called Pica. It is a common condition in pregnant dogs that suffer from anemia. If your dog’s gums are much paler than normal, get a blood test for anemia.
Should You Let Your German Shepherd Eat Grass?
Many vets think that eating grass is normal behavior and that there is nothing wrong with eating grass. The herb does not add any nutritional value to your dog. Similarly, it will not harm them as long as dangerous fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are not used on the grass.
If you want to keep your German Shepherd healthy, don’t use any toxic products on your lawn. Also, when taking them to public parks, keep an eye on them because a lot of chemicals are used on park lawns. If your dog likes to eat grass, you can make a pesticide-free garden for your dog at home.
How to stop your German Shepherd from eating grass?
If your German Shepherd enjoys more eating grass than a normal diet, add fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet. Dogs like to eat vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and Kyle.
Some dogs prefer cooked vegetables to raw ones. However, some dogs like to eat raw carrots because it releases their energy by chewing and cleaning the accumulated tartar on their teeth.
Other foods that can lessen the likeness to the grass include asparagus, strawberries, bell peppers, pumpkin, watermelon, and cucumber.
Some green foods that you should feed your German Shepherd in small amounts are cabbage, mustard greens, spinach, and celery.
You should avoid giving your dog garlic, onion, chives, and tomatoes as these are toxic for dogs.
You can also avoid this grass-eating behavior by giving your German Shepherd plenty of exercise. Excessive exercise will reduce their curiosity to eat grass; it will also keep them healthy and protect them from destructive behaviors.
Similarly, when you take your dog to the park, keep him on a leash so that when he tries to eat grass, you can take him away.
Final Verdict (Why Do German Shepherds Eat Grass)
German Shepherds eat grass for a variety of reasons. According to the vets, there is no harm associated with eating grass, as long as grass does not contain harmful chemicals such as pesticides or insecticides. You should contact your vet if your dog shows any symptoms of toxicity after eating grass.