Archive

Category Archives for "Let’s Chat"

How to Protect Your Dog During Winter

Winter can be tough on your dog. Depending on where you live, winter can be downright life-threatening!

We had some Arctic weather up here in Minnesota the last couple weeks which has made me really think about what we should do to protect our dogs when they need to go outside.

Some dogs are better equipped for the cold. Maui has a thick coat and undercoat and she loves the cold weather. Emma is a rat terrier and has very little body mass, a thin coat of fur, and no undercoat. I honestly can see in her eyes how much she dreads going out in the cold to go potty.

No matter how tolerant your dog is of the cold, there is one body part on every single dog that needs protection from the elements and dangers that winter brings - their paws!

Here are some ways to protect your dog during winter!

Paw Balm, Wax, and Creams

Paw balm, wax, and cream are all thick substances designed to put on your dog's paws as a protective layer between their pads and the outside winter elements (can also protect in hot weather).

Balms, waxes, and creams are designed to be a protectant, a moisturizer, and to heal your dog's paws they can also be used on other rough, exposed, and/or dry areas. Some can also be used on your dog's nose.

Massaging a layer of paw balm onto your dog's paw pads creates a semi-impermeable layer to protect those paws from anything they come in contact with.

Wax is made with a waxy substance and is designed to be more of a protectant but can also moisturize.

Balms are sometimes made with a waxy substance and sometimes not. They are a good protectant and tend to be better at moisturizing and soothing.

Creams are the thinnest of the three and provide less of a protective layer and are better for moisturizing, soothing, and healing.

How to Choose a Safe and Effective Protectant

When shopping for a paw balm, wax, or cream you want to be sure to select a product that is organic and natural, without any chemicals or ingredients that could be bad for your dog. 

Dogs will often lick at whatever you put on their feet so, the more natural the ingredients, the better it will be for your dog.

Choose a product that is "USDA certified organic" so you know if your dog licks it, the ingredients will not be toxic or harmful. 

Avoid products with zinc oxide, petroleum, or any other chemical ingredient that you can't pronounce!

Be sure to read through the ingredient list! Organic, natural balms, waxes, and lotions will have an ingredient list you can understand.

Preparing Your Dog's Paws

If your dog has long fur between their paw pads it is best to trim it down. Use a clipper to trim the fur down so it is even with the paw pads. Cesar Milan mentions that a human beard trimmer with the shortest plastic guard can work well for this purpose (although I have never tried this myself).

This will make it easier to apply the protectant to the paw pads and it will also help alleviate the formation of ice balls between the pads (they stick to the fur).

Apply a thin layer of the balm or wax right before going out for a walk.

When you return from your walk use a warm washcloth to wipe off any salt and chemicals that may have gotten on your dog's paws. If his paws appear to be cracked, dry, or hard apply a bit more balm to them to moisturize.

Dog Paw

When shopping for a paw balm, wax, or cream you want to be sure to select a product that is organic and natural, without any chemicals or ingredients that could be bad for your dog. 

Click to Tweet

DIY Paw Balm

Want to know exactly what is in the paw balm you're using for your dog? Make your own!

Here is a super simple recipe to make your own paw balm at home.

This recipe indicates to use rapeseed oil. I don't know about you but I've never heard of rapeseed before. A great alternative and something you probably already have at home would be avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.

Boots and Booties

Dog boots and booties are always a great option to keep your dog's paws clean, dry, and safe!

Maui, Emma, and I did a post on some great dog boot and bootie options that you can find here:

Protective Dog Winter Boots

Your dog may walk pretty strangely when you first put the boots or booties on their feet but it doesn't take them long to get used to it. I can't help but laugh watching Maui walking her dog booties in the house but once she gets outside and on her walk, it's like she doesn't even know she is wearing them.

I think boots and booties are a great option because you can just quickly put them on and then take them off when you get home. You don't have to worry about anything getting directly on your dog's paws.

Coats and Sweaters

I know coats and sweaters are not something to protect your dog's paws but I still felt they are worth mentioning in this article.

Some dogs are just not equipped to be out in the cold for very long. Emma can barely stand it for a couple minutes just to go outside to the bathroom much less be out there long enough to go for a walk.

If this sounds like your dog then giving them a little bit more warmth and protection can make a walk and outdoor time much more pleasurable for them.

This is our Emma wearing her little jacket. ❤️ 

Click on her picture to visit the blog post we wrote about some really great dog coat and sweater options.

Emma the dog wearing her dog coat

Protect Your Dog in the Winter

Your dog depends on you to keep them safe.

Winter provides a big set of challenges when trying to keep our dogs warm, protected and safe.

We hope you found some ideas in this blog that you can implement to make your dogs outside time a little less hazardous and a lot more fun!


Let it snow,

Maui and Emma

Do you have a great DIY recipe for paw balm or wax?

Have you tried a brand that you really love?

Share with our community in the comments below!


18

Can I Walk My Dog in the Winter? Yes, but These Things can Hurt Their Paws!

A dog's paws are not invincible.

Since dogs walk around essentially on their "bare feet" all of the time it's easy to forget that those paws and little pads are not indestructible. They are not like a pair of Nike shoes or hiking boots offering our dogs the ultimate in protection.

We just went through some brutal, brutal cold up here in Minnesota last week. It was actually recommended that people not take their dogs for walks at all on a couple of those Arctic days for a few reasons - 

One - it was just too darn cold (for anyone or anything to be outside) and two - a dog's paws could be seriously harmed.

If you care about your dog's paws during these cold winter months, read on!

What Is Lurking That Can Hurt My Dog's Paws?

During the winter there is the cold and extreme weather that can bring harm to your dog and his paws.

In addition to the outside environmental elements, there are other factors that can actually damage your dog's paws.

Here is a list of pup and paw crippling factors to keep in mind when taking your dog out in the winter.

Rough Ice And Terrain

Your dog's paws can be seriously damaged by rough ice and rough terrain.

Dog's paw pads are tough but they are not indestructible. Rough, jagged, and sharp snow and ice can puncture or cut your dog's pads.

Your shoes or winter boots might make it difficult to realize how rough or sharp the snow or ice is that you are walking on so be sure to pay extra close attention when you take your dog out for their walk.

Salts and deicers

In the winter many roads and sidewalks are treated with deicing salts.

Road salts are composed of chloride mixed with calcium, sodium, potassium, or magnesium. They may also contain other types of salt.

These chemicals can cause your dog's pads to crack, burn, and dry out.

Another danger from road salts (and other deicers) is that your dog might ingest them.

Dogs like to lick their paws and they may do it incessantly if their paws are irritated from salt or deicers; they may even lick your boots. When your dog does this he will swallow the deicing salt. Ingesting small amounts of deicing salt probably won't likely cause severe issues but may cause an upset stomach, diarrhea and/or vomiting. So, still not good for your dog even in small amounts.

Walk your dog on grass or snow to keep their paws off the salty driveways, sidewalks, and roads!

AntiFreeze

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) that is used in cars is actually a very deadly poison for dogs. As little as one or 2 teaspoons can be deadly to a small animal.

Unfortunately, it has a sweet taste that appeals to dogs so it's critically important that any ethylene glycol spills are cleaned up IMMEDIATELY!

Propylene glycol is a safer option so you might want to think about switching, but you are unable to control what other people use. Please note that I say safer but something considered "less poisonous" is still poisonous.

Old-fashioned ethylene glycol antifreeze is typically a greenish color. Keep your eyes open when you're out for that walk so your dog will not get their nose into somebody else's spilled or leaked antifreeze.

Ice Balls

Snow and ice can get packed between your dog's paw pads and form ice balls between their pads. This is very uncomfortable and often painful for your dog.

If your dog is chewing at their paws after you get home from your walk, ice balls are most likely the reason.

Help your dog get those ice balls out of their foot by feeling around between the paw pads and pulling out the little balls of snow.

Dog chewing ice in paw

Frostbite

A dog's paws do not get as cold as our bare feet would if we were outside in the snow. That is because a dogs fancy anatomy is designed to help keep those paws warm. But, when the weather is extreme or your dog is left outside too long their paws are still definitely susceptible to frostbite!

Frostbite can occur anytime the temperature gets below 32°F (0°C) and the colder it is, the quicker it will happen!

Dogs that love to be outside like the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, and Siberian Husky can get frostbite. Heck, even sled dogs wear dog boots to protect their paws!

Put a washcloth and shallow bowl with warm water near the door so you can clean your dog’s paws after his walk!

Hypothermia

Hypothermia results from extended exposure to cold and can be life-threatening.

Hypothermia will most likely not happen if the two of you just go out for a walk but it can definitely happen if your dog is left outside too long.

Senior dogs, puppies, and dogs with specific diseases, such as thyroid conditions, are more susceptible to cold temperatures. This means they are more prone to getting frostbite and/or hypothermia.

Signs of hypothermia are:

  • shivering
  • shallow breathing
  • lethargy
  • weak pulse

Trust Your Gut

Some dogs have a higher tolerance for cold than others. Maui loves to lay outside when it's cold with her nose to the air like it's the best thing ever! Emma can't stand it and gets extremely cold very quickly.

Think about sitting outside with only a sweatshirt and a nice pair of socks for warmth (and pants of course). If it's too cold for you to sit outside too long like that, don't leave your dog out either.

It's better to be safe and bring them in and to risk their health or life by leaving them out too long.

If you think your dog is suffering from a temperature related illness, quickly get them to a warm dry environment and call your dog's veterinarian.

If you even suspect your dog has ingested a poisonous substance call or bring your dog to your veterinarian immediately!

Having a Safe Winter

Maui and Emma want you and your pup to have a fun winter but they also want you to have a safe winter!

Watch the temperature gauge and keep your dog's paws safe and warm.

To protect your dog's paws from the environment, temperatures, and toxic poisonous substances please consider getting a pair of dog boots or booties. They come in many sizes and range from mild protection to all-out rugged doggy boots.

You can check out some great options in our blog post: Protective Dog Winter Boots

You can also find many options listed on Amazon, Chewy.com, online pet stores, and brick-and-mortar pet stores. 

With winter love,

Maui and Emma

What do you do to protect your dog from the winter elements?

Have any favorite dog boots or coats you would like to recommend?

Share your thoughts and stories with other readers in the comments below!


6

Does Pumpkin Help Dogs? Yes, Pumpkin is Actually Good for Dogs!

 

We have done a few posts over the last month or so about treats and dog food toppers that include that beloved fall food, pumpkin. We did this not only because it’s that time of year, but because pumpkin is really yummy and good for your dog!

This Fall Halloween and Thanksgiving superstar is surprisingly a wonder food for dogs! Not only is loaded with fiber and beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A), it can actually help your dog if they have constipation or diarrhea. Yep, it can help with both!

Read on to learn how delicious pumpkin can do a lot of great things for your dog on top of it being yummy for the tummy!

 

Pumpkin Is Safe for Dogs

Pumpkin is safe and beneficial for dogs as long as it is pure pumpkin.

Pumpkin is high in fiber, low in calories, and a good source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), potassium, zinc, vitamin C, and iron.

When feeding your dog pumpkin you want to be sure that it is just plain pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie filling for your dog).

 

Pumpkins

If it is around Halloween you can choose to purchase a real pumpkin and feed your dog tiny bits of that. Whole fresh pumpkin, including the innards and seeds are fine to feed your dog in moderation. You, of course, want to make sure it’s a fresh pumpkin and not rotten or spoiled in any way – don’t let your dog eat the one that’s been sitting out as a Halloween decoration.

Be sure to prevent your dog from chewing on and eating the skin, stem, and leaves. The skin is especially hard to digest and the leaves and stem are covered in sharp little prickly hairs that will definitely prove irritating to your dog’s mouth and digestive system.

As we were carving our fresh pumpkins this past Halloween we let Maui and our new housemate Emma have a few little pieces as snacks. Emma is a small dog and ended up eating a bit too much pumpkin. It’s a food she is not used to and she ended up vomiting it back up. So, moral to the story is to take care not to feed your dog too much of a new item as it might upset their tummy.

Raw pumpkin can be difficult to digest for some dogs (evidence number 1 – Emma).

If you do choose to purchase a pumpkin rather than feeding it raw, a great option would be to peel off the skin and cook the pumpkin and seeds before feeding it to your dog (do not add any seasonings or salt). Traditionally this has been done in the oven but check out this video of a guy who cooked a tiny little pumpkin in an instant pot!

 

This looks way easier than cooking pumpkin in an oven! Of course, wait until the pumpkin has cooled then take off the skin and stem before feeding an appropriate amount to your dog. I would still try to separate the seeds and roast them in the oven until dry. They will last a lot longer and pose a much less risk of going bad.

Pumpkin seeds make a great little snack! You can boil or instant pot them then roast them in the oven until dry (do not add any salt or any other seasoning). A super great little crunchy, healthy treat full of flavor and antioxidants!

 

Canned Pumpkin

Any other time of year or if you don’t feel like purchasing and cooking a pumpkin you can buy canned, puréed pumpkin at the grocery store. It’s really just as good and way, way easier!

If you purchase canned pumpkin from the grocery store be sure to check out the ingredient label. You want to purchase pumpkin that only contains pumpkin; you do not want the kind that includes any additional ingredients such as spices, sugar, etc. (like would be used for making pumpkin pie).

 

pureed pumpkin ingredient list

 

Puréed pumpkin is super easy to add to your dog’s regular mealtime food! Just scoop out an appropriate amount of pumpkin from the can and mix it in with your dog’s food. Simple and done!

I don’t know if you’re anything like me but I have a strange compulsion about leaving food in cans once they are open. I prefer to transfer the pumpkin from the can into an airtight plastic storage container. That way the puréed pumpkin stays fresh, is well sealed, and will not get a strange tin can taste.

 

Good for Constipation or Diarrhea!

Pumpkin is a crazy little miracle for your dog’s digestive system. Pumpkin is an excellent food to help your dog if they have constipation OR diarrhea! Yeah, it can help with both!

Pumpkin has a high fiber and water content, both of which are good for correcting (and preventing) constipation in your dog.

If your dog is suffering from the opposite problem, diarrhea, the fiber in pumpkin can help firm up your dog’s stool and help alleviate the problem.

Keep in mind that if your dog’s constipation or diarrhea is a symptom of an underlying medical condition pumpkin likely will not help.

If you try pumpkin for a few days and see no improvement, definitely get in touch with your veterinarian.

 

Pumpkin can Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Some dogs tend to get a little heavy at times. Maui gained a lot of weight last winter and I had to put her on a pretty strict diet for quite a while to shed those pounds.

It is hard putting a dog on a diet because they certainly love their food! Plus, those adorable little faces make it nearly impossible to say no to giving them little treats and food!

Feeding your dog pumpkin can help curb their hunger by making them feel full (the miracle of fiber).

Pumpkin is also really low in fat so giving them pumpkin will help fill them up without adding in a lot of calories.

Just substitute a little bit of their regular mealtime food with some puréed pumpkin and you’ll be decreasing their calorie intake but helping them still feel full.

 

Pumpkin for Urinary Tract Health

Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Many believe these antioxidants and essential fatty acids help support a healthy urinary system.

 

Good for Skin and Fur

Antioxidants and essential fatty acids are also great for your dog’s skin and fur!

 

Parasite Treatment

Did you know pumpkin seeds have actually been used as a natural remedy for parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms?!? Yep!

 

Can Help Your Dog Not Eat His Poop

Yes, I know this topic is a really gross one but many dogs actually will eat their own. GROOOOSS!

This behavior can be caused by several things and my goal is to stick to talking about pumpkin, so I won’t get into the causes. What I will tell you is, that sometimes feeding your dog pumpkin can help make them stop eating their poop!

And an appropriate amount of pumpkin to your dog’s regular food and this supposedly will make their poop taste bad (not sure why dogs don’t think it tastes better already).

Here’s another situation where if the behavior is caused by an underlying medical condition your dog might not be able to stop or control it by eating a bit of pumpkin.

My first golden retriever, Lulu, had a serious medical condition that caused her to be on prednisone nearly all of her too short life. Being on prednisone can make you insatiably hungry and nothing I did could get her to stop eating her poop. But, I believe she may be more of a rare case than the norm.

Trying the pumpkin route is a healthy, natural, and inexpensive way to try and get your dog to stop eating his poop so it’s at least worth a try.

 

Moderation Is Key

Don’t go overboard in feeding your dog pumpkin or letting them chomp on a whole pumpkin until their heart’s content.

Pumpkin is high in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is really good, but too much vitamin A is toxic to dogs.

 

How Much to Feed

One or 2 teaspoons a day for small dogs or two or so tablespoons a day for bigger dogs should be a safe amount and provide the benefits you are looking for.

If you’re unsure or just want to double check with your vet, giving them a call is always a great idea.

 

Other Ways to Feed Pumpkin

You can also find dog foods and dog treats that incorporate pumpkin into their recipes. These can also be a good way to get pumpkin into your dog’s diet.

Before the end of the month, we will be writing a blog post about how to make homemade pumpkin dog treats! This will be a fantastic way to incorporate pumpkin into your dog’s diet with a fresh, homemade treat!

Be sure to check back for that post and in the meantime … Enjoy the pumpkin!

 

What’s your favorite way to prepare pumpkin for your dog?

Have any favorite pumpkin treats?

Share with everyone below in the comments section!

 

 

4

Tips to Find a Dog Groomer you Love!

 

When I was young our family had a little poodle named Tippy. For those of you unfamiliar with poodles, their hair just continually grows longer and longer. For this small poodlereason, it is necessary to get them groomed and cut regularly to keep their hair under control! My parents groomed Tippy at home so I was never introduced to the concept of professional dog groomers.

Having Golden retrievers has now definitely introduced me to the necessity of having to take my dog to a professional groomer. Lulu’s coat was smoother, thinner, and easier to manage so it seemed no matter where I took her, she got a good cut (most of the time).

On the other side of the spectrum, Maui’s coat is very thick, a bit curlier, and grows like weeds in the summertime! Her thick coat and long fur must be a bit more challenging to work with because I have a harder time finding a dog groomer near me that can give her a great, short enough cut so I will not need to bring her to the groomer more often than I go to the salon!

Here’s a bit about our journey to find an excellent local dog groomer and some pointers to help you find a great professional groomer for your dog!

 

The Initial Search

Initially, I took Lulu (my first Golden) to a local dog groomer recommended by Helping Paws (the service dog organization that brought Maui into my life). She groomed out of her home. It was not wheelchair accessible, plus it was a bit of a drive, so I opted to try and find something wheelchair accessible and closer to home.

I took to the Internet to find local dog groomers and discovered one super close to my daughters’ school. Having no knowledge of their reputation as a groomer, I just took the plunge and gave them a try.

Taking this plunge to bring Lulu to a groomer that I knew nothing about was a bit nerve-racking! It was like making an appointment for yourself at a hair salon with a stylist you have never met nor do you know how good of a job they will do! Once your hair is cut, it is cut, and you are stuck with it until next time!

 

cute dog with crazy hair

 

All was Good – For a While

This worked out splendidly! One of the groomers did a pretty good job, but then I was scheduled with a new groomer (Sandra) that did a fantastically perfect job!

I continued on with Sandra for grooming Lulu and then Maui and all was good …. until she left.

This amazingly wonderful groomer left this location. I felt deserted, how could she do such a thing! (Just kidding with you Sandra).

 

The Search Resumes

New groomers were in and out of that place after Sandra and all of them paled in comparison. It was time to start a new search and find a new dog groomer.

I probably went through five different dog groomers and none of them could give Maui a cut that even came close to looking as good as Sandra’s cuts.

Walking out of one groomer I noticed Maui’s big bushy tail was all jaggedly cut and uneven. I think my 14-year-old daughter could have done as good of a job and she’s never cut any things hair before!

Here’s a photo of Maui after a series of three or four insufficient grooming sessions. You can see she is heavy and thick with way too much fur. (Yes, she was trying to steal the Sojos meal topper bag).

 

Golden retriever needing grooming

 

The Long Haul

Thanks to the beauty of Facebook I was able to find Sandra at her new grooming location. I decided to make the 40-minute drive and bring Maui to her for what I know would be an excellent grooming.

I was not disappointed! Sandra did an amazing job … again! Maui looks like she lost 10 pounds! That’s how much fur Maui had on her!

From this point on, weather permitting (I live in Minnesota so winters can be brutal) Maui and I will be making that track up to see Sandra whenever she needs grooming.

 

What I Did Wrong

Looking back over this whole experience I realized I went about this whole process the wrong way. There is an easier, more organized way to find a dog groomer near you and most likely have a better experience than we did.

 

Tips on How to Find a Professional Local Dog Groomer

Ask Around!  

Ask your friends, family, neighbors, friends of friends, people you see on the street, people at the park, ask anyone! Any time you see someone with the dog that has a great cut, don’t be shy to ask what groomer they use. They would probably love to know that their dog looks great and they would be happy to share groomer information with you.

 

Groomed Golden retrieverTour the Grooming Facility 

Take a tour of any grooming facility you are considering. Do the dogs or employees look stressed? Is it organized, hectic, noisy? Make sure they keep it clean. Do employees seem happy to be there?

 

Are the Groomers Certified?

Some states require pet groomers to be certified and grooming facilities to be licensed. If this is the case in your state, be sure the facility you are considering has all certifications and licenses in place.

 

Are the Groomers Knowledgeable?

Pet groomers should have extensive knowledge of the type of animal they groom. They should be able to confidently answer questions about why and how often nails should be trimmed; off her advice to help with shedding; how to thin a coat; how often a dog should be bathed, etc.

If their answers don’t seem to quite make sense or they answer evasively, this could be a red flag. You want a groomer that has the expertise to make the grooming experience a positive and safe experience for your pet.

 

Knowledge About Breed Specific Cuts

If you have a breed of dog that generally requires a specific type of cut be sure the groomer you select has a good handle on what your dog should end up looking like.

If you have special requests on how you would like your dog groomed, explain this to your potential groomer and gauge their reaction. Make sure they are attentive to what you are saying and agreeable to your requests.

 

Ask What They Do to Calm a Nervous Dog

Many dogs get incredibly anxious when leaving home and being left at a groomer for a few hours can really intensify that anxiety.

A good groomer will know how to calm and soothe an anxious dog. See how your potential groomer reacts to this question and if you are comfortable with how they answer in what they say.

If your dog is not used to being in a kennel, try to find a facility that does not use them.

 

Be Sure You Understand Their Pricing

many professional groomers include bathing, nail clipping, anal gland expression, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, pad cleaning in the overall price. Others include these items separately, so if you want them to perform the services it will bump up the price.

If your dog has a super thick coat, mats, or needs any other sort of special services, be sure you know the price of any extra services before you schedule an appointment.

 

 

Trust Your Gut!

Along with all of this, be sure and trust your gut feeling.

If the facility doesn’t quite feel right to you; a groomer’s answer to your question seems evasive; the salon seems chaotic or unkempt; dogs or employees seem unhappy or stressed  – trust your gut!

If something doesn’t sit right with you, move on to the next place.

 

 

Final Notes

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior for the next couple days or so after they are back from the groomer. Does your dog seem “not themselves” or have diarrhea (could be a result of excessive stress)?

Maui tends to get ear infections quite easily so I need to watch her for a couple weeks after grooming to make sure she doesn’t come down with ear infections due to wet inner ears.

 

Make sure both you and your dog feel good about where you bring them!

There are many groomers around, especially in bigger cities. You’re sure to find one that fits your needs and makes you and your pup feel at ease.

Here’s to looking pretty,

Lynne and Maui

 

Have you had an exceptionally great or horrible experience bringing your dog to the groomer?

Have any additional tips for looking for a great groomer?

Share your ideas and experiences with us below in the comment section!

 

 

10

My dog is eating grass. Find out why.

 

I sit outside with Maui quite a bit during the summer. I love being outside in the warm air and embracing sunshine. Maui is not much of a heat fan. She starts getting hot when it hit 60°, but despite this, she loves to be outside and even more so, she loves to be with me.

Beautiful golden retriever in grassWe live next to a small open area that grows wild with weeds, flowers, and grasses. Quite often I see Maui over at the edge of our yard munching on the tall grass. It has never really worried me; I just continue enjoying being outside and continue watching my dog eating grass.

For some reason today I started really wondering why my dog eats grass.

Thought I’d take this opportunity to look into it and discover the truth about why dogs eat grass.

 

Theories – Why Dogs Eat Grass

Ever since I can remember I have always been told, and believed, that dogs eat grass because they are not feeling well. They eat the grass essentially to help them throw-up. This is always pretty much been the Golden Rule in my head.

That being said, I have noticed Maui rarely vomits after eating grass. So is this truly the reason?

Theories about why dogs eat grass:

 

Psychological Issue

Some believe that dogs eat grass because there is a psychological issue at hand, such as anxiety.

When dogs get stressed or become anxious many often take to chewing to relieve that tension.

Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior around the time they are eating grass. You probably know your dog well enough to know if they seem irritated or anxious about something.

 

Natural Instinct

Another theory is that it is just a natural instinct for dogs to eat grass.

The ancestors of our domesticated dogs had to scavenge and hunt for their food. Wild canines would eat whatever they could find and catch. Dogs would eat entire prey – meat, bones, and organs. This means whatever was in the digestive system and stomach (could have easily been plants) was eaten by our dogs’ wild the ancestors.

This scavenging behavior of grazing on grass could just be a remnant from days long ago. Maybe it’s in the same category as why dogs today still love to find and rob themselves on stinky things they find outside.

 

 

Provides Missing Nutrients in Diet

terrier eating grassMany believe that a dog turns to eating grass as a way to try and acquire nutrients, vitamins, and/or minerals that are missing in their diet. Most commonly it is believed that dogs are trying to get extra fiber.

 

Improve Digestion

Some believe dogs eat grass to improve their digestion. This kind of goes along with the reason listed above in that grass can act as fiber and roughage. We all know what extra fiber and roughage can do …

If a dog is lacking fiber or roughage in their diet they may eat grass in an effort to build this dietary need to help stools pass easier.

 

Boredom

Dogs get bored. I think we probably all had an instance or two where we know what dogs can get into when they are bored. Some believe dogs eat grass just out of boredom; eating grass is just something to do.

 

To Get Attention

Another theory that may go hand-in-hand with the boredom theory is that dogs may do it to get attention.

If a dog is bored or just wants some attention and is not getting it, they may resort to behaviors they know will elicit any sort of attention. Pretty much like a toddler, sometimes for dogs, any attention is better than no attention.

A dog may resort to a behavior that they know will get your attention. In their mind, if this is eating grass, then so be it!

If you think your dog is eating grass out of boredom or just to get your attention, try to schedule some time in your day to focus just on them.

 

 

Because They Actually Like It

There are a lot of theories floating around about why dogs eat grass but it may just boil down to the fact that some dogs like it!

Some dogs just might enjoy the taste of grass, kind of like some of us enjoy the taste of a salad.

This just might be the case if your dog exhibits no signs of psychological issues or physical ailments.

 

Dog lying in grass eating grass

 

Should I be Worried That My Dog Eats Grass

I have wondered quite often myself if I should be worried that my dog eats grass. It is a question we have all probably wondered on occasion.

The general consensus is that eating grass is a normal behavior for dogs and it is not something to worry about.

That being said, there are always some situations in which eating grass could be a sign or symptom of a greater psychological or physical ailment.

Be sure to watch your dog’s behavior before and after they eat grass. Do they seem stressed or anxious? Are they not feeling well before or after? Do they seem happy and content?

If you feel your dogs’ behavior eating grass may be related to a more serious issue, contact your veterinarian. They are always happy to discuss your dog’s health and well guide you in what they believe the best course of action would be.

 

When to Not Let Your Dog Eat Grass

Potential Chemicals

him him him You want to know where that grass came from! Actually, it is not the grass that you should worry about but the potential chemicals that might be on it.

Be sure your dog is not eating grass that has been chemically treated. This includes any sort of fertilizer, weed killer, bug deterrent, insect killer, etc.

I do not mind that Maui eats grass but I make sure she only eats grass in our personal yard. I know if my grass has been sprayed or chemically treated. This would not be the case if I let her eat grass anywhere else including on a walk, at the park, etc.

It is best to not let your dog eat grass in any public places because you do not know what might be on it.

 

Poisonous Plants

You also want to be sure that there are no poisonous plants where your dog may be grazing. We don’t have to worry about that here by our house, but your situation may be different. Be sure you know what’s growing where you let your dog eat grass and be sure nothing poisonous may be mixed in growing with those grasses.

 

Surprise!

Researching this article it was a relief and surprise to find out that dogs do not eat grass just to make themselves throw up.

Maui generally seems happy and content with life when she is outside nibbling on the tall weeds next to our house. Most of the time her grass eating does not result in vomiting so I think I am the proud pet parent of a dog that likes to show off her omnivorous nature (eats meat and plants).

 

Graze on my friends, graze on!

Lynne and Maui

Does your dog eat grass?

Do you mind?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

1 2 3
>