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Carl
03-30-2006, 09:00 PM
My 1 year old Terrier X has started eating grass all the time. Of all the behaviors she could be engaging in, this isn't all that much of a problem except that she has problems getting it out of her system. Last night I noticed that she crouched to defecate, then when she appeared to be done, she stood up, moved a few feet, then crouched again. This happened a few times, and before I could get over to her, she was rubbing her butt on the ground. I looked and she was clean, and had produced a healthy size dropping. This evening, I took her out, and she did the same crouch, move, crouch, move, but she was facing away from me, and I saw that there was something resembling string coming out of her anus. Long story short, I discovered that it was grass.

It seems like this behavior (the eating of the grass) started when I began switching her food from Purina One to Natural Balance as advised by a trainer (and the food post on this site sold me on the switch). We have been switching slowly over a week.

I know cats often eat grass when they are feeling sick in an attempt to make themselves vomit. Do dogs do it for the same reason? She has not vomited at all, and seems to enjoy the new food a great deal. Is grass just something new that she has decided to eat for the time being, do I need to worry about it stopping her up, should I reconsider the food?

Thanks,
C

Arazante
03-30-2006, 09:36 PM
Yes, dogs eat grass. It's good for their immune system. My dog does the same thing; crouch, move, crouch. I don't believe it's a problem, as I never found he had any problem actually ridding his body of waste, just where he wanted to do so. I don't think I'd worry unless it seems to be making her sick.

Carl
03-30-2006, 10:12 PM
The thing is that she has never done the crouch move thing before she started eating grass (at least not that I saw), and she has now done it the last three times I have taken her out for a poop. Also, when she first crouches, she starts to go a little, then gets up like she is done (she kicks backwards at the place where she went to "cover it"), then crouches and goes again.

AirForceChick
03-30-2006, 10:12 PM
Has your dog been vomiting at all lately? They'll also eat grass if they are sick to their stomach, as it helps aid in digestion. Unless he's getting sick and continues to do so there's no reason to worry at this point. Eating grass is normal. Might taste good to them. ;)

Carl
03-30-2006, 10:16 PM
Nope, no vomiting at all. Could it be that she is eating it for roughage since she was on a diet that was high in plant matter (corn), and now is switching to a food that doesn't have the undigestible fillers?

AirForceChick
03-30-2006, 10:26 PM
Anytime you make a drastic change in a diet, it will effect the body. Humans are a perfect example. When you go from eating meat to vegetarian, you'll know. (i'm vegetarian) Same with vegans, and those who go on that low carb diet...any change in your routine eating habits. I wouldn't worry about it unless she's vomiting or has diarrhea.

carol
05-04-2006, 08:06 PM
Carl,
I just asked my vet the same question about dogs eating grass. His answer is that they eat it simply because it's sweet, and they like the taste of it and not because of any illness nor or they feeling an upset stomach. I have never asked him about cats. Our dog never ate grass until she was older. I doubt that it would be any harder to digest grass than say a green vegetable which is just my opinion. The older a dog gets, it may be that some of them have a harder time in digesting their food, and we have been advised not to give the dog human food of any kind in any amount.

Dogs scoot because their anal glands need to be drained. I thought for years that it was because they had worms -- not so.
carol

AirForceChick
05-04-2006, 09:51 PM
They like the taste, but it's also for other reasons. It's not bad for them.

You gotta be careful with those anal sacs...obese dogs often have problems draining them. Also, others have leaky sacs and will leave foul smells around your house.