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My dog likes to eat grass. I've tried stopping her by scolding, but she tries anyway. The vet said let her eat it, but I'd like her to stop, because she gets distracted when we're trying to work (frisbee, fetch, obedience, etc.)

My question is, should I keep trying to make the behavior go away through scolding, or would it be possible to stop it by adding a small amount of greens to her diet? I grow lettuce, kale, chard, etc. in my garden, so it would be easy to give her a bit every day. I tried feeding her some tender lettuce leaves today and she gobbled them right up. She also likes parsley, I found. We would of course stay away from onions, garlic, and chives.

Or could this habit be a non-dietary issue, like nervousness?
 

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Some do it because they like grass, others because they are not getting enough greens, and others because they feel sick.

Some people have given them some green beans, I think giving some greens would be a good start. If she still just likes to eat it, you can train her to only eat a bit of pet grass, or teach her Leave it, when outside and playing.
 

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The dog is seriously eating so much grass that it interferes with other activities? I mean, Alvin eats grass like a cow, but he only spends about five minutes wandering around doing it and then he's done and ready to move on to something else. Surely if you set aside a couple minutes when its okay for the dog to eat grass, then it won't need to eat grass when you're trying to do some other activity.
 

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My dog is like a goat, she will eat weeds or anything that is on the ground. She has gotten sick 5+ times, but if she is to dumb to stop then thats the dogs problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, everybody.

FilleBelle, to answer your question, it's not really the quantity of grass that I'm worried about. It's that every time she gets a free second (like between frisbee tosses, for example), she seizes the opportunity for a tasty snack. If I do nothing, she keeps eating, but if I can stop her, she gets excited about her frisbee again. Maybe she thinks it's her reward for bringing the frisbee back - lol.

She gets plenty of free time in the yard (more or less supervised) to browse the grass to her heart's content, but mostly she only tries to eat it while we're supposed to be doing something else. That's why I was wondering if it could be a different problem, like nervousness.

She's been getting several lettuce leaves for the past couple of days, but I haven't seen much improvement yet. I'll keep it up for the next few days and see if anything changes.
 

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Two of my dogs like to eat grass. I grow various grasses/greens in pots for my cats, and let the dogs share, too (they actually like catnip! Go figure). It has seemed to stop the grazing on the lawn. They walk over to the potted "garden," and munch away.
 

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My dog likes to eat grass. I've tried stopping her by scolding, but she tries anyway. The vet said let her eat it, but I'd like her to stop, because she gets distracted when we're trying to work (frisbee, fetch, obedience, etc.)
One day my puppy ate grass for like 20 minutes straight and then threw it all up... He hasn't eaten grass since... To be fair that day he didn't get lunch so he was very hungry

I've heard when dogs are sick they will eat it to throw up... cause everyone knows you feel spactacular right after you throw up when you are sick :p
 

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I thought I'd do a bit of research on this, I was pretty sure they did it to clean they're stomachs out, anyways I was kind of right

"Even dogs who usually don't eat grass will head straight for the nearest patch when they're feeling sick. They'll gobble a few mouthfuls, retch, and then throw up, or at least try to. Veterinarians still aren't sure if dogs eat grass because their stomachs are upset or if their stomachs get upset after they eat grass. However, many vets suspect it's the former, because dogs who are energetic and perky seem to be able to eat grass without getting sick afterward. It seems likely that there's something in grass that does stimulate the urge to vomit."

This was only one of the reasons that people believe dogs eat grass, theres more on the webpage below.
Heres the webpage http://www.petlibrary.co.uk/dog-care/why-do-dogs-eat-grass.html?Itemid=33
 

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Our Golden Retreiver eats grass on an (almost) daily basis. He will snack less than a minute and then throw up immediately afterwards. He still has not learned his lesson after 9 years and the vet has repeatedly found nothing wrong with him.

We just accept that it is a weird habit. He will NOT eat lettuce though he gladly eats just about anything else offered to him. We've tried increasing the 'greens' in his diet, but it didn't seem to make a difference. *shrugs*
 

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Last year my dogs were very excited by the new green grass. I was surprised I didn't see it coming out the other end like normal. Isn't grass high in vitamin E and Omega 3?
http://www.myhorse.com/health/supplements/horses_coat_shine_reflects_healthy_nutrients.aspx#top
They will chew on grass if tummies are upset but that is unusual lately.

Gottaluvmutts, you could reward not eating grass by marking the head coming up and rewarding that behavior. I did that for Mr Sniffy Dog Max and it helped. I did it for the Annoying Sniffy Dogs as well. Don't take the Very Important Grass Eating away, just let her know you like the head up ready to play behavior and grass eating isn't important to you.
 

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i am going to agree with the eating grass because of upset tummies seems to be correct. my dogs eat TONS of grass if they eat something that sounded good at the time, only later to think maybe that was not such a good idea. i have also heard that they eat grass as a form of roughage (SP?) kinda like eating veggies and such for us. i have not heard of anything bad coming of eating grass, it does them good, i would not punish them for eating the grass, just let them get it out of their system and go back to doing what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
More great replies, everybody. Thanks!

A lab I used to live with ate grass only when she was feeling sick. She'd throw it up almost immediately. I once saw her do nothing else for an entire day...eat grass, vomit, eat more grass, vomit more...and her stupid owner wouldn't take her to the vet. But that's a whole different story.

Klaire12, "energetic and perky" describes my dog pretty well, I'd say. I've only ever seen my dog vomit once, and it was after eating a bunch of grass (more than usual). Otherwise she's always kept it down. I think the behavior is beginning to fade now, what with the extra greens in her diet and gentle scolding. We're also learning lots of new exercises in frisbee class to increase her interest in the frisbee, so it's getting easier to distract her from munching. The use of real treats for returning the frisbee seems to be helping as well.
 
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