Have you ever watched your Pug eating grass and scratched your head, thinking, “why do they do that?” I can sure relate! Then I would start to worry something was wrong. So I decided to reach out to my dog’s veterinarian and find out why Pugs sometimes eat grass.
Why Do Pugs Eat Grass?
When I talked to my pug’s veterinarian, I learned it is quite common for dogs to eat grass and in most cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong.
One research study asked dog owners if they ever saw their dogs eating grass. Almost 80 percent of dog owners replied yes. Another study discovered that when dogs had access to different plant types, most still picked grass.
Maybe this makes you wonder if grass tastes better than you think! Even so, it is unlikely your Pug eats grass because of taste.
What Is Pica in Pug Dogs?
There is a relatively rare medical condition called “pica” that causes some Pugs to eat grass and sometimes their own poop!
Pica means “a craving to eat a non-nutritious substance.” Here, the substance could be dirt, chalk, paint, paper, rocks, fabric, grass or something else. The key is that the item isn’t “food.”
Pica is linked to nutritional deficiencies. This holds true for both dogs and people. In people, the deficiency is often iron.
In Pug dogs, the only way to know if a nutrition issue is present and, if so, what is missing from your Pug’s diet, is to visit your canine veterinarian.
Your vet can do bloodwork, order a fecal test, take urine samples, and do other tests to check organ function as needed. Once the problem is identified, your vet can tell you what to do to correct the imbalance.
Is Your Pug Eating Grass to Try to Vomit?
There is another theory some people believe that animals will eat grass when they have an upset stomach or have eaten something poisonous and need to vomit.
Is this true? Because Pugs can’t talk to us using our language, it is really hard to tell.
In a wild setting, many animals have learned how to use the wild plants, grasses and fruits growing around them to self-medicate, protect against pests and even get tipsy.
So it is definitely possible your Pug might know that eating grass might cause vomiting.
However, this theory may not add up, especially if you don’t see your Pug vomiting after eating grass. According to canine researchers, most dogs that eat grass don’t throw up afterward and the vast majority don’t seem sick before or after.
Can Pugs Eating Grass Be a Behavior Problem?
The truth is, there is always more to learn about why Pugs do the things they do. I’ve been owned by Pugs for nearly two decades now and I learn new things every day!
If your Pug dog is well-behaved otherwise and your vet gives your dog a clean bill of health, this may leave you confused. If all is well, why does your Pug eat grass?
Sometimes the reasons my Pugs do things isn’t related to a medical problem. Sometimes they are bored. Pugs aren’t the most high-energy dogs, but they are very smart.
Because of this, a Pug that isn’t getting enough interesting play, activity, “you” time and enrichment may start eating grass just to have something different to do.
Nipping at the grass and pulling it out can be a challenge for a small dog like a Pug. It can help your Pug burn off some energy.
It can also get your attention! When your Pug keeps pulling out the grass that you are trying so hard to water and care for and grow, you can bet you will notice. You will give your Pug attention. Your Pug will learn this fast and do more grass eating.
It Could Be Related To Their Diet
Some dogs will munch on grass, plants or weeds to help get missing nutrients they are missing.
If you think that your dog is not getting enough fiber in their diet, you may want to consider switching to a high-fiber dog food. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Is It Okay For A Dog To Eat Grass?
While this is considered normal behavior, it is important to watch your dog, it can be dangerous to let your pup eat grass, especially, if your lawn has dangerous herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.
If you have pets, you may want to consider using non-toxic products inside and outside your home. If your out in public, try to stop your Pug from eating grass, especially if there are any warning signs that chemicals have been used.
There’s no reason why you can’t grow some grass a grass or herb garden that is specifically for your pooch to snack on.
Are Weeds Safe For A Pug To Eat?
While it is okay for your dog to eat grass, you should know that there are some weeds that can be dangerous for dogs to eat. For instance, Pokeweed is known to be toxic to pets.
Not to mention the dangers of your dog being exposed to weed killers and pesticides that many people use to help keep their lawns looking lush.
What About House Plants?
For some reason, some dogs love eating or chewing on plants. That being said, there are many plants that are toxic to Pugs and other pets.
If Fido loves eating house plants, be sure to move the toxic plants out of his reach. You could also use a water bottle to spray her whenever she tries to chew on any of your indoor or outdoor plants.
Three Other Things to Try to Save Your Lawn
Whenever you have a big mystery, such as why your Pug seems so drawn to nibbling on your lawn, it is always smart to talk with your dog’s veterinarian first. But if your dog is healthy, it is time to try some other ideas.
Here are three ideas I’ve had success with for my own Pugs.
1. Change your Pug’s food
Even if your vet can’t find a nutritional imbalance, it may simply be that your Pug is not getting the ideal blend of nutrients for their age, gender, activity level, and stage of life. It can’t hurt to try different dog food and see if the problem stops.
2. Change your Pug’s daily routine
Is your Pug bored? Does your dog need some new toys, to learn a new trick, more “you” time? You could add a sensory snuffle mat or puzzle toy to make mealtimes more fun or add in an extra walk during the day.
3. Limit access to the lawn
Finally, you may need to supervise your Pug during lawn time for awhile. As a side perk, this may help you notice new hints that could tell you why your Pug eats grass.
Let us know how these tips work for you and your Pug dog. Have any great tips for solving this problem? We are always looking for new ideas to use and share!
Final Word On Pug Eating Grass
There’s nothing to worry about if your Pug loves to eat a little bit of grass here and there, all dogs do it. However, if your dog won’t eat anything but grass or does it everyday, you should have them checked by your veterinarian.
Eating too much grass can be a sign of an underlying health condition that warrants medical attention.
References And Further Reading
Humane Society – Unusual Eating Habits
Pets WebMD – Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?