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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass Outside?

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

If your vet has found no health issues, grass eating can be attributed to the taste of grass as well as boredom. if you suspect that your dog is eating grass out of boredom, there's a lot you can do to help him/her out! Just like with any unwanted behaviour in dogs, it's important to know that if it's being practiced it's because it's a behaviour that works for them. Dogs don't do and repeat things without a purpose. With that said, your best bet at ensuring your dog is less likely to want to eat grass, you want to make sure that you are providing your dog with regular outlets for their physical and mental stimulation needs. Physical enrichment can consist of going for runs, playing fetch, tug and pull games, using a flirt pole and mental enrichment encompasses training classes, nosework and scent detection games, puzzles, snuffle mats, and new/different activities you and your dog experience together. Got some of these outlets down pat? Next, it's time to focus on the actual behaviour you want to tackle. Practice addressing the issue at hand when your dog is feeling relaxed and mellow from the above activities. A mellow and tired brain is more likely to 1. Not practice the unwanted behaviour (in which case you can then mostly focus on rewarding the desired behaviour) 2. Provide you with a dog that is more likely to follow your guidance, and this is key. Providing guidance is your main and best training tool, as you practice going through the scenario which normally leads to unwanted behaviour, but in a way where you are keeping a close eye on the patterns and indicators that it's about to happen, instead of just letting it happen, you can there and then interrupt the habit by guiding your dog's body and mind into something else (like a game, your attention, and affection, or even a stuffed Kong.). The idea with practicing this is that it makes it so your dog doesn't get to repeat the unwanted behaviour with no hesitation because you are providing a new habit/behaviour that feels even better for them, that will with time replace the old habit. Try this on your next walk or park visit and see how successful you can be at guiding your dog away from its grass-eating habit!

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