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I’ve had family pets before but never questioned why they ate grass before getting my Shiba Inu, Faith. As my first pet, I wanted to understand why she did everything, including eating grass.
Shiba Inus routinely turn to grass as a natural source of fiber, a remedy for an upset stomach, or even a way to pass the time when they’re bored. Minor grass eating here and there is nothing to worry about, most animals do it. Grass eating becomes a problem when it’s consistent.
I’ve found dogs turn to grass-eating for a number of different reasons, and each has its own approach to stopping it. The best place to start is by explaining the possible reasons your Shiba Inu may be eating grass.
Why Does My Shiba Inu Eat Grass?
Your Shiba Inu could be eating grass for a number of different reasons. Every pet and situation is a bit different but in most cases, boredom, illness, or a lack of fiber are the cause.
Where I may turn to my phone when I’m bored, my Shiba Inu doesn’t have that luxury. Some pets and animals will fill their boredom with random chewing and loafing around. If you like taking long or even frequent breaks while walking your Shiba, you may find they like to eat grass as a way to pass the time. Light grass grazing here and there is perfectly normal, but if your pet is regularly bored outside, I suggest you bring a toy to play with or some treats for a mini-training session.
Dogs often turn to eating non-edible objects when they’re facing a dietary deficiency, the most common deficiency being fiber. This condition is also referred to as “pica”. Most plants are a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and whole organic fibers. If you notice your Shiba Inus likes to graze on grass regularly during your walk, they may be missing this key ingredient from their diet.
While some brands make an effort to include additional fiber in their kibble, and other food-based products, that isn’t the case for all of them. Most Shibas start developing a habit of eating grass soon after they’re switched over to a new brand or style of food. If you believe this is the case you should look into either switching back to their original diet or looking for healthy additions to supplement their sudden lack of fiber.
Grass Acts Like An Antacid
Dogs and other animals also turn to eating grass when they have an upset stomach. Grass is a natural antacid, neutralizing stomach acid, that can relieve short-term stomach pains. But that isn’t the only thing grass does for your Shiba’s stomach ache, it also causes your pet to vomit.
Most pet owners have seen this cycle play out a number of times. Where their pet seems a bit down and out of eat, quickly eats a bunch of grass, and is both happy and full of energy after throwing up. This process on its own is harmless and completely natural, most animals have the instinct to eat grass just for this reason.
That grass-eating habit can become a real problem if it’s something they do regularly. You should contact your vet if your Shiba Inu does this regularly. They may be sick, have a severe deficiency in their diet, or something else.
Some Dogs Like The Taste And Texture
Shiba Inus are well known for being weird and unique in their own special ways, and some show that by eating grass. Just like how some people like chewing on their nails, gum, or different fibrous foods your pet may similarly find the taste and texture of grass soothing or relaxing in a way.
Light chewing and grass grazing is nothing to worry about immediately. But if you find your pet regularly rushes outside to eat as much grass as they can, you should contact your vet.
How To Stop Your Shibas Grass Eating Habits
How you handle your pet’s regular grass consumption depends heavily on why they’re doing it. You can remedy your Shiba’s boredom with a quick play session, while an upset stomach requires more care. I’ve had luck with the following.
Minimize Their Unsupervised Outside Time
If your Shiba Inu is anything like mine, then they get into all sorts of trouble when they’re left unsupervised for extended periods of time. My Shiba often turns to chasing leaves and whittling mulch, but I’ve seen her eat grass out of boredom a number of times. Reducing her time alone outside or at least giving her a few toys to play with fixed that for me.
Make Sure Your Shiba Is Eating Early In The Morning
Some pet owners find their Shibas like to eat grass early in the morning, especially if you take them on a long walk before feeding them breakfast. This can be resolved by either adjusting the length of your morning walks or shifting your walk schedule and allowing them to eat breakfast before you two head out.
Check Their Diet
Grazing on grass is a quick and simple way for your Shiba to increase the fiber in their diet. You should look into adding vegetables to your pet’s diet, like broccoli and carrots, or potentially switch brands if you find your current one isn’t adequate.
If Their Grass Eating Persists, Contact Your Vet
If you notice your Shiba consistently eats grass even when you adjust their diet, you should call your vet. Persistent grass eating can be a sign of serious illness or dietary deficiency, both of which are best diagnosed by a professional.
Summary Of Grass Eating
Grass is a natural antacid that dogs and other animals turn to when they aren’t feeling well, allowing them to throw up excess stomach acid or foreign objects they accidentally ate. But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s always safe.
Regular and persistent grass consumption could be your Shiba’s way of telling you they aren’t getting enough fiber in their daily diet or are even sick. It’s best to contact your vet if changing their diet or redirecting their attention with toys isn’t working.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Bad For My Shiba To Eat Grass?
It’s safe for your Shiba Inu to eat grass sparingly, most turn to it when they aren’t feeling well or lack fiber in their diet. Grass eating becomes a problem when it’s something they consistently do when you let them outside or take them for a walk.
What Is A Dog Lacking When It Eats Grass?
Dogs that actively seek out and eat grass typically aren’t getting enough fiber from their regular meals. If you find your pet routinely eats grass when you walk, then take a long look at the food you are feeding them. Does their kibble have enough included fiber? Can you add vegetables to help?
Does A Dog Eating Grass Mean Anything?
Grass is full of natural vitamins, minerals, and is a great source of fiber. Dogs routinely eat grass when they are missing something in their regular diet. That dietary deficiency is usually fiber, which isn’t necessarily a main focus in most kibble-based products.
Does Eating Grass Settle A Dog’s Stomach?
Grass helps dogs with their upset stomach in the short term, which is why it’s common for dogs to eat grass when they are starting to feel sick. Do know that relief is short-lived, most pets will vomit not long after consuming grass, which also helps relieve their upset stomach.
What Does It Mean When My Dog Is Eating Leaves?
Pica is a condition where dogs are compelled to eat non-edible foods, typically fibrous plants like grass, but it’s not uncommon for dogs to eat leaves as well. Another reason your pet may be eating leaves is their fun to chase. Leaves blowing in the wind trigger a dog’s prey drive.