Second Opinion Magazine
My Dog Eats Sticks, Grass and Poop–Should I Be Worried?
By Becky Streeter
All dog owners have been there: You’re on a quiet walk down a lovely paved path near a pond, when suddenly, the sidewalk in front of you is literally covered with goose poop bombs. Before you even realize it, your dog is already helping himself to a nice, juicy (or baked) afternoon snack. Gross!
Eating poop, sticks and grass is very common for dogs. Some believe this is linked to a nutrient deficiency, but there isn’t research to support that thought. It’s truly just dogs being dogs.
Poop smells like food. As mentioned above, your dog probably thinks it is a special treat just laying around for easy pickings. Although dogs have specific preferences when it comes to food, most will eat anything if given the chance, and poop is no exception. Try to limit this habit if possible to ensure your dog doesn’t develop any illnesses that might be cooking on those feces such as E. coli, Salmonella or worms.
Sticks are fun to crunch, but you have to be careful with this one. Small or large pieces can get lodged in your dog’s throat and could do some serious damage. If you notice your dog eating lot of sticks, try to encourage safe chew toys or bones instead. You can even have toys and bones that specifically stay outside for your pet to munch when they feel so moved.
Grass is kind of a double edged sword. Some attribute it to being able to settle a dog’s stomach, but it can also have the inverse effect of ensuing vomiting if eaten too much or too often. Some dogs just eat grass because it tastes good. If your dog does eat grass, be careful that it is not treated with chemicals or pesticides. Generally, unless it’s your own lawn, try to keep your dog from having that green side salad.
Dogs are dogs, and you can’t change what smells or tastes interesting to them. But, you can help them make safe and healthy choices. That way everyone wins!