Many owners message me asking why their husky eats grass. Although it’s a common behavior seen in all dog breeds, it turns out most of us don’t actually know what it means… This article explains grass-eating behavior and whether you should stop your husky from doing it. Let’s get into it!
If your husky is eating grass it could be that they are trying to make themselves sick, meeting nutritional needs, they are bored, grass tastes good, or it’s simply become a habit.
5 Reasons Why Your Husky Eats Grass
While your husky grazes away in the yard like a cow, let’s run through some of the reasons why this may be happening.
First of all, it’s more normal than you may think. It’s good to start off with something reassuring! Veterinarians have even come out and said that dogs eating grass is much more normal than we think. Dog’s observed in the wild eat a substantial amount of plants and vegetation, grass being the main one.
But before you let your husky be a cow forever, I’ll run through reasons you do need to be aware of.
1. Eating Grass to be Sick
Starting with the most commonly known reason; eating grass to be sick. It is true that your husky may be eating grass to help induce vomiting. Although this is so commonly known, less than 25% of dog owners report their dogs throwing up after consuming grass.
As we understand being sick and vomiting means that something is wrong, we automatically assume the worst. But it’s not always that bad. If your husky is feeling irritated by something he’s previously eaten, or he may just have a build-up of stomach acid, regurgitating it back out is the best answer. Dogs, unlike us, can’t force themself to be sick, so they use grass as an intestinal irritant, which helps to induce vomiting.
If you suspect this is why your husky is eating grass then try your best to link it to something if possible. Does he eat grass shortly after he eats his dinner? This may indicate he isn’t comfortable with his food. Or does he eat grass after you give him specific treats? Maybe it happens only one time of the day? These are all good questions to ask and may help you link it to a single cause.
If your husky occasionally eats grass to be sick, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. If your husky does it every time he has access to grass, then it may signify some other issues that should be seen to quickly.
2. Meeting Nutritional Needs
One of the more probable reasons is to meet certain unmet nutritional needs. Although grass isn’t a typical choice to buy at your local pet store, it does actually contain many nutritional benefits. And if your husky needs anything from grass, he’ll instinctively go and eat some!
Grass may be helping your husky with digestion as it contains a high amount of fiber. This doesn’t mean to say that he should be getting his fiber from grass, but it suggests his current diet doesn’t contain enough of it.
Grass has also been seen to help treat intestinal worms in many breeds.
Just like before, try your best to link the behavior to something. If your husky is having irregular stools, suffering from constipation, or even diarrhea, a lack of fiber could be the issue. There was a case of a miniature poodle who ate grass and vomited every day for seven years, three days after being changed to a high fiber diet, the grass eating and vomiting stopped altogether.
Of course, it’s really hard to know for sure, so unless you have a good clue or indication that the reason is nutritional, it’s best to speak to your veterinarian.
Yep! It may just be because your husky is bored. If you have a husky, you’re already aware that he needs a solid exercise routine consisting of 2 hours of intensive exercise per day (ideally)
Ensuring he has received proper exercise will satisfy his physical activity needs. But it doesn’t stop there with huskies! It’s not just physical, it’s mental too. Your husky must receive adequate mental stimulation in order to feel content and satisfied (ie not bored).
Mental stimulation is often forgotten about, but it’s equally as important as chasing his ball in the park. Basic command training, interactive puzzle games, and getting your husky to use his brain is the key to a well-behaved husky.
If your husky gets too bored, he may end up grazing the grass just for something to do. Take a second to think, when was the last time you run through an engaging training exercise with rewards for your husky? or played a fun game with him? Or do you just put him in the yard and let him be?
4. Grass Tastes Good
Believe it or not, grass may not taste that bad, and the texture may be appreciated too!
During the spring to summer transition, it’s reported that grass may even have a slightly sweet flavor. Not that I can personally vouch for that, but “science” has deemed it to be somewhat sweet.
Therefore, your husky may just get a little too fond of the taste of grass. After all, it’s the Taste of the Wild… (shameful pun).
Let’s move on…
5. Grass-eating Has Become a Habit
It’s entirely possible that grass-eating has become a simple habit. Your husky eats grass like a cow, for literally no reason at all.
If he discovered that eating grass one day was interesting, he may have a nibble the next day, and the day after, and then it’s a habit. And now eats grass, just because that’s what he normally does.
It sounds silly, but it really could be as simple as that.
But it’s also important to mention here that eating grass is something instinctual, just like a husky’s prey drive or survival instinct. Consuming grass would have been part of normal daily behavior for thousands of years before huskies were domesticated. It’s only since we started giving their own food to them, this behavior became infrequent and considered abnormal.
Should You be Worried When Your Husky Eats Grass
Well, the annoying answer is that it depends!
For the most part, dogs do eat grass and veterinarians have explained that it’s quite normal behavior to engage in.
But, if it happens too much or causes him to vomit regularly, then it may be a sign that something is wrong. What that “something” is, is harder to say, it may be a lack of fiber in his diet, or it may be something more serious like an underlying health issue.
If you are unable to link it to some recent events or changes, then it will be harder for you to explain the behavior.
If for example you have recently changed dog foods, and since then have started witnessing the grass-eating, it may indicate the dog food isn’t a good fit, or that it lacks fiber. This is quite a simple example and in most cases, you probably won’t be able to link it to something, that’s normal.
If your husky is happy, in good spirits, isn’t eating grass or vomiting excessively, it’s likely that you don’t have anything to worry about. But as I am not a professional veterinarian, my advice to you would be to speak to one if you suspect something is wrong.
How to Stop Your Husky Eating Grass
So the next part you desperately want to know about is how to stop this behavior! Let’s run through the ways in which you can stop and limit your husky from eating grass.
1. Find out the root cause!
The first thing you should try to do before physically stopping your husky from eating grass is to find out the root cause!
By knowing why he is eating grass in the first place, you can effectively solve the entire issue with whatever solution is needed. If he needs more fiber, then you can change his kibble, or add in fiber. If he’s bored, you know to keep him entertained and give him more attention.
The only true way to fix any issue is to find out the real causation and apply the correct coarse of action. Ignoring the WHY should never be done.
2. Temporarily removing the access to grass
This certainly is not a good long term strategy, but if your husky is bolting for the grass every time he’s near it, it may be a short term answer.
If you have a yard full of grass, this is, of course, going to be difficult. Only let him out for his potty breaks, and always supervise him. When it comes to his walks, change the location is possible to a trail or the beach with fewer expanses of grass.
The problem is that if your husky is eating grass like this, it’s because he needs it, for something. If the grass-eating issue is so severe that you think you have to remove access, then it’s already time for an appointment with your veterinarian.
Removing access is a very short term answer that is not ideal, or practical. But you can’t let your husky continue to vomit whenever he gets the chance.
3. Build stronger recall
Any husky owner knows this will be a challenge, to say the least! When you call your husky’s name, you enter into a dangerous game of who’s more stubborn, it’s like huskies just can’t resist it!
But, the better recall your husky has when you call his name, the more he’ll be inclined to listen to your voice and come away from the grass when you tell him.
You will have to work on recall training at home when he isn’t currently distracted by anything else, especially grass! Running through recall training every day in your home, joined with positive reinforcement will make name-calling more powerful and after a couple of weeks, will certainly help.
A basic recall training exercise to try: I could try to write this but I’ll let Zack George show you. This is an excellent and simple way to start building a strong recall, he also shows you how to make it more challenging.
When To Call Your Veterinarian
When should you be concerned? If your husky is eatings grass every time he has access to it, and then always vomits, this is a clear sign that something is wrong.
You may or may not have an idea as to the cause but the best answer is to visit your veterinarian, call them first to get some instant advice and they will likely make an appointment for you.
Grass-eating can in some cases could be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue, so it’s best to play it safe and get further checks done.
If you are confident it’s not serious, then remember that your first plan of action is to identify why it’s happening, only after you know why will you effectively solve the situation.
Thank you for reading, if you have experience with this, please comment below. You may just help out another husky owner!
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