Grass eating is very common in dogs, including Jack Russells. In fact, about 90% of all dogs eat grass at some point or another.
There are several theories surrounding the eating of grass by dogs, and they each have interesting backing. Now, you may have a well-behaved dog who simply enjoys munching on grass…or you may have an always hungry troublemaker whose tummy is empty no matter how much dog food you give them.
Either way, we’re going to take a look at those theories surrounding why your Jack Russell eats grass.
6 Reasons why your Jack Russell is eating grass
There are several theories about why your Jack Russell eats grass. Below, we’ll look at five of the most popular and discuss each one to see if we can learn something new that can help us better understand our dogs.
1. He or She is missing some nutrients or lacks fiber
Some experts believe that dogs eat grass to get certain nutrients or fiber that they are lacking.
Certain breeds of dogs (including Jack Russells) often have a higher metabolism than others. This could mean that your dog is constantly hungry, so they need food at all times to maintain their weight.
So, if your dog is eating grass, it may be because they’re not getting enough nutrients. However, there are several ways to fix this problem. You could try giving them a vitamin supplement or giving them dog food that is higher in fiber.
Pica is a common problem that can lead to dogs eating things that they usually wouldn’t. Jack Russells are especially prone to pica in the spring and summer months when there are plenty of delicious grasses growing all over the place.
Pica is more of an ingrained instinct than a nutritional problem, so changing their diet will not help them stop eating grass.
3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
If your Jack Russell is eating grass almost constantly, it is possible that they may have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder may lead them to eat grass repeatedly because they enjoy the taste or texture, or it could be a way to deal with stress.
4. Seeking Attention
Some dogs may eat grass only when they are in front of their owner. This is especially common in puppies, who will eat grass as a way to get attention from their owners. If this is the case with your dog, you can easily stop them by not giving them the attention they seek. Teach them positive behaviors instead and they’ll learn that eating grass doesn’t work anymore!
5. They like the taste
You should always consider that your Jack Russell is just eating grass because they like the taste of it. Perhaps they find it enjoyable or satisfying or maybe they just enjoy the texture. Plenty of dogs will eat grass no matter what their diet is like, so this may be a waste of time to try to prevent them from doing so.
6. Upset Stomach
Dogs will often eat grass when they have an upset stomach. Eating grass helps relieve the discomfort of an upset stomach because it contains a lot of fiber. Tall grass is best to use because the long needles can help to clear any blockage.
Health Benefits of Grass
The health benefits of dogs eating grass is one reason why it’s perfectly fine for them to do so. Some dog breeds will eat grass because they need the nutrients, but Jack Russells may not have that issue. They may just enjoy the taste, texture, or chewing on grass. However, there are several health benefits that dogs can gain from eating grass.
1. Helps with reflux
If your dog has an upset stomach or is dealing with pain from an injury, eating grass may help them. Grass is a natural antacid, so if your dog has a burning sensation in their stomach or can’t seem to settle down after eating, grass can be very beneficial.
2. Reduce inflammation
One of the major health benefits of grass is that it helps with inflammation in dogs. Inflammation is a common cause of pain and discomfort for dogs, especially as they get older.
3. Helps with allergies
If your dog seems to be constantly sneezing or sniffling, they might be suffering from seasonal allergies. Grass can help to relieve that allergic reaction and will soothe your dog’s throat and nose.
4. Treat gastric upset
If your dog has an upset stomach, eating grass can help relieve that discomfort. Grass contains a lot of fiber, so it helps them to digest their food better. It also helps them to pass gas more easily and get rid of the toxins they’ve consumed.
5. Boosts their immune system
If your dog is suffering from an illness, eating grass can help them fight the infection. The fibers in grass provide a boost of vitamins and minerals that improve their overall health and immune system.
6. Helps with weight loss
Another reason dogs may eat grass is because they’re trying to shed a few pounds. It can help them to feel fuller for longer, so it’s a great way to help them lose weight.
7. Helps with anemia
If your dog is suffering from anemia, eating grass can help them to feel healthier. They’ll get a boost of iron that helps to replace the red blood cells they’ve lost and health their overall health.
8. Decrease inflammation
Another benefit of grass is that it can help with aches and pains. If your dog is having a hard time moving around or has injured themselves, grass can help to relieve the inflammation and pain they’re experiencing.
9. Helps with arthritis
If your dog has arthritis, they may find it difficult to move around and get the exercise that they need. Eating grass can help them to get a boost of nutrients they need to relieve their pain and inflammation. It can also help regenerate their joints and cartilage.
10. Healthy skin
If your dog has dry and flaky skin, eating grass can help to hydrate it and bring it back to life. It can also help to promote healthy hair and make their coat look their best.
Why do Jack Russells eat grass? Is it a dietary deficiency? Or perhaps, a nutritional craving? Does your Jack Russells gulp it down because it’s tasty? Ever since dogs started living alongside humans they have been eating grass.
While some may suggest that dogs eat grass due to a dietary imbalance, the truth is that there may be several reasons why dogs enjoy munching on this green treat.