Have you noticed your Chihuahua munching down on grass when you walk them in the yard? Some owners brush this behavior off as a non-concerning issue, but others are alarmed and even frightened at the sight of their Chihuahua eating such an unusual substance. After all, I'm sure some premium chicken and lamb dog food taste a lot better than the well-manicured fescue grass covering your landscape. To understand why your Chihuahua is eating grass, and whether or not you should be concerned, keep reading and we'll take a closer look at the issue.
The truth is that no one knows exactly why some Chihuahuas, or other dogs, have the desire to eat grass. Unfortunately, there's no way for us to read their minds to determine what's going inside them; therefore, we can only make speculate as to why our canines do what they do. With that said, there's some pretty strong evidence pointing towards certain reasons why dogs eat grass.
Is It Normal For Chihuahuas To Eat Grass?
Now, for the question that's on most owners' minds - is it normal for Chihuahuas to eat grass? In short, the behavior is commonplace, as some studies report that up to 80% of all pet Chihuahuas exhibit this behavior. This is a pretty one-sided statistic that paints the picture pretty clear as to whether or not dogs eating grass is common.
If you own a Chihuahua, chances are you've seen them munching down on the green stuff at one point or another. Some Chihuahuas may chow down on grass whenever you walk them outside, while others may only do it on occasion. However, just because it's a common habit doesn't mean it's necessarily healthy or wise. As their owner, it's YOUR responsibility to make sure your Chihuahua is safe and no eating things he shouldn't....
Eating Grass To Clean Their Digestive System
It's believed that all dogs (Chihuahuas included) eat grass as as a means to clean their digestive system. Chihuahuas in the wild (yes, there were wild Chihuahuas at one point in time) were forced to eat more raw, uncooked meat to survive. This was a perfectly acceptable means for them to nourish their bodies, but it also increased the risk of parasitic worms and bacterial infections. To help clean their digestive systems, Chihuahuas would eat grass and organic plant matter.
Since Chihuahuas used to eat grass in the wild, there's a good chance they will exhibit this behavior as domesticated pets as well. If a Chihuahua has an upset stomach or is suffering from other forms of digestive problems, they could try to flush it out by eating grass. You see, grass is a high-fiber material that cleans the intestinal tract out as it goes down; therefore, any harmful matter or parasitic organisms will likely be flushed out during the process. Some Chihuahuas also vomit as a result of eating grass, which could also help to clean out their system.
Potential Dangers and Problems Associated With Eating Grass
Many owners brush their Chihuahua's grass-eating behavior off as a non-concerning issue. After all, 80% of all dogs eat grass, so it must be okay, right? Unfortunately, this isn't true, as eating grass can lead to a wide variety of problems on its own.
Here are some of the dangers associated with Chihuahuas eating grass:
- They may unknowingly eat grass covered in pesticide.
- Increases the chance of them contracting worms.
- Too much grass could block their digestive system, forcing food to backup.
- May contain fertilizers and other harmful chemicals.
If you notice your Chihuahua is eating significantly more grass all of a sudden, there could be a serious underlying problem. The only way to determine if something is medically wrong with your Chihuahua is to take them to a professional veterinarian for an examination. A simple blood and stool test can oftentimes reveal potentially life-threatening issues that would otherwise go unnoticed.
How To Prevent a Chihuahua From Eating Grass
Although it's a fairly common behavior, owners shouldn't allow their Chihuahua to continue eating grass simply because it increases the risk of further health issues. So, how are you supposed to stop your furry, four-legged friend from eating grass? The best line of defense is to keep a close eye on them anytime they are outside. If you notice they have stopped to check out a patch of grass, give them a little tug on the leash while saying "come on."
You shouldn't punish or scold your Chihuahua if you see them eating a patch of grass. Instead, tell them "NO" in a firm manner and move on. Far too many owners punish their Chihuahuas is ways that simply aren't necessary. Spanking or scolding them does more harm than good, so stick with the basic "NO" command. Chihuahuas are loving creatures that want nothing more than to please their owners. Saying "NO" in a firm tone is all it takes to get the message across.
Another step that's helpful in stopping a Chihuahua from eating grass is to always walk them on a leash. I know this is more time-consuming, but it's necessary to ensure their safety. Not only does it give your Chihuahua the opportunity to eat grass, but it also places them at risk for other forms of injury and danger, such as a predator. A large hawk flying overhead could make quick work of a tiny Chihuahua. It's not something most owners want to think about, but hawks and eagles scoop up family Chihuahuas on a yearly basis. Walking them on a leach, however, will help prevent this type of tragedy from occurring to your family.