Puppies are like babies; in that they explore the world through their senses – and this includes taste. Therefore it is not unusual for Cavapoos to gnaw on grass. But why do dogs eat grass and is it good for them to do so?
There are many reasons why your Cavapoo will eat grass such as boredom, poor diet, or a cure for a medical condition; but you can rest assured knowing that most vets state that it is perfectly safe, in moderation, for your Cavapoo to eat grass.
Your Cavapoo is not a cow, so why do they insist on chomping on grass? Well, dogs are omnivores, so it is not so strange to see grass making up a part of their staple diet. And in spring and summer when the grass is green and lush, taking your dog to a field of fresh grass feels to them, like the equivalent of taking a kid to a candy store.
Below we explain more about why your Cavapoo may be captivated by chewing on grass, what to do if they eat excessive amounts of flora and which foliage could be fatal for your dog.
Why do dogs eat grass?
There are many theories as to why dogs eat grass. Some believe it is a sign of boredom, others state it is because they are lacking essential nutrients within their diet, whilst many vets will tell you that is simply normal dog behaviour.
- Boredom. Bad habits are often hard to break, and whilst we may crack our knuckles, bite our nails, or smoke a cigarette when we are feeling anxious or bored, your dog may have a few weaknesses of their own – including the eating of grass. In order to steer your Cavapoo away from eating copious amounts of grass, you should try to make sure that they have plenty of exercise and play. To find out what other bad habits your Cavapoo may have, check out this information guide.
- Poor diet. Wild dogs are scavengers and whilst they would prefer a meat-based feast, they will literally devour anything and everything they can lay their paws on. Even we can attest to this, as we regularly catch our Cavapoo Rosie eating much worse than a blade of grass – with dirty socks, tea-stained coasters and a side helping of horse poo, being amongst her favourite snacks. In order to make sure that your dog has a balanced diet, read our informative guide on what is the best dog food for a Cavapoo.
- Upset Stomach. If your dog is feeling under the weather, then it might seek out a patch of grass as a self-curing remedy. An “upset stomach” usually means that gastric acids are building up. In order to soothe their churning tummies, dogs often chomp on grass in order to act as a natural antacid. This relief is often brief, however, as most dogs vomit it back up afterwards.
We are unable to understand exactly why dogs eat grass but presume, that like cows, they simply enjoy the taste of it.
Is it dangerous for dogs to eat grass?
For most pet owners, you can rest assured knowing that the majority of experts consider it perfectly safe for your Cavapoo to eat grass. Providing your dog is healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, then eating grass poses no real risks. In fact, it is considered normal dog-like behavior.
That said, you should be more cautious about letting your Cavapoo eat grass away from your home in areas you do not know, as the grass may have been treated with pesticides or fertilizers which are dangerous to your dog.
It is important that you keep an eye on your dog’s grass-eating habits, especially if there is a sudden increase in intake as this could signify a health problem.
Can my Cavapoo eat leaves?
Since getting our Cavapoo, we replaced our dusty, baron lawn with lush looking artificial grass, preventing Rosie from being able to eat the real stuff. However, this has not deterred her enthusiasm for a plant-based diet, as she now she goes around eating leaves!
But, with Autumn around the corner and an abundance of leaves at my feet, it got me wondering whether she should be allowed to chase and chomp on leaves?
Whilst leaves may be high in fiber, they are not nutritious for our dogs. And although the leaves themselves are not toxic, ingesting large quantities can lead to blockages if they are not broken down quickly enough.
Therefore, you should try to replace the taste and texture of the leaves that your dog loves with alternatives such as chew sticks and toys. You could even plant a dog-friendly herb and vegetable garden and include carrots, rosemary, basil and thyme.
What to do if your dog eats a lot of grass or leaves?
As we mentioned above, dogs do regularly eat grass and leaves without experiencing any harmful side effects – even though it may induce the odd bout of vomiting every now and again.
If, however, you catch your Cavapoo snacking on a plant, eating excessive amounts of grass but refusing their normal food, vomiting repeatedly or simply looking unwell, then you should call your local vet immediately.
How to keep your garden dog friendly
This summer we could not have asked for better weather, and with more people restricted to their homes due to lockdown, our backyards became commonplace to exercise our Cavapoos. But whilst our gardens can be great places for our pets to play, they can also be a source of danger for our dogs.
Some plants are toxic for dogs and even the creepy crawlies that clamber around our bushes can cause our Cavapoos some serious health issues. Below we explain how to keep your dog safe when out exploring in our backyards.
Gardening products to avoid around your dog
We all want to banish those weeds and give our gardens a helping hand in order to bloom, but what you may not be aware of, are that many gardening products are not pet-friendly.
It is really important that you carefully choose which weed killers you use and stay away from potent fertilisers so that your dog stays safe from harm.
- Weed killers – Some brands can contain harmful substances such as borax and arsenic which can be fatal for our dogs. If you do need to use weed killer on your lawn, then always check the ingredients first or ask the manufacturer if you are unsure of the chemicals.
- Fertilisers – These should be avoided at all costs, as most fertilisers contain ingredients including insecticides, fungicides and bacterial or fungal poisons. If consumed by your dog, through eating your grass, it could result in vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors and even death.
- Cocoa Mulch – Using cocoa hulls on garden beds is a good way to increase soil vitality as it helps to retain moisture whilst reducing weeds organically. Although it may be great for the environment, it is not good for your Cavapoo as the cocoa shell contains theobromine, which is found in chocolate and is toxic to dogs.
- Compost – When looking to be eco-friendly, compost bins are often the first thing you think of. However, as the organic matter decomposes it releases mycotoxins which are poisonous to dogs and can cause excessive panting, vomiting and seizures. Constant exposure can even be fatal, so make sure you fence off your compost bins and keep your dog far away at all times.
Plants that are toxic to Cavapoos
We all like to look out to a colorful garden and one way to spruce up our backyards is to plant some beautiful flowers. But whilst they may look and smell divine, some common favourites are actually harmful to our dogs.
- Lillies – Well known for being dangerous for cats, it may come as a surprise to some pet owners to know that they are also poisonous to dogs. If eaten they can cause mouth irritations as well as serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and an increased heart rate.
- Geraniums – A popular bedding plant, these brightly colored flowers may look lovely but are not good for our furry friends. Geraniums contain geraniol and linalool and if digested can cause our dogs’ skin irritations, loss of appetite and a bout of vomiting.
- Tomatoes – An easy to grow salad staple, tomatoes can be dangerous for our pet dogs if they consume any unripened fruit or green parts of the plant. Tomato plants are toxic as they can trigger stomach upsets, lethargy, and seizures in our Cavapoos.
- Rhubarb – Who does not enjoy a rhubarb crumble? Well, your dog won’t, as the leaves of this plant are dangerous when eaten in large quantities with muscle weakness, diarrhoea and loss of appetite being just some of the symptoms to watch out for.
This is a just few of the worst plant offenders, so please check which flowers are safe for your dog before planting, by checking the labels.
Pests that are harmful to our pets
No one enjoys the sight of seeing creepy crawlies in their garden, as they are detrimental to our garden plants and can cause our dogs some serious health problems. The worst reprobates for this are slugs and snails!
These common garden pests carry a parasite called lungworm, which can be transferred across to curious dogs if they decide to consume one, either by accident or as a tasty treat.
If your Cavapoo does contract lungworm and it has not been protected against it through dog deworming treatments, then they could become very sick. Lungworm causes breathing difficulties, seizures and in severe cases even heart failure.
For this reason, it is really important that you make sure that your Cavapoo is dewormed regularly, your grass is well-kept so that you can spot any poisonous pests and that any pet bowls are kept clean.
If you think your dog may have consumed a hazardous critter then you should call your vet immediately for advice.
Whether your dog likes to roll on it, leap through it or fill its face with blade after blade, dogs just can’t get enough of grass. But, as long as their grass-eating behaviour is not excessive, then a bit of lawn snacking is nothing for you, or your Cavapoo, to worry about.