Why does my dog eat a lot of grass?
There is no single explanation to why some dogs eat grass. However, it is well-known that dogs are fond of things with a distinct smell, so some dogs may find very fresh grass or grass with a smell of another dog’s urine interesting. Dogs may vomit after having eaten grass. This might suggest that they eat grass in order to vomit if they feel stomach pain, but it is not known for definite. But please be assured that eating grass is not harmful to dogs. The hard cellulose in it means that they can’t digest the grass and, in most cases, it will just pass through them and be visible in their stool.
Why has my dog suddenly stopped eating their regular food?
If your dog stops eating this could indicate that they are ill and have a stomach problem. To try to identify if this is the case you can check their stools and keep a close eye on their behavior. Both of these can suggest if there is some kind of illness. If you are in doubt ask your vet. Of course there are a number of other reasons why your dog may not be eating. Possible explanations could be:
My dog finds all sorts of food scraps when we are out walking – should I adjust the feeding amount?
Some dogs are great investigators. They will find and eat many different things when out walking. It is very difficult to know what and how much a dog consumes this way, so adjusting the food accordingly is practically impossible. Since the food in the bowl is the safest and healthiest, try to stop your dog eating accidental items. Ways to do this could include feeding your dog just before walking and bringing kibbles of regular food along as treats. Of course, you will need to count all treats given to make sure that you don’t exceed the total feeding amount per day.
Why has my housetrained dog started having ‘accidents’?
If your dog starts having accidents in house with either urine or stools it is important that you contact your vet. They will need to assess whether there is a disease causing it, or if this change is simply behavioral. Whatever the cause, your vet can find out and help you to deal with it. Your dog will probably feel bad about the problem - especially if disease is causing the accidents. If your vet identifies urinary or gastrointestinal infection,diabetes, hormonal or digestive problem, bladder stones or uterine infection, treatment will be necessary.
My dog’s nose is dry and warm – are they sick?
Contrary to popular belief, your dog’s nose does not indicate whether they are well or not. Of course, if your dog is ill and has a fever, their nose will probably be warm. But cold or warm, wet or dry, your dog may be feeling well. The best and most reliable way to check a dog’s temperature and wellbeing is by using a thermometer.
Why does my dog eat poo?
Dogs investigate, experience and remember their surroundings through their nose. And they have a natural interest in items that have a strong scent or smell. It may seem repulsive to you as a dog owner to discover that your dog eats poo (and it can even be their own). There is no clear explanation why this is. Some people believe that it is because the dog is lacking certain substances or nutrients. Some believe that it is behavioral (effectively “cleaning up” or eliminating traces of other dogs in the territory). We can only reassure you that this behavior is neither abnormal nor harmful to a dog. Just unpleasant for the owner.
Why should I have my dog neutered or spayed?
Dogs have like any other animal a natural instinct to mate and breed. This is the most natural thing in the world and this urge is controlled by the sex hormones in a male or female dog’s body. In nature, dogs (or wolves) mate and breed according to the laws and rhythm of nature however, when living as pets this kind of uncontrolled mating is not appropriate. Surgical neutering (also known as spaying) stops both the urge and ability to mate. This may seem unkind, but in many cases it is better than your dog having the natural urge and not being allowed to mate. The long and tall of it is, if your dog is not expected to become a breeding dog, your vet may very well recommend to have them neutered.
Why does my dog scratch itself a lot?
Scratching is part of natural behavior. The time to investigate is if the scratching gets so intense that hairless areas appear or if the skin gets red spots, red or moist and infected. Itchy skin can be caused by many different things, including fleas, mites and other parasites, bacteria, microscopic yeasts, ringworm, allergy towards food, pollens or house dust. Discovering the cause can be difficult, but it must be done if you want to know the most appropriate treatment. The best advice is, if your dog licks or scratches too much and the skin looks bad, talk to your vet.
How can I help my dog lose weight?
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from weight gain. The cause is really simple. If your dog eats more food/calories per day than they need, the excess will turn into fat. If your dog needs to lose weight, they need to do the opposite. This means you should feed them a little less calories than they need, every day. Fat deposits are gradually used/burned and your dog becomes a healthy weight again. Using a good reduction diet is by far the safest and easiest way to do this. Providing the basic important nutrients it will keep your dog full and satisfied, but with less calories. And, to ensure that the weight reduction is successful, it is also necessary to cut down on treats and table scraps and gradually increase exercise. But, the good news is that, if followed correctly, a good diet will have your dog back into shape, happier and more social and active.
My dog is having an operation and will not be able to eat normally afterwards – what do I do?
A good diet is important for your dog. And this is even more crucial after surgery, or when they are suffering from disease. Of course, both of these scenarios can reduce your dog’s appetite. This means that it becomes even more important to make their dog food healthy and appetising. Choosing a wet diet - perhaps even one for intensive care - is a good idea. Mix this with water that has been heated to body temperature to make it as delicious as possible. If your dog is not able to stand and eat from a bowl they may be fed with a spoon or a feeding syringe directly into the mouth. Your vet or vet nurse will be able to guide you on this.
Is it true that my dog needs a lot of meat, as they descend from wolves?
No. Dogs are physiologically very flexible when it comes to the sources of food. Like humans dogs are omnivores, which means that they can digest and use both meat and plants. (This is different from cats, who must have meat in their food.) A dog may actually live on a totally vegetarian diet, if this is composed in the right way. However, meat is a concentrated and tasty source of proteins, minerals and vitamins. Plus it provides energy and makes the food taste good. So all this means that it makes sense to include meat into a dog’s diet.
Why does my dog have bad breath?
Bad breath in a dog can be most unpleasant - especially for the people that have regular contact with them. However it may also be a sign of other, sometimes more serious, causes.
Try to smell a cotton tip rubbed on your dog’s lip OR gum to determine where the smell comes from. If you are not sure of the cause, or think it may need treatment, contact your vet.
My dog is eating my cat’s food, is that okay?
Dogs are omnivorous, and a healthy cat food will not be harmful to most dogs. However, cat food often contains more calories than the average dog food. So, even though it is safe for your dog to have some cat food kibbles, try to ensure that they don’t become overweight. If your cat food is designed for a certain health condition, food sharing is not recommended.
Read: My cat is eating my dog’s food, is that okay?