Pica is the general term for the disorder of eating objects that are not food items. Many dogs exhibit pica in grazing on our lawns or plants. This behavior is mostly agreed upon by veterinarians to be not harmful, but the exact cause is unknown. Some professionals propose that it is the pet’s conscious reaction to an illness, but this is not widely accepted. In contrast, it is most likely that our pets eat grass out of boredom. If you want to stop your dog from destroying your lawn, it could be beneficial to engage them in another form of exercise outside such as Frisbee or fetch. This would also be great bonding time with your dog!
Other professionals suggest that pica is a behavior resulting from nutritional deficiencies. If you don’t believe your pet is consuming other materials out of boredom, be sure to check with a veterinary professional to see if another food source could be more suited for your pet. Additionally, if your yard is treated with herbicides, pesticides, or any other chemicals it is important to monitor your pets outside because they can be quite toxic, especially if ingested. Similarly, some plants can be toxic to animals as well. To make sure the plants that your pets are around are safe, check the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control web site.