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Why do dogs eat leaves?

Updated on July 7, 2009

We know that our furry friends are voracious eaters. We love our pets. Dogs are affectionate and loyal animals that bond closely with its people. Because dogs are considered to be family members we make sure that they are provided with the best care. Regular visit to the vet, sufficient opportunities to exercise and adequate shelter are provided for the dog. We know that dogs have big appetites thus they are provided with sufficient high quality food. This would make you wonder why dogs would still show a tendency to raid trash cans to eat spoiled food as well as eat non-edible things. Dogs eat feces, rocks, dirt grasses and leaves.

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A dog’s primitive eating habit

Dogs are carnivorous. In the wild dogs would subsist on the meat of the prey. Every bit of the prey is eaten as the dog would not know when the next meal would be. This would mean the grasses and the leaves in the stomach of the prey will be eaten too. This is probably the reason why dogs have developed a taste for leaves. In any case, when hunting is difficult primitive dogs would subsist on anything they can find and this includes berries, tree barks, roots and leaves.

The curious nature of the dog

Domesticated dog need not hunt to eat. Food is provided regularly but the dog can be seen munching leaves. This is probably due to the curious nature of the pet. Who would not be enticed with a delectably looking leaf glistening with dew?

Dietary imbalance

A dog that is supplementing his diet with leaves may be correcting a dietary imbalance. Most domesticated dogs are fed commercial dog food. Low grade commercial dog food may be cheaper but the food is low in nutritional value.

Self Medication

Dogs are indiscriminate eaters. Because they eat spoiled food and non-edible things, it would not be surprising if they suffer from an upset stomach. Dogs however, have this uncanny ability to know and to heal what is wrong with their body. To rid the stomach of toxic substances, the dog would simply eat leaves to induce vomiting.

Attracting attention

A dog that eats leaves will surely attract attention. Dogs are social creatures. A pet would need to interact with its people. The dog may intentionally eat leaves to gain the attention of the master.

Hazards of eating leaves

The leaves eating habit of the pet is not a big concern. Leaves after would be much better that feces. However, ingestion of leaves of poisonous plants can endanger the life of the pet.  

a rare footage of a dog eating leaves

Dog eat leaves


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