Why does my dog eat grass? The Kennel Club answers most common questions pet owners have

Whether you're a first time dog owner or a long time puppy pal, The Kennel Club can help answer some of your burning questions about your pup.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 4:45 pm

From their strange dietary choices to the way they follow you everywhere, dogs are known for their mysterious behaviours that many owners struggle to understand.

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With a rise in puppy adoptions over lockdown there are now even more baffled owners looking for answers to their pets' bizarre ways, turning to the internet for answers to their queries.

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There are lots of reasons your dog may exhibit strange behaviour. Photo: Richard Ponter

Through analysing data collected on Google Trends, dog health organisation The Kennel Club has compiled a list of the most asked questions related to your dogs and answered them.

Why does my dog eat grass?

There are a number of reasons dogs choose to eat grass. It is true that some dogs will eat grass when they're unwell to make themselves vomit, but that's not always the case- some just like the taste and texture! Other reasons include to get more fibre in their diet, or to get rid of any parasites in their intestines.

You don't need to stop your dog from eating grass- it doesn't harm them and over 70% of dogs eat some form of plant every day.

Why does my dog stare at me?

When your dog stares at you, it could be because they're trying to communicate with you! They might want your attention, a treat or a walk, or they may just want to know what you're doing.

When accompanied by stiffness and an unusual stillness, this could mean that your dog feels threatened and you should give them some space.

There are lots of reasons why your dog may stare at you, read the full list here.

Why does my dog shake?

There are three main reasons that dogs shake: to show emotion if they're excited or scared, as a response to their environment (if they're wet or cold) or for medical reasons (they're sick or in pain).

If your dog seems happy and healthy then it's certainly nothing to worry about- but if you're unsure take your dog for a check-up at the vet.

Why does my dog eat poop?

Roughly 25% of dogs eat their own poop, and it's usually just because they like the texture of it!

Often it's a behaviour they've learnt from their mum as a puppy, but sometimes it can be because they're bored, stressed or hungry.

Hungrier dogs tend to eat their poop more often, so make sure your dog is well fed throughout the day.

Why does my dog follow me everywhere?

Often this is a sign they trust and like you. If your dog follows you everywhere, it could be because they've associated you with getting a treat or reward, or because they simply want company.

It is possible for your dog to develop separation anxiety, and this could be the root cause of them following you. This is very different to them just wanting to spend time with you, and you should talk to your vet about potential solutions.

Other signs of separation anxiety to look out for are barking, chewing furniture and having accidents in the house.

Why does my dog lick me?

Licking is an act of bonding and communication for dogs.

Your dog could be licking you as a way to get your attention or just to express that they love you.

For some dogs however it can be a sign of anxiety, so if your dog is displaying signs of separation anxiety as well as licking you it's worth talking to your vet about potential remedies.

Why does my dog keep sneezing?

Unlike humans, dogs don't just sneeze when they're under the weather or their nose is irritated, they also sneeze to express excitement and joy.

These are called 'play sneezes' and you might have noticed your dog doing them in the middle of a play fight or when you're spending time with them.

There's also something called a 'reverse sneeze', a strange sound you may have heard your dog making that's actually a spasm used to clear their airways.

It can go on for up to a minute, and although it might sound quite scary it is completely normal and is most common amongst overweight and smaller dogs.

Why does my dog smell like fish?

If your dog smells like fish it's usually a sign of infection somewhere in their body.

The most common cause is an infection of their anal sacs which can be very painful if untreated for a long period of time.

If you notice your dog scratching, biting or licking its bottom as well as finding it hard to go to the toilet, take them to your vet to get antibiotics to treat the infection.

You can find the full list of queries on The Kennel Club's website, as well as plenty of advice on how to care for your dog.

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