Eating grass, roots and earth: looking for minerals?
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  • K

    Our 2 sisters Lela and Binti love to eat grass (also in the goose poo packaging), and lots of it. Binti is also aficionada to reed roots and earth (in modest quantities). The other day they devoured some spinach leaves someone had tossed out.
    They get good quality food and treats, but might this have to do with a mineral deficit?
    Any input welcome.

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  • T

    I call our Basenjis "goat dogs" because they love to chow down on the grass and weeds - that is often the first thing they start doing when we let them out in the yard, even before going potty. Ours get green beans with their food regularly, broccoli is also a big favorite, as is spinach - but not lettuce! I think they just like the flavor.

    Terry

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  • Most research suggests that they don't know why. :) It appears dogs eat grass and things because they taste good. That said, we had a Rottie (so one huge guy) who had to have surgery due to blockage from grass, so you really do want to limit the amt. I give mine a little herb salad stuff a few times a week when I have one and they love it, love lettuce all of it. And they'll still eat a little grass. I wouldn't worry about mineral or other deficits. :)

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  • Every Basenji that I have ever had has enjoyed grazing grass, especially the new grass in the Spring. I don't think that eating grass has anything to do with nutritional deficiencies. Mine also enjoy almost every kind of vegetable I give them. Tomatoes are a favorite but they also like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, carrots, etc. I sometimes use baby carrots as treats instead of dog biscuits and I give teething puppies cold carrots to soothe their gums. Raw veggies are great for dogs in modest quantities, of course. Now fruit is another story. They will eat apple slices but that's about it. Grapes are fun to play with but once they get squished they walk away from them lol.

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  • My guy eats grass to induce vomiting if he has a queasy stomach, and in the spring he seems to like to graze on the fresh spring grass. I discourage the practice as much as I can, because it is likely to result in vomiting if he gets too much. Interestingly, I have not yet had a Basenji that likes lettuce, although all of mine have enjoyed broccoli, green peppers, asparagus and a number of other vegetables. My current boy doesn't like green beans, but my previous dogs all did.

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  • V

    My female B LOVES the crunchy ribs of lettuce. My BRAT boy isn't quite so sure about this, but I don't think his first Mommy fed him lettuce. My female will also root/dig in the yard and eat roots & dirt. She does enjoy grass too but, boy oh boy, digging in the dirt is fun!!!! Just chalk it up to Bs being unique and just a little crazy!

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  • Mine eats the grass and the dirt with it, especially if it's damp or wet. He'll just jam his nose in the grass and pull up a chunk and eat it. When we go to the park and the grass is laying on top from the mower he'll scoop up and eat as much as possible. Rarely does he throw it up. It just comes out the other end, stringy poop. He'll just eat mud too without the grass.

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  • K

    Thanks, sounds like we have normal B's after all….

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  • I must be the odd man out…Oakley doesn't touch grass or dirt...he sniffs it but hasnt yet tried to eat it, but we know dogs who do it EVERYTIME they get the chance!

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  • MIne dig little holes and lick/eat the dirt both at the beach and at the dog park, fortunately not in our yard! They also graze on various grasses, especially tender spring greens. They also like almost all cooked veges, not many raw. The boys eat oranges, bananas and watermelon, most anything but Nicky is not a fruit eater. She will eat a half cup of dirt, when she finds just the right flavor!

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  • O

    Spencer likes most veggies (all the green ones) and hardly any fruit (unless it's in yogurt). One of his favorite culinary delights is a piece of lettuce from a hamburger, where he gets the bonus of meat flavor and juices. Yum! He wants no part of dirt and only eats grass when his tummy is upset. When I see him grazing in the yard, it's usually followed by the familiar ur-ur-ur, then… well you know what comes next.

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  • eee.efarm.. vet research response to dogs eating grass because they are sick and want to throw up–- which came first, the grass or the need to vomit. LOL they don't know, no "proof" either way.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    eee.efarm.. vet research response to dogs eating grass because they are sick and want to throw up–- which came first, the grass or the need to vomit. LOL they don't know, no "proof" either way.

    By observation I have concluded that most of mine use the grass when they are uncomfortable in their tummies. "Grazing" is more casual, not almost frantic, which I have seen immediately on letting the dog outside. Madly eating grass, followed by vomiting yellow bile. I don't know how you would go about "proving it" by research, but my niece who is a vet certainly has observed it in her own and other dogs, and has come to the same conclusion. But alas, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". :)

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  • T

    Another very good reason to NOT put chemicals on your lawn! We are 'all organic' here, which actually probably translates also to 'too lazy to go to all that fuss just to have green grass' LOL

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  • First Basenji's

    Hey, I recently was introduced toConcenTrace Trace Minerals and the website states: Pets?Ever noticed your pet eating grass or dirt? More than likely your pet is lacking essential minerals. For years, pet owners have added ConcenTrace? to their pet?s food and water. I started Uzie on them. I noticed what I call Snow Coning (digging a hole then eating/scraping the dirt like a snow cone….) The drops must be working, I don't crave dirt anymore!!!! He still does, but has only been on them for a few weeks......check it out. the health food store here sells a little .5 oz for just $1.99 and they go far.

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  • Okay I'll learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes! LOL eeeefarm, I have rarely had a dog throw up grass, been many years.

    So what happens– Arwen BEGGED to go out not 2 hours after she was just out. She is pretty honest, no fake needs, so I let her out, got her in, put her in bedroom and went for shower. Came in-- puke. Okay, puke with grass. Third small pile... a freaking Q-TIP (at least Larry breaks them in HALF but he knows not to put in bathroom trashcan). So okay I experienced my first "definitely ate grass to throw up" experience. Ick. And WHY do they have to do it in front of the door so you step in it before you can see it?

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    Okay I'll learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes! LOL eeeefarm, I have rarely had a dog throw up grass, been many years…......So okay I experienced my first "definitely ate grass to throw up" experience. Ick. And WHY do they have to do it in front of the door so you step in it before you can see it?

    LOL Debra! Maybe she was reading the thread and felt obliged to comment. :) Seriously, I have seen it off and on over the years, and mostly I can recognize it when it's a deliberate attempt to throw up, vs a dog who was "grazing" and overdid it with the inevitable consequences. At the moment, Perry likes grazing on the spring grass, and I yell at him when he does so. (usually he quits, with a "sorry Mom" look on his face) He is oblivious enough to possible consequences to come in before he starts to retch, and the worst thing is I am never sure he has ingested enough grass to cause a problem until I hear that unmistakable sound!

    Conversely, when he "wants to barf", he just gobbles the grass, then sits down with that "I'm going to puke" expression on his face, until he starts to retch. He doesn't attempt to come back inside. Fortunately I haven't had many episodes this spring.

    I did have one very upsetting incident a few years ago that was definitely triggered by stress…...my husband had neglected to take his roller ball treat out of his crate where it was locked to build anticipation.......and we were gone for a couple of hours, with poor Perry seeing but unable to access his treats. When I got home, I didn't immediately realize what had happened, but he wanted out urgently, and once outside began gobbling grass until he puked, then while retching fell over on his side and appeared to have a small seizure. Afterwards he was a little shaky, and then fine. No repeats, thank goodness, and it has been years since that incident.

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  • That would have been scary!

    LOL well she's been fine all day so yeah I think qtip expulsion was the need!

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  • D

    Our Lilly digs up dandelion roots which she loves to eat. She also likes the bitter tasting dandelion leaves and people eat them in salad as well so I let her eat them. She doesn't have any stomach problems after eating them and it may provide certain nutrients which are good for her. IDK.

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