So, your puppy is eating grass, and you’re thinking ‘what are they doing?’ Well, don’t worry! This is completely normal. It is instinctive and natural for dogs to eat grass. While this may be true, you don’t want your pooch eating their brand new real-grass toilet. Read on to learn why your pup eats grass, when you should be concerned and how to keep your pup piddling, not nibbling on their Piddle Patch!
My puppy is eating grass, why does this happen?
A lot of dog owners, especially new dog owners, think that eating grass is harmful for their pup, or even the sign of a disease. But, don’t worry! Eating grass is completely normal behaviour for puppies. In fact, all dogs will have a nibble on some grass at one point or another. Here are some of the reasons puppies eat grass:
- Inquisitive – Puppies like to learn by using their mouths, so eating the grass is an instinctive way to explore and get a feel for what the item is that they’re interacting with.
- Yum Yum Yum – put simply, dogs enjoy the taste of grass. Especially when it’s fresh during the spring and summer months. As long as it doesn’t become excessive, it’s absolutely fine for your pup to eat a blade or two!
- Boredom – if your dog hasn’t had enough stimulation from walks and play, they may turn to other sources to keep themselves entertained. This could be the reason why your pooch is having a nibble.
When should I be concerned that my puppy is eating grass?
While it is normal behaviour for pups of all ages to chew grass, there are certain circumstances where you should be concerned. If you are worried about any of your puppies eating habits, speak to your vet! Take a look at some examples of when your puppy eating grass could be concerning:
- Pesticides: be mindful of where you’re walking your pup and what may be on the grass. For example, if you’re walking through farmland during summer, chances are the grass has been sprayed with nasty chemicals!
- Herbivore: if your pooch starts to stop eating their food, and solely eats grass, then this is cause for concern. They could be experiencing digestive problems in this case.
- Excess: while eating grass is completely normal, you don’t want it to become obsessive. Ensure you are keeping an eye on how much grass your pooch is consuming.
- Vomit: if your pup is eating grass and vomiting frequently, this is definitely a concern, and you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
How to stop your puppy eating their Piddle Patch
While chewing on some grass is completely normal behaviour for your inquisitive four-legged friends. You probably don’t want them to tear your brand new Piddle Patch to pieces. Here are our tips on how to stop your dog from nibbling on their Piddle Patch real grass puppy pad, and to get them to start pottying on it instead:
1) Set boundaries on how your pup interacts with the grass while learning.
Take your puppy away from their Piddle Patch if they insist on eating it, and help them burn some energy through either walkies or play. Then, once they’ve calmed down, reintroduce them to it.
Like adults, it can be difficult to focus when there’s something new and exciting to explore, so introducing the Piddle Patch again when your puppy is calm is an important first step. Doing so at a time when you know they will need to potty soon will also be a tremendous help.
It’s important that your pup has a feeling of fullness in their bladder when you take them to their Piddle Patch, as this will help them to make the connection between that feeling of fullness they have, with the purpose of their Piddle Patch potty.
If you are not sure whether your pup is showing any signs of readiness to potty, you might find it helpful to track their sleep, food, and toileting habits throughout the day to see if you can recognise any common themes in their schedule or behaviour.
Many dogs start showing signs that they need to potty. Common signs to look out for include:
- Sniffing the floor
- Looking restless
- Going into a room or to a space they’ve previously been to the toilet in
- Wandering away from family
- Running to the door
For more tips and tricks on how to potty-train your lil’ fur ball, take a look at our expert guide on How to Toilet Train a Puppy Fast.
2) Start by putting your dog in a collar and lead
This will help you better direct their early interactions with the grass and allow you to redirect your puppy if they try to play or nibble instead of investigating it for potty purposes.
If your puppy seems more interested in trying to eat the grass, than going to the toilet on it, take them away for five minutes and play with them, before bringing them back to try again.
3) Establish a recognisable word or phrase for potty time
You can encourage your dog to use their lovely new fresh grass dog toilet by choosing a command word or phrase, like “go pee” or “potty time.” Whatever your chosen term, just make sure that you say it consistently when it’s time for them to go potty. Eventually, your pup will understand that the command means that it’s time to head to the grass and relieve themselves. This will be a helpful skill throughout life, as your pup will understand the command outside the house too, making it useful before entering locations like a café or train station.
4) Put a border around the Piddle Patch
If the grass tickles your puppy’s nose when they are close by, and distracts them from further engaging it, you may find it helpful to put a Piddle Patch wooden sleeve around your Piddle Patch grass and tray. This will help to create a solid border around the grass, which prevents grass ends from tickling and distracting them. As a bonus, the Piddle Patch wooden sleeve looks super stylish in your home! [Add link]
5) Praise your dog when they’re successful.
When your dog uses their Piddle Patch fresh grass potty pad, shower them with praise and immediately offer them a treat. Dogs naturally want to please their owners, so rewarding the right behaviour with praise will go a long way to building a strong and trusting bond with your dog.
6) Never scold them for accidents
It’s important to remember that toilet training your dog is a learning process, and mistakes will happen on occasion. Don’t be afraid to pick your puppy up, if they’re going potty somewhere they shouldn’t, and carry them to their fresh grass puppy pad so that they can finish up in the right location. Do not acknowledge or scold your dog for any accidents they have, as this may encourage them to do stealth pees and poops around the home, or they may mistake the attention you give them as being something to seek out and this can encourage them to do it all over again. Instead, focus on praising and rewarding your puppy for doing it correctly.
My Puppy is Eating Grass – Final Thoughts
As we now know, when your puppy is eating grass, they are acting instinctively, and it’s nothing to worry about. What we don’t want is them to be nibbling on their new puppy potty, by following our expert guidelines, your pooch should know the difference between piddle and nibble!
Remember that your goal in this process is to help your puppy make the connection that when there is a feeling of fullness in their bladder or bowels, it’s time to go potty. Bringing them to their Piddle Patch grass toilet when it’s time to go potty, establishing a consistent routine, and rewarding them when they do it right, is integral to the process.
While some dogs learn this process quickly and intuitively with their fresh grass dog toilet, for others it can take a little time and patience. But know that it won’t be long until your pup is house-trained and understands that the grass is for pees and poops only.
We hope this guide is helpful, and you now understand why your puppy is eating grass!
For more top tips on how to train your pooch, take a look at our Training Tips Hub. Here you’ll find everything you need to know, from toilet training at night, to caring for your Piddle Patch.