Why Dogs Eat House Plants

by Elton Dunn
    Historically, plants were an important part of dog diets.

    Historically, plants were an important part of dog diets.

    Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    Dogs may snack on house plants for a variety of reasons, so observe your canine's behavior for clues to his motivation. So long as your house plants aren't toxic, the behavior won't harm your dog. Your plants, on the other hand, may get raggedy if they become Fido's favorite snack.

    Upset Stomach

    Many dogs turn to grass as a natural remedy for an upset stomach. As they gulp down clumps of grass, the blades tickle their throats and can prompt a vomit that relieves tummy troubles. If your dog has an upset stomach and cannot access fresh grass, he may turn to your house plants for similar relief.

    Diet Deficiency

    Some dogs start munching on house plants to gain nutrients. Plants contain essential vitamins and nutrients your dog's diet may lack, especially if he only eats kibble. If you notice your dog eats house plants, grass and other green things, add some green veggies into his diet. Try salad greens, spinach or kale. Avoid feeding green vegetables that have been cooked with onions and garlic, since these are toxic to dogs.

    Pica

    Dogs who eat all manner of strange things -- such as house plants, rocks and clothes -- have the medical condition pica. According to the Humane Society, veterinarians do not understand what causes pica. Some suggest it may be attention-seeking behavior; others think it's play gone too far or a way to express feelings of anxiety and frustration. If you think your dog may have pica because he eats house plants and other items, consult your veterinarian for ways to mitigate the condition.

    Considerations

    Many house plants are toxic to dogs. These include amaryllis, asparagus fern, cyclamen, ivy, poinsettia, elephant ear, lily, pothos, jade and aloe. Dogs can experience health problems ranging from difficulty swallowing and vomiting to seizures and death from munching on these plants. If your dog enjoys eating house plants, move toxic plants far out of his reach.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!