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

Elton Dunn is a freelance writer with over 14 years experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, technology, beauty and fashion writing. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Emerson College.

Trending Dog Behavior Articles

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