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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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Hi, I wonder if you can help me. I have an English Pointer

Customer Question

Hi, I wonder if you can help me. I have an English Pointer Setter who is generally very healthy. He has 2hr daily walks and has a diet of rice, chicken/mince and some vegetables. He has 2 healthy meals a day although I do not feed him dog food. He has recently started to eat grass while out on his walks. He seems to be particular in choosing which grass he eats as he doesn't eat every type he comes across, and seems to enjoy eating it.
Many thanks,
John.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

JACUSTOMER-png5ry1s- :

Hi, I wonder if you can help me. I have an English Pointer Setter who is generally very healthy. He has 2hr daily walks and has a diet of rice, chicken/mince and some vegetables. He has 2 healthy meals a day although I do not feed him dog food. He has recently started to eat grass while out on his walks. He seems to be particular in choosing which grass he eats as he doesn't eat every type he comes across, and seems to enjoy eating it. Many thanks, John.

Dr. Joey :

Grass eating is a common normal dog behavior. In the absence of other signs of illness (vomiting, loose stool, appetite loss, etc) it is highly unlikely to be a response to physical illness. I always offer my dog owner a work up if you feel this is a bizarre new behaivor or he does have other signs, but be aware that it will likely be a low yield fishing expedition.

Dr. Joey :

Possible causes this in Barney:
A. he likes tender, young spring grasses
B. he gets bored, tired, overworked during the walk so he stops and noshes (maybe a bit of a displacement behavior)

Dr. Joey :

Let me reassure you that this usually does not signal a nutritional deficiency (dogs cannot find much nutrition from grasses). However, if he has started ingesting all kinds of odd things, then he might have something nutritional going on (we call ingestion of odd items pica). In that case he should see his veterinarian for some blood testing. I assume since you are making your own food that you supplement him with both a vitamin tablet and the essential enzymes that he needs to ensure that he is getting a balanced diet (or that you are following a recipe as put together by a veterinary nutritionist). There is a high risk of home prepared diets not being balanced. But I do not think grass eating indicates unabalanced diet necessarily since so many dogs do this normally. Sometimes it starts later in life because a blade falls into the dog's mouth while sniffing and they get a taste for it.

Dr. Joey :

Please let me know your questions.

JACUSTOMER-png5ry1s- :

The grass eating does not bother me so much now that you have explained but he does have a particular fox odour when he goes to the toilet and there are obvious signs that the grass is not being digested.

Dr. Joey :

Yes, it usually would not be well digested. I would only be very concerned if you feel that his stool is loose or he is having other symptoms. If not, then monitor and do not be too concerned. If, however, you feel that her stool is looser than normal, of an abnormal color or this odor is quite foul, then it would be a good idea to consult with your vet and perhaps have a stool sample evaluated.

JACUSTOMER-png5ry1s- :

Thank you for your advise, I think this is just what we will do. How are we able to come back to you directly if we have any future queries or questions?

Dr. Joey :

Please keep me posted. I am always happy to answer followup questions. You can reply to this question at any time to submit a followup. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. If there’s anything else I can do, let me know – it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope to assist you again soon! Kindly submit a rating as you exit our chat.

Dr. Joey :

When you reply in the future we will not be in "live chat mode" but in question/answer (which works through email).

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