Willy eats grass and throws it up... daily! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Willy eats grass and throws it up... daily!

OK, so maybe it's not daily, but it's been 2 out of the past 3 days and we can't seem to get him to stop.

Willy is just 1 year old, and every morning he goes out in the yard (before breakfast). He's often a slow eater, sometimes waiting until mid-morning to eat his breakfast (2 meals a day, 1/2 cup Avoderm each).

He's done this in the past, but more lately, where he sits at the edge of the lawn and eats grass (I've even seen ants where he hangs out). Then he doesn't eat his breakfast and a few hours later, throws up this lovely yellowish goop with blades of grass in it. He then drags around the house the rest of the day, and may slowly eat his dinner... but not always.

How do I teach him that eating grass is not good! I have tried keeping him inside until he has his own breakfast, but he's stubborn and will even skip a meal if he really doesn't want to. And really... In can't keep him inside all day, he loves being outside and watching people go by (so he can bark and wag at them).

Any ideas? We've tried "juicing" up his food to make it more appealing (a little cheese, a little chicken), but as I said, he's stubborn.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 12:45 PM
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If this has only been happening the last couple of days, he's probably not actually sick, but if it continues I'd take him to a vet. With that in mind, here's what I'd do:

If he's going outside to pee/poop I would put a leash on him so you can make sure he doesn't eat grass. Secondly, I know he probably loves going outside but if it's making him sick due to not eating his breakfast and eating grass instead, it's in his best interest to not go outside until you can nip this in the bud. So as hard as it might be, I'd keep him inside until you can be sure that he'll eat his breakfast first.

Do not try to make his breakfast more appetizing to him, you are only catering to his demands. Honestly, I would put down his breakfast for 20 minutes - and 20 minutes only! - and then take it up. Even if he hasn't eaten! Put the kibble (if that's what you feed) in a plastic baggie so that it doesn't go stale. For dinner, the *same exact* kibble goes back in the bowl and on the floor for another 20 minutes. If he doesn't eat, take it back up again. He will *not* starve! I promise you that. Dogs can go 3-4 days without food and if he's very stubborn he just might. Don't give in and make sure not to give him any treats at this time. I can't stress enough that the will NOT starve himself (unless he's actually sick, which you should confirm with your vet if you're worried). If you give in he will know that he can just go on a food strike for a while and something even MORE yummy will be coming. Trust me, he will eat eventually. And once you can be sure that he's eating more regularly, then you can start letting him outside.

But really, you should be supervising him at all times and if you catch him start to eat grass, get his attention and move him away from that spot. If he won't come to you, pick him up and put him back in the house. He will eventually understand that when he eats grass the fun is over.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 03:22 PM
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One of mine will do this too- I think they are eating grass cuz their tummy doesn't feel good (cuz it's empty)- yet they dont' know why it doesnt feel good. One think you can try is giving a small treat when he first wakes up, then do what Lina suggested and have him potty in the morning on a leash. Offer him breakfast about an hour after he wakes (sometime just a little water sprinkled on the food will help them eat)-
hope this helps!


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 03:27 PM
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Murphy eats grass, and all sorts of stuff, when he's outside. He woke us up this morning at 5am sick in his crate. He's done this before so for a while we'll trail right behind him and if he tries to eat the grass we make the "ssssssttt" noise and if he doesn't stop immediately he gets picked up and brought inside.

In the past I've also sprayed things I don't want him to eat with a mix of vinegar and water. (Rabbit poo.)

You could also take him out on a leash in a different area where there isn't anything to eat. Walk him until he does his pee/poo and come right back in. When I take them out for a quick potty I tell them to go potty. If we're out to play I tell them we're going to play. Who knows how much they understand but it usually works!

Good luck to you! I hate cleaning up doggie throw up!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 03:41 PM
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If Willy is lethargic the rest of the day there may be health issues and you might want to at least give your vet a call.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 03:47 PM
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I know this goes against the common thinking. But since my boys have been on raw...they have never turned their nose up at a meal. Jasper used to eat grass and throw up bile as a puppy from hunger but he has not thrown up in over a year. And he has more energy than ever. And I don't mean this as an advertisement for NV, because I don't think it is the food, but that he is actually eating 2 meals a day. I honestly think sometimes they turn their nose up at foods that also don't make them feel well.

Now Jasper still thinks he is a sheep and loves grazing on grass...but he never throws up. I've been told that crab grass is sweet.




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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 08:29 PM
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Nala was doing this for a while and now I feed her a quick snack before I take her out. This has really cut out on the munching of the grass. I am trying to fatten her up a bit. It's challenging because she can't have a lot of fattening foods becuase of liver issues. I am happy she stopped eating grass (mostly).

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 09:03 AM
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My guys have been on raw for about 2yrs and they absolutely LOVE eating grass. They eat it as if they were cows. Brando never throws up but Bogart, within 30 sec he vomits. Yet 5 min later he would try to eat the grass again. They seem to like the long grass. When we walk by short grass, they leave it alone. But as soon as we walk buy some longer type grass, it's time to lay down in it and start munching.

I've taken to keeping Bogart short on the leash when we walk by long grass and let it out when it's short. I also watch him when he's smelling the grass so he doesn't try to get a quick bite in. He's very sneaky! Watch out with the morning grass that still has some dew on it. They love that even more!

Other than that, there's not much one can do. Just keep in mind that throwing up frequently from eating grass puts a strain on the liver, so you definitely want to curb it as much as possible.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, dogs primarily eat grass because they like the taste, rarely because they are sick.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 09:12 AM
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Now I am nervous. Both of mine eat their fair share of grass. I never considered it harmful. They never have vomited it back up but I have seen it come out the other end.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielBMe View Post
My guys have been on raw for about 2yrs and they absolutely LOVE eating grass. They eat it as if they were cows. Brando never throws up but Bogart, within 30 sec he vomits. Yet 5 min later he would try to eat the grass again. They seem to like the long grass. When we walk by short grass, they leave it alone. But as soon as we walk buy some longer type grass, it's time to lay down in it and start munching....
Contrary to what a lot of people think, dogs primarily eat grass because they like the taste, rarely because they are sick.
I happened to discuss this very thing with the veterinarian allergist last night and he was commenting on how some dogs are just grazers and most dogs like the longer grass. Cows, sheep, goats, etc. eat the shorter grass because it is sweeter but most dogs prefer the longer grass (definitely Cody & Tess' preference!). Sometimes it's almost like they use it for floss! Mine both seem to like the rough texture of the long grass also. And you're right, if it's wet, even better!

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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