Why Has Your Dog Suddenly Started Eating Dead Leaves?

13 May 2019
 Categories: , Blog

You'll have got used to your dog's typical patterns of behaviour over the years, but that doesn't mean that your pet won't sometimes surprise you.  Sometimes, dogs do something odd that makes you stop and think. 

For example, your dog may suddenly have started to eat dead leaves in your garden or when you take it out for walks. It's never done this before so you may be a bit worried.

Why is your dog eating leaves and do you need to do anything about it?

Changes in Routine

Dogs sometimes do new things when there has been a change in their normal routine. For example, a dog may act differently if they are bored or aren't getting their usual amount of exercise.

Think about whether things have changed recently. For example, you may have had to cut down on your dog walks because you've been ill. Or, you may have been extra busy at work and haven't been able to spend as much time at home with your pet as usual.

If your dog is bored or unexercised, then it may be looking for new ways to entertain itself or fill their time. Eating leaves may just seem like a fun or interesting idea to your dog at this stage. 

Nutritional Changes or Deficiencies

Dogs may sometimes eat dead leaves because of a nutritional problem. For example, if they lack fibre, then their bodies may be telling them that they need more. This may lead your dog to eat leaves to supplement their fibre intake. 

If you've recently changed your dog's food, then your pet may not be getting all the nutrition it needs. Some dog foods contain a lot of padding, meaning that these ingredients don't have a lot of nutritional content and are simply there to fill your dog up.

Even if there haven't been any changes to your dog's diet, your pet may be reacting to a longstanding deficiency that has just built up over time. If it feels it needs fibre, it will seek it out. 

While eating leaves may not harm your dog, this isn't a habit you should encourage. If boredom or a change in routine is causing the problem, then your dog may stop eating leaves once things get back to normal. If it doesn't, then think about taking your dog to the vet. 

Your vet can give your dog a check-up to make sure it is OK. They can also give you advice on nutrition if you need it. For example, your vet may recommend that you add some vegetables to your dog's diet if it likes eating plants and may need extra fibre.  It's best to introduce new foods with vet guidance, as they can safely tell you which vegetables to use and how much to give your pet to avoid upsetting its stomach.

Contact your local vet clinic for more information on what you can do if you notice changes in your dog's eating behaviours.