Can Dogs Eat Moss?

While playing outdoors, there’s every chance that your dog will eat anything it can find. Moss is pretty abundant outdoors, and your pup might come into contact with it. So, can dogs eat moss? You might have come across several dogs that actually like to eat moss, whether in fields, parks, or forests since moss can grow almost anywhere.

Moss is known to be toxic to dogs. If your dog eats moss, it will experience gastrointestinal irritation at most. Plus, moss can at times carry pesticides and insecticides that can be toxic to dogs.

Therefore, even though moss is mostly harmless, you need to be aware of the types and other factors that will help keep your dog safe. Let’s discuss.

Can moss be poisonous or toxic to my dog?

No, moss in its natural form is typically not harmful to dogs. Your dog may walk away without any symptoms after ingesting moss, depending on the breed. On the other hand, your dog can experience a few spells of diarrhea or loose stools.

In addition to that, moss grows in different varieties as well. Therefore, there is a huge chance that pesticides or insecticides are used to prevent both pests and insects from harming the crops or plants nearby. As a result, the moss can carry such toxic chemicals that can poison your dog upon digestion. Therefore, if your dog displays some symptoms after consuming moss, you should immediately provide medication.

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What would happen if my dog ate moss?

If your dog has come into contact with/ or eaten moss, it might display the following symptoms:

  • Digestive problems
  • Rashes
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes

Why does my dog like eating moss?

If you find your dog eating moss regularly, you should know that there are several reasons, some of which happen to be behavioral, while others are instinctual. To begin with, dogs like eating moss due to its taste, appearance, and texture.

With that said, your dog is most likely to eat moss in extreme excitement, having discovered something new they can eat.

Moss contains vitamins and minerals

Some experts believe that moss contains certain vitamins and minerals that are not present in commercial dog foods. As a result, dogs continue eating moss wherever they can find it.

Eating moss can be instinctual behavior

Another reason why your dog is eating moss can be attributed to the fact that dogs are the descendants of wolves. Even though these wild canines are meant to prey, they still eat various plants, grass, and moss. With that said, it should not be a surprise to find out that domesticated dogs have developed a taste for moss and other natural produce.

Your dog might have pica

Moreover, suppose you observe that neither instinct nor aesthetics is the reason behind your dog eating moss. In that case, it might be due to pica, which is an underlying medical condition that provokes dogs to eat non-food items. As a result, your dog might try eating wood, plastic, etc.

Your dog might be bored

The final reason dogs like eating moss is that they are bored. Sometimes, when dogs do not receive enough attention or stimulation, they will look for something to help expel the energy. Therefore, most of it is utilized while munching or playing around with something they have just recently discovered. This might also lead to curiosity, provoking your dog to eat moss, which it has never done before.

What are the risks of eating moss for dogs?

Your dog might love eating moss due to its taste and texture and out of curiosity as well, but you need to keep in mind that several moss varieties are harmful.

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Mosses like peat moss, rock moss, and moss rose are known to be dangerous to dogs. They could easily result in poisoning.

To help differentiate, rock moss is usually found alongside the bank of rivers and in shady parts of the woods. Plus, they are also found sticking to large trees or rocks. Meanwhile, peat and moss rose are also used for gardening and found in households.

Poolside moss may contain bacteria and chlorine

If you have a pool, you should be aware of the slimy moss as it can also be toxic to your dog. It is mostly found in the wet areas of the pool and might contain algae, bacteria, and chlorines. Therefore, it could harm your dog and your family members.

Moss may contain pesticides and insecticides

Apart from the risk of moss containing pesticides and insecticides, fertilizers can also prove to be a health risk for your dog. Experts suggest that you keep your dog away for at least two days after spraying fertilizers on plants.

Can cause mouth injuries and blockages

Finally, eating moss can sometimes lead to blockages and mouth injury since moss can sometimes have pebbles, stones, and tiny sticks in them. Upon eating moss, these things can lead to blockages in the intestines as well as the airway. It might also be that the small pebbles accumulate inside the dog’s stomach, resulting in stomach aches or other painful health concerns.

How can I prevent my dog from eating moss?

Even if you closely monitor your dog’s activities, it is still quite difficult to keep them from eating almost everything they can find. This is especially true for puppies. Therefore, you should utilize some redirecting techniques and use positive reinforcement to prevent your dog from eating moss.

Redirecting your dog is the easiest technique, which requires using a treat to distract the dog as soon as it comes across some moss. Plus, you can also redirect them towards a game or activity to distract them.

Furthermore, you can strictly train your dog to stay away from moss and then reward them for their good behavior. If you find out that your dog is investigating moss, you should immediately shout “No”. This way, your dog will remember that it will be punished for something it should not be doing in the future.

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Which moss is safe for dogs?

The following mosses are safe for dogs:

  • Ball moss
  • Irish moss
  • Spanish moss
  • Sphagnum moss

Related FAQs to whether dogs can eat moss

Are dogs allergic to moss?

Even though there are very few cases of dogs being allergic to moss, that does not mean it is impossible. Moss types like Irish moss are not toxic to dogs, but if your dog has an underlying medical condition, it might experience some reactions upon ingesting it.

Is sphagnum moss toxic to dogs?

No sphagnum moss is not toxic to dogs according to the list of toxic plants for cats and dogs by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Is moss rose poisonous to dogs?

Yes, moss rose is poisonous to dogs. If your dog has eaten moss rose, it will display clinical symptoms like sleepiness, incoordination, low body temperature, low blood pressure, and even coma in worst-case scenarios.

Is sea moss good for my dog?

Yes, sea moss is good for dogs. It contains fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and other minerals. Sea moss is used for digestive problems and respiratory conditions.

My dog ate fake moss; what to do?

If your dog ate fake moss, it might vomit and experience nausea and diarrhea. Call the vet immediately for proper guidance.

Why do dogs eat dirt and moss?

Dogs are most likely to eat dirt and moss due to stress or boredom. Plus, it might also be that they smelled something tasty in the mud. And some experts are of the view that it could also signal a lack of proper nutrition or an underlying health condition.

Concluding our thoughts on whether dogs can eat moss

Even though moss is typically not harmful but that does not mean you should ignore the important factors surrounding it. Poisonous moss can be found pretty much anywhere, and your dog can easily ingest it. Therefore, if your dog has lately been playing around with moss, you need to keep your pup away from it. Use some treats or activities to help distract your dog and produce and expel energy the right way.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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