Why is my dog acting "weird?"
This is the main question you're trying to answer. We know our dogs so well that when they start acting even a little out of the ordinary, we notice it. It worries us. But sometimes a dog behaving strangely is not cause for concern and can be explained easily.
What is strange about my dog's behavior?
If you only ask yourself one question, ask this one. This is the information you will need to share with your vet, or whoever you turn to for advice. In the case of the woman I mentioned earlier, her dog was not just eating grass: he was gulping it down and then sometimes throwing up afterward. It is this latter part that worried her. Was something in the grass poisoning her dog?
When and where is my dog displaying the strange behavior?
If your usually quiet dog starts whining every time he sees a particular item, you can deduce that the behavior is connected to the item somehow. This is true for many other behaviors. Many times dogs change their behavior when they are stressed out. Excessive yawning, for instance, can mean your dog is feeling anxious. Keeping a close eye on when and where your dog is when he acts strange can help you figure out what is making him act that way.
The grass eating dog's owner noticed that the dog was not picky about where or when he ate grass. But she also noticed that he was only throwing up if he ate it on their morning walk, about half an hour after her dog usually ate. Now that she had all this information, it was time to take it to someone who could help her.
Who can I turn to for help?
First and foremost, you can turn to your vet. Your veterinarian knows a lot about your dog (and about dogs in general, of course!) so he or she should be the first person you go to it you are worried about your dog acting strange. If the information you've gathered about your dog's strange behavior is still worrying, your vet will be able to use that information to come up with a reason for your dogs problem or behavior. Your vet can also check if your dog's strange behavior is caused by something more serious like an illness.
Once you have enough information, you can also try searching for information on the Internet. Many people do this. However, I can't recommend it entirely, because you never know if the information you find is true. Every dog is also different, so what is true for someone's dog on the Internet is not necessarily true for your dog.
What I do recommend is using Just Answer to get a second opinion. Just Answerlets you ask a question about your dog's health and behavior, and in return you get a personalized answer from a certified vet. The vets on Just Answer are verified by a Fortune 500 firm, and all have many years of experience in the field. This service is something you can use if you are worried about your dog but want a second opinion before you go to visit your own vet.
The woman who came to visit me about her grass-eating dog already came prepared with some extra information she had gathered about her dog's issue. She had been told that grass eating is usually not something to worry about. I was able to confirm this - dogs usually eat grass because it has some nutrients that might be missing from their diet. They also often eat grass to self-medicate if they have an upset or gassy stomach, and her dog's throwing up was caused by this.
I made sure her dog was otherwise healthy and recommended that she add a scoop of cooked vegetables to her dog's diet to provide him with the missing nutrients. The dog still eats grass once in a while, but not as often as before. And the woman is happy and worry free because she took all the right steps and asked all the right questions about her dog's strange behavior.