Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

One of the most frequently asked questions by pet owners is “Why do dogs eat grass?” It’s a valid query, as almost all of the 400 million dogs on the planet seem to crave the green substance from time to time. Veterinarians have studied this behavior for years, arriving at a number of conclusions in the process. In the following article, we’ll take a look at the various reasons why dogs eat grass.

Is It Dangerous?

Many dog owners get nervous when they let their pet outside and see them chowing down on the front lawn. In other cases, their dog may vomit up a sizable portion of grass. But is it dangerous?

According to experts, it is not dangerous for your dog to eat grass. In fact, it may provide nutrients that your pet isn’t getting in their diet. Introducing cooked vegetables or natural herbs into their food may help curb their desire for grass.

While grass won’t hurt your dog’s tummy, it could be an indication of an internal problem. When a dog has an upset or gassy stomach, they may seek out grass as a way to induce vomiting. This occurs when the blades of ingested grass tickle the lining of the stomach and throat. After vomiting, the pet should feel better.

If your dog is gulping down large amounts of grass instead of chewing it, this may be what they’re trying to accomplish. It could also mean that something more serious is wrong. A distinct change in your dog’s grass-eating habits might warrant a trip to the vet, just to be on the safe side (especially if your pet shows other signs of discomfort or sickness).

Chemicals in Grass

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While grass growing in the countryside shouldn’t pose a risk to your animal, yards heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals might. If you or your neighbors use large amounts of herbicides on your lawn, you may want to use caution when your pet goes outside. If they eat grass treated with chemicals, they might ingest these toxic substances into their body and become ill.

If you want to be extra cautious, try growing an herbal garden indoors or keeping around a plate of untainted grass. When your pooch wants some roughage to nibble on, they’ll have an alternative to grass saturated with potentially lethal chemicals.

Scavengers

In case you haven’t noticed, dogs excel as scavengers. They’ll eat anything they find lying around, including dead animals and random pieces of debris. Their love of grass may have started early in the evolutionary process of canines, as they would entirely consume their prey, including the stomachs of plant-eating animals. And when they couldn’t catch enough prey to survive, the dog was forced to seek out alternative methods of survival such as berries and fruits. As centuries passed, the canine developed a taste for grass and plants to go along with their love of bones and meat. While they may no longer eat an entire animal carcass, their love of leafy green substances remains.

Fiber

Another answer to the question of “Why do dogs eat grass?” is fiber. If your dog isn’t getting enough fiber in their diet, they may seek to eat grass as a way to compensate. This can be remedied by buying a brand of dog food that’s high in fiber. Keep in mind, however, that these special types of food can be more expensive.

A cheaper alternative involves taking vegetables such as beans or broccoli, putting them in a blender, and then combining them with your pet’s normal serving of dog food. Start by adding a small amount, as it might take your dog some time to adjust to the new taste and consistency. As they slowly become accustomed to it, you can add in larger portions.

Summary

So why do dogs eat grass? They might simply like the taste, or they may not be getting enough fiber in their diet. If their stomach is upset, they may also eat grass as a way to induce vomiting and relieve internal discomfort. In some cases, gulping down large amounts of grass and then throwing up can be a sign of a more serious problem. As with any issue involving your dog, a trip to the vet should answer any nagging questions and give you peace of mind.