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Why Are My Dogs Eating Grass?

Why Are My Dogs Eating Grass?

Why Are My Dogs Eating Grass?

Why Are My Dogs Eating Grass?

  • So your beloved dog is clearly acting like a cow and you are totally confused to why you just witnessed your dog eating grass. Thinking to yourself, you begin to wonder.. Is he hungry? Bored? or Sick?
  • Rest assured that you’re not alone in your concern, especially if your dog is eating grass and being sick.
  • The unsolved mystery deepens of why dogs eat grass. There have been a number of theories over the years as to why dogs eat grass and as yet, there is still not one meaningful explanation. I can say that I’ve witnessed a dog eating grass and accidentally getting a good nasal cleanse, as the thick blade of grass invades the nasal passage and explosively finds its way back out. Thou it is highly unlikely that the dog eating grass was intentionally cleaning out his nose!
  • A dog eating grass does not have the ability to digest it, as they lack the enzymes needed to break it down. Thus, there is little nutritional value in it for them. One reason for a dog eating grass may be due to feeling ill. It is possible that dogs eat grass as a temporary solution for stomach upsets.
  • On occasions, I have witnessed dogs that seem to lick at the air, often presenting with swallowing type behavior, then as if on a mission, make a mad dash outdoors to seek out a thick patch of the green stuff and frantically munch away until the urge eases. Then promptly throw up. Follow ups on some of these dogs,  endoscopically, has often revealed that they have an inflammatory condition in their stomachs or redness around the lower esophagus, which can indicate gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease. But whilst this is partially true other dogs who eat grass have no signs of any illness whatsoever. If your dog looks as if it is irritated and extends the neck and begins repeated swallowing motions, it may be time to visit your veterinarian to check out what might be happening. Diet may also play a role in these inflammatory conditions. Some dogs can also develop a form of stereotype behavior (obsessive-compulsive-disorder) and become obsessed on grass chewing, but this is relatively rare.
  • Then there are the select few who search diligently for that particular luscious, thick, juicy blade and then gently savor it. Only the finest blades for me, thank you, and only of particular types. These dogs seem to enjoy their habit and do not suffer any of the previously-reported repercussions, such as vomiting. Grass does not seem to hurt them as long as it doesn’t contain herbicides or other toxins.
  • Another possible answer to this question is that dogs have a instinctual craving for either the minerals that might be in grass, or the actual roughage and bulk that is found in the plant fibers themselves. There could actually be some truth to this answer.  In the wild, the present-day ancestors of our modern dog breeds (wolves, coyotes, the dingo, and foxes) eat mostly small, grass-eating, rodents:  mice, rats, rabbits, etc.  When these dogs consume their prey, they will usually consume as well the grass in the stomach of whatever critter they’ve just killed.  Therefore, it is thought that since dogs have evolved over time to be able to tolerate this grassy stomach contents of their prey as part of their regular diet, that there is something in their physiology that is satisfied whenever our pet dogs eat grass.  This possible answer is all well and good, except that there are a lot of dogs out there whose dogs have never eat grass.
  • The same is true regarding whether or not a dog or cat has intestinal worms.  There are dogs who eat grass and have worms, and there are dogs who eat grass who do not have worms.
  • Another common theory of why dogs eat grass is that dogs will eat grass and other indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry, or if their nutrition is poor. So this must always be a consideration. If you are preparing homemade food, be sure to consult your veterinarian or local pet store to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for your type of dog.
  • Dogs do tend to more omnivorous (meat and plant eaters) than cats, and many dogs would also like to eat far more than they’re fed in their daily meals. So in the absence of a midday snack, some may simply enjoy the process of eating. We can never really rule out that for some, a nice patch of tasty, clean, lush grass may simply be a mid-afternoon snack in the sun.
  • Personally I think the reason why dogs eat grass is simply because they like the way it tastes? 
  • So when should you call your veterinarian? If your grass eating dog experiences lethargy, diarrhea, or weight loss concurrent with grass-induced vomiting, he or she should see the veterinarian. If not, you can probably rest easy knowing that your dog is just doing what dogs do and that is why dogs eat grass…. :-)