Are you ever walking your dog and wonder why they eat grass? One small-scale study of 49 dog owners whose dogs had regular access to grass and other plants found that 79% of the dogs had eaten plants at some time. Another survey about plant-eating dogs found that grass was the most commonly eaten plant.
Ever wonder why they do it? Is it safe? We have answers.
Why do dogs eat grass?
- Dogs may eat grass to induce vomiting
It is thought that eating grass can cause vomiting, so one theory suggests that if a dog has an upset stomach, he may instinctively eat grass as a way to make himself vomit.
- Dogs may eat grass for the nutrition
If your dog’s diet lacks fiber, some believe he will eat grass to make up for the nutrient deficiency.
- Dogs may eat grass because it’s a natural behavior
Some researchers don’t believe dogs eat grass to induce vomiting or to supplement their nutrient intake. Rather, they view grass-eating as a natural behavior that some dogs enjoy or do when they’re bored. The behavior also could have evolved from wild dogs who ate plants to help control intestinal parasites and to increase intestinal motility.
What to watch for:
- Pesticides — Follow recommendations from manufactures, and ensure any pesticides or chemicals you use on your lawn are safe for pets.
- Toxic plants — While grass isn’t toxic, other plants in and around your outdoor space can cause serious health problems for your dog.
- Hard materials — If consumed, rocks, sticks, and mulch can become lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and require surgery to remove.
- Parasites — Intestinal parasites are passed through feces. Even after the feces is picked up, infective larvae remain, and if your dog eats the larvae, he may develop an intestinal infection that leads to gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
If your dog does eat grass and something seems off, please contact us immediately for help.