How many times you have found your dog eating grass, a bit worried and perhaps confused too? Most dog owners must have seen their dog eating grass at least once in their life time. Not just that you might have also heard retching noise followed by vomiting. However, should you be really worried about it? The answer is a big no.
A Common Disorder – Pica
The technical term for this type of disorder in which a dog eats grass is pica, and this is what happens when the dog eats things that are not termed as food. It sometimes indicates that the dog has some kind of deficiency; however, this is generally when the puppies are bored.
Dog Eating Grass and Vomiting
Eating grass and vomiting is a common practice of dogs. It is completely natural, and can also be observed in wild dogs. Veterinarians do not consider this an abnormal behavior. A survey about dogs eating plants showed that grass is the plant most commonly eaten by dogs with this disorder.
Reasons Why do Dogs Eat Grass?
Although even veterinary experts cannot give the exact reasons for such behavior of dogs, some of the most believed of those include:
- A few experts are of the view that dogs eat grass to make themselves feel better when they are unwell. However, the idea is disputed by many by saying that dogs do not have the wisdom to use grass as a remedy. Also, careful analysis shows most dogs are not unwell before eating grass.
- Other experts believe that the reason for this behavior can be a natural. They might do this to treat intestinal worms or parasites and improve digestion in turn. This may be a behavior inherited from the ancestors.
- Another simple reason that can be concluded is that a dog simply likes the taste of grass. It is suggested that this taste reminds them of their prey. The prey of dog mainly consists of herbivores and there is undigested plant matter in their stomach. It is possible that eating grass is reminiscent of the taste of its natural prey.
- Another reason may be that they are fulfilling certain nutritional needs which are not met. However, this reason is dismissed by most vets.
Should the dog be stopped from eating grass?
Although most vets agree that grass is not harmful for dogs but they should still be stopped in case the lawn has been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. These are generally used in lawns and can be harmful for the dog if ingested. They can lead to pet poisoning. There are also some plants that are poisonous for dogs.
It is important to stop dogs from grazing in lawns that have been freshly treated with chemicals. You can allow them to graze in lawns that are provided with some doggy grass free from any kind of chemicals. Be careful to not walk them in lawns that have been treated using toxic substances.
If Your Dog Is Eating Grass On Regular Basis You Should Visit a Vet
The important point to note here is that if the dog does this on regular basis, it is important to consult a vet and get this behavior checked. The dog may be suffering from some gastrointestinal problems. Normally, grass passes down the dog’s digestive tract easily; however, there are a few things that should be taken care of.
Thick stemmed and non-cultivated grass may have barbs that can cut dog’s esophagus. This may also result in the presence of some blood in the dog’s vomit.
How stop the dog from eating grass?
Here are a few points that if kept in mind can prevent a dog from eating grass.
- The owner of dog should ensure that it is getting enough exercise. Try to engage it in interesting activities like Frisbee tossing or playing some other interesting and interactive game. You can also buy chew toy to keep him busy. The main motive behind these things is that the dog should be kept occupied in something or the other to prevent it from getting bored.
- If however you feel that the dog is eating grass due to nutritional deficiency then switch to a food which is better. A food rich in fiber can help alleviate the problem.
Often, it is believed that the dogs are carnivorous. However, it is not the exact word that explains the eating habits of dog. The fact is dogs are omnivorous and they can eat meat as well as green plants. Almost every dog nibbles grass at times, and some dogs eat the grass all the time.
This certainly arises a question that why do dogs eat grass. Do they like the taste of grass or grass is a part of their dietary needs? And if the answer is yes, why does it cause vomiting after all? There are certain theories and beliefs that may help you to find the answer to why do dogs eat grass.
Dogs May Eat Grass to Fulfill a Nutritional Requirement
Truthfully, no expert or vet can tell you the rightful answer to the question why do dogs eat grass. However, according to the theories when dogs are not fed well, at that time they nibble grass to fulfill the requirements of nutrients for their body. This theory is contradictory to the belief that eating grass induces vomiting in dogs.
Well, a survey on why do dogs eat grass suggest that dogs rarely vomit after eating grass. This survey reports also suggest that eating grass is a normal habit of dogs. So, if your dog has this habit then you must not worry about.
However, it is also a fact that grass have 98% of water and carbohydrate. Moreover, grasses have lower levels of any other kind of nutrients. This doesn’t prove that grasses are essential for fulfilling the need of nutrients.
Dogs Eat Grass Because of Their Evolutionary Genes
Genetic inheritance is another theory that provides adequate correlation of why do dogs eat grass. It is a fact that wolves are the ancestors of dog. And, possibly the best answer to why do dogs eat grass is their ancestor’s eating behavior.
Usually, when wolves kill their prey, which are mostly herbivores, they end up eating plants and berries from the intestine and stomach of their prey. This could have developed a craving of green plants in wolves.
Dogs Eat Grass Because They Crave for Green Plants
The exact reason of why do dogs eat grass is yet not clear. But, it is certain that eating grass do not help a dog in either way. According to the theories of why do dogs eat grass, it is concluded that occasionally a dog crave for green plants.
To eliminate this habit you can add tomatoes, chopped apples or carrots in raw form or steamed. Also, be sure that raisins, grapes and onions are not included in their dietary, as these are toxic food to dogs. Some experts also suggest that adding a sprinkle of bran or broccoli to the dietary may suppress the grass-eating cravings of a dog.