Many pet owners are alarmed when their fur babies are acting or eating strange. You usually wonder whether people’s foods are safe to share with your pet. Thus, seeing them munching something peculiar can bring more worries over their health. One of the most frequently raised questions among pet parents is, why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs seem to like chewing on plants and grass for no specific reasons. And typically, they gag and vomit the grass they have eaten. Then, they start to eat more grass! In some cases, they chow down a lot of these greens and pass it in their stool undigested.
Have you noticed your pooches trying to force themselves to gag and vomit by eating weeds on your lawn? Is there any particular reason that they like eating grass? We’ll try to answer these questions and more about the mystery of this strange eating habit that almost all pooches have.
Is It Okay For A Dog To Eat Grass?
While we say that canines are carnivores, they are more like omnivores. They like to eat both meat and plant foods. Wild pups and those who hunt frequently ingest their prey’s insides, including all the gut contents. Sometimes it contains plant material.
Sometimes, grass and its awns can become lodged in a canine’s throat or between its teeth. If your pet wretches after munching on grass, a lodged piece is probably the cause. But generally, grazing or eating untreated grass is safe for your pets.
Grass-eating is normal behavior for canines. But there are grass seeds with chemicals that are harmful if ingested. Lawn sprays, especially fertilizers and weed control, can make the weeds and plants highly-toxic for pets. If you are not sure whether the area is chemical-free or not, don’t allow your canine friend to graze. Likewise, while it is entirely okay for a dog to eat grass, there are common weeds and ornamental plants that are toxic to them.
Benefits Dogs Can Get When Eating Grass
Most pet parents think that dog eating grass is peculiar. However, most veterinarians speak of specific health benefits and reasons your pet might be doing it. Is grass good for dogs? Here are some instances when your grazing and munching on weeds can help your pets.
- Purging Dog’s System – pets suffering from gastrointestinal upsets tend to eat grass when they can. They consume large amounts of grass in an attempt to make themselves vomit. Some canines become frantic as they ate grass to ease their stomach. Your pet may whimper and cry to go out so they can munch on grass in your yard. Dogs eating grass will become nauseous and cause them to throw up. It is usual for this to happen, and most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. Your pooch knows how to purge their system whenever something is making them unwell. If they ate something that makes them sick, they will find a way to get rid of it. It could be their way to ease gas, bloating or nausea related to digestive upset.
- Increase Intestinal Motility – A study on chimpanzees shows that they eat more plant material when they are suffering from intestinal worms. The same applies to canines; grass for dogs to eat may help increase intestinal motility and help eliminate parasites in their digestive system.
- Fulfilling a Nutritional Requirement – a dog eats grass on your lawn to fulfill some nutritional needs. Them with abundant fiber or roughage. Likewise, it also contains phytonutrients, chlorophyll, and potassium. More so, it is a good source of digestive enzymes.
- Common Canine Behavior – grass eating is a trait that your pooches have inherited from their ancestors. And in general, it is beneficial for their overall health.
- Pets Enjoy It – some pets are very playful, especially puppies. Dog find grass to eat is a fun and rewarding activity.
Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass?
‘Pica’ is the term to describe a pup’s habit of eating strange objects, and it includes grass-eating. Most pet owners believe that canines do this to stimulate their system, causing them diarrhea or vomiting. However, they start grazing. And in some cases, your pet does not even throw up.
When your pooch is on pica without any signs of discomfort, it might simply like the taste and texture of the grass. From a medical perspective, it is still vague about why pups eat grass. Other common ideas for this are:
- Your pooch is bored – pets commonly chew on things when they get bored and feel the need to do something. You may give them various enrichment activities and appropriate chewing options. Giving them chew toys may prevent them from mindlessly grazing on your lawns.
- Your pet’s diet is missing something – your pet may be missing out on crucial nutrients that they need from the prepared food you give them. You can ask your veterinarian for supplements and approved vitamins to prevent grass-eating habits.
Additionally, you have to inform your vet about your dog’s food. It will help them assess whether your canine needs better nutrition or is craving for activities that will keep them occupied. Some pooch munch on grass because they are underfed. But in most cases, pups that are well-fed and cared for still go out to graze now and then.
Do Dogs Eat Grass To Settle Their Stomachs?
Veterinarians and pet owners believe that grass helps settle a canine’s stomach. It is particularly true when there are acid building up in their digestive system. In most cases, canines are not selective with the grass they eat when they need to settle their stomachs. After eating and perhaps stimulating their system, dogs feel better and return to their usual selves.
On the other hand, some pets will keep on doing this even without an upset stomach. If you notice your pooch doing this frequently, it’s a sign there is something off in their system.
If you experience this with your doggy, you have to reevaluate their food and diet. A recurring gastrointestinal upset points to issues with the food you are feeding them. Moreover, it is not healthy for a canine to eat and throw up grass several times a week.
You may change your brand of dog food or switch flavors. Consider changing their protein sources as well. And above all, switch to a living or raw diet instead of giving them kibble and canned dog food.
You may ask assistance from a holistic veterinarian for you to gradually transition your pooch’s diet switch. It is essential if they have been eating the same thing most of their lives.
Why Do Dogs Throw Up When They Eat grass?
Most of the time, grass-eating in canines does not automatically lead to vomiting or throwing up. Less than 25 grass-eating canines that vomit regularly after they graze. Canines that vomit after eating grass might be trying to ease their gas, boating, or is feeling nauseous.
Dogs also eat grass for other reasons than wanting to settle their stomachs. Your pet might be munching on the grass to help improve their digestion, improve intestinal motility and threat worms, or fulfill some nutritional needs.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass When Sick?
Dogs eat grass as an instinctive behavior. When they are not feeling well, some dogs will frantically find a way out to eat grass in your yard. They will try to induce vomiting after they swallow something that made them sick. It is possible that your pooch has an upset stomach or is feeling nauseous, and it is their instinct to throw up to find relief.
A pet who intends to throw up will eat grass quickly as they can and may not bother chewing it. Veterinarians believe that those unchewed pieces help stimulate their throats to induce vomiting. Soon after throwing up, your dog may feel better and go back to their normal behavior.
How About A Puppy? Can They Eat Grass?
Contrary to what most pet owners think, dogs know the things they need to consume. Biologists revealed that canids, like dogs, wolves or dingoes, consume grass, and it’s completely normal.
However, for puppies and most younger pooches, grass-eating might be a sign of their playful behavior or indicate boredom.
If you suspect that your puppy eating grass is bored, it might help ensure that they are getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. Try to engage them in fun activities like interactive games and frisbee. More so, you can give them some sturdy chew toys to keep them occupied.
The question, ‘why do dogs eat grass’ brings a lot of ideas for pet parents. It is strange behavior, yet it is a common habit for dogs. The grass that they seek out probably contains some critical nutritional value that your pet is missing out. Similarly, your pooch might be instinctively eating grass because they feel sick, or they need to purge their digestive system.
It is valid for both cases. Grass contains high amounts of fiber, potassium, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients. It can also provide your pet with adequate amounts of digestive enzymes. If your pet is being selective with their grass, it could be due to some nutritional needs. On the other hand, pets who frantically chomp grass might be feeling unwell and needs to throw up or purge their system.
Finally, you mustn’t let your dogs graze in lawns that have treated grass or have chemicals. Your pet may consume those greens that contain toxins and contaminants.