From time to time, we all have probably noticed that our canine companions can graze out in the yard like so many of their bovine brethren. For some it may even be a day to day occurrence. Although any sudden change in your dog’s behavior or eating habits should be noted and relayed to your veterinarian, usually this hankering for grass is not something to necessarily get real worried about. But the question remains – Why do dogs eat grass?
When it comes down to it, domesticated dogs are not natural hunting carnivores. They are not really classified as full omnivores though as they will eat just about anything in order to satiate their hunger and receive the nutrients their bodies need. If we move down the evolutionary ladder we begin to see that the wild ancestors of modern canines gobbled up every single part of the meals they had skillfully scavanged. This regularly included the stomach contents of smaller animals who ate only plants. So even though their diet concentrated on meat and protein intake they also got a little green mixed in.
If we move forward to today’s time and the eating habits of the modern dog we can see how they might occasionally seek out grass or other vegetable matter as a substitute. They still need to obtain those vital nutrients that plants can provide and they have to find it elsewhere. But why do dogs eat grass specifically, especially when the end result is usually a sick or vomiting pup?
Obviously your dog can not just waltz on down to the local pharmacy and pick up an over-the-counter solution for an upset stomach or other ailments such as gas. They will instinctively try to locate a natural remedy within their surroundings and grass seems to help soothe the digestive tract.
When your dog ingests blades of grass the thin sharp strands agitate their stomach lining and esophagus which creates a reaction that ultimately causes vomiting. This occurs mainly when your pet is eating lots of grass and swallowing it whole as opposed to chewing a little here and there. Some dogs will “nibble” around in the yard and chew the grass but never throw it up. This behavior is less likely to indicate a problem or stomach issue and is probably due to the fact that they just enjoy the taste or texture of the plant matter. They might also just require a little extra roughage.
Part of a Balanced Breakfast
The general consensus among professionals in the pet health community is that there is no real threat to your pup in letting them eat grass and other leafy material. Grass does indeed contain certain vitamins and minerals and your dog may just be trying to satisfy a need for some supplemental nutrition. If you notice repeated grazing in the yard then it might be a good idea to add more natural vegetable matter into their diet. Some dog owners have suggested putting out a small try of clean fresh grass specifically for the dog to munch on. This will prevent harmful ingestion of chemicals used to treat outdoor grass, most commonly herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
||For the most part, you should not be too concerned about the question of "why do dogs eat grass?". It is a normal occasional behavior for dogs. However, if it is out of character for your dog to munch away on grass and they are suddenly constantly and obsessively grazing then it could indicate a more dangerous unseen condition and they could be trying to self-medicate. In this case it is imperative that you contact your veterinarian and schedule an appointment for a more thorough look at the problem.
Russ Barker is a real person dispite his perfect name for the pet idustry. He, like so many others, has often wondered why do dogs eat grass. So he spent time researching this habit and wrote an awesome blog article for you. Russ is the head blogger for DogTagArt.com, a business dedicated to supplying the world's pets with awesome one-of-a-kind pet ID tags. These safe and stylish custom dog tags are a fun way for them to encourage pet safety and responsibility and ensure that lost pets make it back to their homes and the ones they love if lost.