If you are a dog pawrent, chances are you’ve seen your kids munch on grass. Sometimes they might eat and swallow it and other times, they just chew it up and spit it out. Ever wondered why?
So why do dogs eat grass?
There is no one simple reason why dogs eat grass, there can be many different reasons. Here are the top five:
- Nutrient deficiency
- Upset Stomach / Sickness
Yes, the most simple explanation for why dogs eat grass is instinct. In the past, before hoomans became dog’s best friends, they survived by eating grass and other plants, meat and bones when they caught prey or food scraps that could be found around human settlements. Dogs are natural scavengers and they’ve evolved to find a meal on the go. This scavenger nature is also what helped dogs to survive and thrive throughout history.
Some experts also believe that grass eating may have evolved to help conceal their doggie scent from their prey.
- Missing nutrients?
Another reason why dogs eat grass may be hunger or a dietary deficiency. If a dog is not getting their nutritional needs, it’s more likely they’ll eat grass. Grass actually contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are good for your furry friend. If you are home-cooking for your dogs be sure to consult with your vet to make sure your pup receives the right balance of nutrients. If you notice that your dog has been munching away on grass or other plants you may want to introduce herbs and vegetables into their diet.
Some dogs might turn to nibble on grass when they don’t feel well. Grass blades can tickle the throat, which helps to vomit and can get rid of whatever has been bothering them. Some dogs are known to try in getting rid of a gassy or bloated stomach, by the ‘tickle-grass-vomiting’ cure.
Dogs are curious creatures who easily get bored easily if not provided with plenty of fun and activity. We all know what happens then – like chewing mom’s favorite shoes, dismantling cables and changing the sofa design! When our kids get bored, chewing is the number one choice of entertainment and may be a reason why your dog eats grass – it is just fun! So if it is just a question of being bored, we suggest a chewy-toy to keep the grass growing and your pup happy.
Some dogs suffer separation-anxiety and eating grass may be a way of coping with the stress. Best solution? Spend more time with your furry friend or leave some personal items – doused with your smells – to offer comfort while you are away.
Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?
Most kind of grass itself is not harmful to our dogs and as mentioned above can offer needed nutrients.But one thing to keep in mind is that certain herbicides and pesticides used on public lawns can be quite toxic, especially if ingested and should certainly be avoided.
IMPORTANT: If you notice your dog eating grass excessively, obsessively, or more frequently than you think is normal, contact your vet. Especially if your dog also shows any of the following symptoms:
- Continuous vomiting
- diarrhoea, loose stools
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- bloody poo
- tiredness and general feeling of ‘down’