Have you ever wondered why your dog chomps on grass and sometimes even vomits right after?
As dog owners, we’re used to curious behaviours coming from our pets but this one is a bit of a mystery.
Let’s try and uncover why dogs eat grass!
Most veterinarians agree that eating grass probably helps settle an upset stomach. This will usually induce vomiting and bring relief to your pet.
However, it is difficult to tell whether the dog is regurgitating from eating the grass or because the stomach was upset.
Another theory suggests that dogs are craving specific nutrients found in grass because of a poor diet.
More likely, dogs are after the roughage that grass provides especially if their diet is low in fibres. Fibres help with digestion and healthy number #2s. If you notice your dog starts eating grass after a meal, it could indicate that they need more fibre in their diet (more on that later).
Some dogs eat grass because they are bored, anxious or for no other reason than simply enjoying the taste.
This type of grass eating will usually happen when dogs are alone and can be more common in puppies.
We can’t dismiss the theory that dogs eat grass simply because it is rooted in their DNA. Their ancestors ate grass, as well as the stomach content of herbivores, because the high fibre helped keep parasites out of the intestinal tract by increasing bowel movements.
Dogs who eat grass instinctively usually don’t vomit afterward.
Should you stop your dog from eating grass?
Easting grass is a common behaviour in dogs. It is normal and should not be a concern unless it becomes excessive and frequent.
The behaviour can be unsafe if your dog ingests other types of toxic plants as a result (daffodils, lilies…) or grass that has been heavily treated with pesticides or fertilizers.
What can you do if your dog eats grass?
There are ways you can help your dog limit their intake of grass!
Your dog might benefit from a change in diet or the addition of more fibre. Fibres can easily be added to your dog’s bowl in the form of veggies such as steamed broccoli florets, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, and healthy treats like celery stalks.
At Doggy Grub, we use spinach for roughage and our casseroles have a nice mix of veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes) to help with digestion and passing of stools.
If you dog eats grass because of an upset tummy, you can help by feeding a bland meal of boiled chicken & rice or bone broth.
Finally, if you suspect your dog eats grass because of boredom, make sure to provide enrichment toys or puzzle feeders, to keep them entertained and occupied.
While there are a few reasons why your dog eats grass with little cause for concern, it is recommended to seek advice from your vet if the behaviour appears sudden or becomes compulsive.
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The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub