“Why does my dog eat grass?”
I’ve been hearing this question a lot lately. Over the last two weeks, I’ve had a few people email me, asking why their dogs eat grass and if the green stuff can cause any health issues. Well, to be honest, I had no idea! My dogs have never eaten grass so I never really gave it much thought. Until now. So I reached out to the well-respected staff at PetCoach.
PetCoach is an online community of vets, trainers, and other pet professionals. Through their website or app, you can access their free forum. Post a question and a pet professional will answer! They’re an awesome service and offer trusted advice.
When I asked the professionals at PetCoach why dogs eat grass, here is what they said:
Many pet parents get worried when they see their favorite canine nibbling on grass in the yard. Even though it’s generally not a life-threatening matter, the consumption of grass will often result in vomiting and discomfort, due to irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, if your lawn contains chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides, the risks could be greater.
Here are the main reasons why dogs eat grass, along with their solutions:
Dogs who do not receive adequate exercise may eventually become bored and search for activities to occupy their time and entertain themselves.
Strangely enough, these activities can include nibbling on grass. Therefore, a good starting point is to evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider introducing more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.
Historically speaking, dogs are considered omnivores, which means they consume both meat and plant-based food.
There is some indication that dogs with a low fiber diet may choose to scavenge in the grass to fulfill this nutritional deficiency. These dogs may also find that grass has an appealing flavor and consistency.
If you feel this may be the reason why your beloved canine is consuming grass, then consider discussing with your veterinarian ways to incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet.
There is a belief that dogs with an upset or gassy stomach will self-medicate by consuming grass, since vomiting often follows this grass eating activity, eliminating the contents of the stomach or changing the gas distension within the gastrointestinal tract.
However, the truth is there isn’t much scientific evidence to back up this theory. If you suspect there is too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be causing this behavior, you should consult with your veterinarian right away.