Why do dogs eat grass?
The reason dogs eat grass is largely unknown. However, some experts believe that it has to do with instinct, nutritional deficiencies or to induce vomiting.
Is it bad if my dog eats grass?
The short answer is no.
Many veterinarians believe that eating grass fulfils a nutrient deficiency of some sort (grass also contains fibre). However, dogs on high quality, balanced diets will also eat grass, so the assumption is that dogs eat grass because they enjoy doing it. After all, sticking your nose in the dirt and nibbling on a long piece of grass is fun when there is nothing else to do! We must also consider the possibility that dogs just like the taste.
Why do dogs vomit after eating grass?
Although some dogs vomit after eating grass, vomiting isn’t apparent in all dogs that consume these greens. Studies show that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass. So, if your dog does vomit after swallowing grass, it may be because they are self-medicating and need to get something out of the throat or tummy. This, however, is again something we assume since we cannot know if the dog had an upset tummy before they ate the grass or because they ate the grass.
Okay, but is it safe?
Yes and no. Most grass types are safe to eat. However, if you have treated your grass with a pesticide or fertiliser, then do not let your pet eat it for a long time, and only after it has been watered well. We also recommend keeping an eye on your pets when they are outside the home. Do not let them eat bunches of grass sticking out of pavements or fences. The owner or municipality may have treated the area for weeds or pests.
Generally, however, grass is safe to eat. Your local nursery might even sell “pet grass” that you can plant for your little muncher to eat.
When should I be concerned?
If your pet shows signs of distress, persistent vomiting or trying to vomit, take them to a vet immediately. Pets that eat grass are also exposing themselves to intestinal parasites in the soil.
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