Nutrition

3 minutes reading time (590 words)

Why does your dog like to eat grass?

There’s an old wives’ tale that the reason dogs eat grass is because they have an upset stomach and that eating grass will make them throw up, taking care of the nausea and remedying their problem. Sometimes this really is why your dog runs out the door and heads for a blade of grass. Dogs know that grass works by tickling the insides of their stomachs, making them vomit. Remember the last time that you were sick to your stomach? Didn’t you feel much better after you were finally able to throw up? Fido does too.

But what about a dog who doesn’t have an upset stomach; why would he eat grass? No, it’s not because he’s a vegetarian, but he could be treating your lawn like a salad bar as part of a balanced diet. Seriously. Your dog mostly eats dry dog food, right? Just like humans need their fruits and veggies, especially greens, so too do dogs need greens for proper nutrition.

Don’t worry, the dog food you choose for your pet may have vitamins and minerals in it, but some dogs who are nutrition-savvy may feel as though they’re not getting enough greens or fiber. Think of it in human terms: some people enjoy eating more greens while others can just barely tolerate eating salad.  As weird as it sounds, some dogs just like the taste of grass. Have you ever tried it? Not that appealing to humans, right? Maybe it’s a delicacy for dogs. But then again, dogs aren’t really very picky about what they eat, so maybe they’re just weird.

Sometimes you can open up the back door and your dog will run out, pull out a big mouthful of grass and eat it. If they chew the grass well enough, maybe it doesn’t tickle their stomachs, making them barf. Some think the tendency for dogs to eat grass is a remnant of the scavenging behavior from the past like when their wild dog ancestors needed food in order to survive.

Don’t you wish that your dog could talk and tell you why he eats grass? Odds are that when he does this, you probably do ask him, “Fido! Why are you eating grass?” But I guess the bottom line is that if it doesn’t hurt your dog to eat grass and you can’t really stop him from doing it, why worry about it? The only reason for concern would be if there are fresh chemicals such as pesticides or fertilizers on the grass that your dog has decided to eat because it could poison him. As long as your lawn is free of chemical treatments, heck, let your dog graze on it like a cow. Maybe you won’t need to mow your grass anymore.

If you’re not sure whether or not your dog is sick, but you notice that after it eats grass it throw up several times, you could consider a visit to the veterinarian just to check it out. Your vet will tell you to keep your dog from eating grass if it turns out that your dog has any type of gastrointestinal problem. The grass won’t cause a gastrointestinal problem; it’s just that if he keeps eating it, it will irritate his stomach, causing him to keep eating more grass.

Whether your dog is eating grass because his little tummy is upset or whether he’s just a weird dog, chances are that you’re never really going to know why he’s eating it.  Consider it to be one of life’s great mysteries.

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