Can Dogs Eat Grass?
We have seen animals like sheep, goats, cows, deer, horses, all kinds of cattle eat grass.
Almost all of the animals with hoofs cherish grazing in grassy pastures. But can canines, like dogs eat grass?
The answer is Yes, andas it turns out, grass eating in dogs has been a puzzle to solve for many experts of the subject. So why exactly do dogs eat grass?
All dogs like to do things that baffle their human friends. One such exercise is eating grass and that comes as a surprise, as our dogs are fed with a balanced diet, any other simulation that they might need, still they go on to eat grass.
However, eating grass in puppies is not an uncommon practice.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Now there are a lot of theories out there that try to answer this question as to why our canine buddies sometimes try to copy the practice of cows.
These theories about grass eating range from controlling parasites in intestines, soothing a troubled stomach, to dietary deficiencies.
Is Grass Eating Something to Be Alarmed About?
The biggest question that leads most owners to research why their dogs are indulged in this activity is whether it is something that is alarming or not, and do they need to be concerned about such behavior.
To ease your mind right away, most experts seem to agree on the point that dogs eating grass is not something to be alarmed about. Yet, there are some experts who like to oppose this point of view.
Bottom line, there are instances where you should stop your dog from eating grass and there are some simple ways to deter your dog from doing so.
When to Prevent Dogs from Eating Grass
Most importantly, you need to keep a watch for situations where your dog might need to be severely prevented from eating grass.
Primarily, when the grass has likely been treated with chemicals of any kind, like in public parks. The likelihood of that grass being exposed to pesticides or similar chemicals is very high and ingesting that treated grass can cause serious trouble for your dog.
Usually there are warning signs displayed but it is better to avoid it all together and not risk the health of your dog, as they are the premier causes of pet poisoning.
Moreover, if your dog is eating grass and throwing up later, they need to be prohibited from consuming the grass. Just like with us humans, recurring vomiting can induce serious damages to the teeth and internal organs of your dog. If your dog is vomiting after eating grass, there might be something wrong with his digestive system.
Why It is Important to Keep a Watch on Harmless Grass Eating
If your dog is consuming grass but is not showing any symptoms that point at illnesses then you can allow your dog to continue doing so, but still under strict supervision.
Along with the running danger of eating grass treated with chemicals, they can also end up consuming parasites from the residual of other dog’s feces. These parasites are survivors and can rejuvenate once your dog eats the contaminated grass, which can lead to serious complications later.
Is This a Natural Practice?
There are people who honestly have the opinion that dogs eating grass is a response to a natural urge.
Dogs are carnivores by nature essentially but can depict omnivorous behavior to some extent too.
Wild dogs feed on plenty of other things along with meat. Their diet includes green items along with carnivorous food. They have a natural scavenger instinct that can still be seen in domesticated dogs. This instinct is in full effect when you see your dog, nose deep into grass. There are some dogs who find grass to be an alternate source of food.
For domestic dogs, grass consuming behaviors are often difficult to be discouraged and if this is not affecting the health of your dog in anyway, which is the case usually, then you might as well let your ‘best friend’ enjoy the greenery. Prohibiting the dog can cause unnecessary stress as it is only driven by instinct to do so.
Is Grass Eating in Dogs a Psychological Phenomenon?
Another point of view is that grass consumption is an indicator of psychological disproportion in a dog; though, this is usually not the situation. There are some occurrences where dogs who suffer from serious anxiety troubles turn to grass consumption as a neurotic action.
When nervous dog becomes awfully distressed, just like humans, he may run towards things that can provide him solace and for some poor chaps, it consists of ingesting grass or munching anything in their sight.
If a dog is showing signs of severe anxiety issues before proceeding to grass eating, it seem like a feasible explanation for erratic actions. There are many approaches to tackle anxiety issues for a dog, dependent on the cause of the problem.
Sometimes, anxiety that sources odd behavior in a dog can be doctored through therapies like desensitization, amplified levels of workout, herbal remedies approved by your vet, improved levels of friendship, non-traditional therapies and prescription medicine.
Dogs Eating Grass to Induce Vomit
A lesser believed theory offering insight on the reasons why dogs eat grass is that it is an effort to induce vomit.
Up to now the widely held explorations into this behavior of eating grass found out that mostly the dogs do not show any symptoms of being sick before consuming grass and most of the dogs that do gobble on grass do not throw up later.
Though, one interesting study discloses that there is a variation in the way dogs consume grass.
Researchers found that dogs who like to devour grass slowly, hardly ever throw up later; however, a dog that eats grass more hastily will almost always throw up afterwards. This conclusion prompts the question;is a dog eating hastily to induce vomit and relieve his stomach or is the vomit caused by hastily eating grass?
Munching on Grass to Improve Digestive Process
Some folks consider that dogs eating grass is their way of enhancing their own digestive system.
How exactly can chewing grass improve digestive system of a dog? Grass offers “roughage” or fibers, that are usually absent in the diet of a dog and thus they eat grasses to enhance roughage that is absent in their usual diet.
Dog’s bodies, like humans, have specific nutritional needs and when a dog is not receiving those specified needs some functions are not going to perform normally. In the case of a lack in fiber, a dog will not be able to digest and excrete waste products properly and this may lead the dog to feed on grass to increase their fiber intake and make their stools easier to pass.
An Activity to Get Rid of Boredom
One cause for grass eating behavior in dogs that frequently goes unsaid is the likelihood that the dog is merely involved in a prohibited action as a way to get attention or simply because of boredom.
In instances where the owner is simply not offering the dog with sufficient interaction and physical activities, the dog will likely try to seek interaction with the owner by indulging in actions that are not allowed.
Another hypothesis behind why do the dogs like to eat grass is that they are doing it just out of their boredom. This logic is combined together with consuming grass for attention-seeking as both occurrences are consequences of an absence of interaction and engagement with the owner.
Just like humans, a dog requires stimulation and that stimulus needs to come in the shape of psychological and physical exercises. When dogs do not receive enough of both, then they will get irked and start looking for ways to amuse themselves.
Eating Grass, Because It is That Much Fun
Another one of theories that every so often gets ignored suggests that dogs like to eat grasses is simply because it is a fun filled activity for them.
Just the way humans like to eat blueberries because they relish the flavor, there are dogs who devour grass do it because it is a treat for their taste buds. We cannot determine with certainty,why a dog likes to eat grass;is it because he likes it, as that would rule out the previously mentioned theories.
An Indication of Imbalance in Diet
There is a condition that some people suffer from, called ‘pica’. It Is identified as a compulsive urge to eat inedible items.
People can go as far as to eat dirt, rocks, paper, and basically acting on an urge which is a result of imbalance in diet, caused by deficiency in vitamins and minerals. It made the researchers wonder, is this also the case with urge in dogs to eat grass? That would be an acceptable explanation.
So, bottom-line, most of the dogs just like to eat grass.
Note: If your dog is recurrently eating grass and then throwing up, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.