I often come across why the dog eats grass and whether this is normal behavior or should we counteract it. As it turns out, the answer may be ambiguous here.
As it turns out, in the studies of wolf and fox feces from various geographic regions, it was possible to observe materials of plant origin, such as grass. Of course, these were not large numbers, but they prove that wild canines also exhibit such behavior as eating grass.
Why Dogs Eat Grass and Should You Care About It
Here the answer is, of course, my favorite – it depends. It is usual for a dog to eat grass, which occurs relatively often. In most situations, the dog does not show any disturbing symptoms after eating grass, and the only aspect here is the caregiver’s concern. As it turns out, such factors as diet, gender, and breed do not influence the consumption of grass by dogs. Of course, we are talking about the very occurrence of this behavior because intensity also plays a vital role here. In turn, age is important here because, as it turns out, dogs up to 12 months of age eat plants much more often than older dogs. It is suspected to be related to some prophylaxis of parasitic gastrointestinal diseases. So there is a lot of condemnation that dogs eating grass is an innate behavior.
A feeling of fullness also influences dogs’ consumption of grass. According to the research, dogs spend more time eating grass before a meal than after it. There was no adverse health effect of eating grass. Vomiting after eating grass has been observed sporadically. This study concluded that dogs could treat grass as pet food and are more likely to eat it when hungry.
The dog eats grass and vomits.
Sometimes, however, eating grass may already be due to various health problems, and it can be observed most often when the dog begins to eat grass in large amounts. This type of behavior may be due to gastrointestinal disturbances. Sometimes it is also a behavior intended to provoke vomiting. This is to relieve the symptoms. This type of behavior could be observed in dogs suffering from indigestion, liver dysfunction, and poisoning.
Dog eating grass and diet
It is also sometimes believed that a dog’s compulsive eating of grass may result from a deficient diet, especially if we are talking about dietary fiber. Dogs are carnivores by nature, so their diets are based on meat and animal products. However, they are relatively predatory animals. From my own experience, I can see that many dogs tolerate their diets better when they contain a small addition of vegetables, which are the source of dietary fiber. This does not apply to every dog, as some do very well on an all-meat diet.
An example of a diet based on meat is the BARF diet.
Can a dog eat grass?
While in this thread, it is worth asking yourself what risks may be related to your dog eating grass. The problem may be contacted with various chemicals, where, for example, the grass has been sprayed. Unfortunately, it is quite a common cause of poisoning in dogs. Often, exposure to herbicides can increase the risk of cancer. In addition, lawns can be a source of parasites that are hazardous to your dog’s health, and this is a problem, especially for growing dogs.
A common parasitic problem in dogs is lamblia.
You should also pay attention to that the dog may inadvertently eat a plant that will be toxic to its body while eating grass. Examples of such plants are, for example, common ivy, datura, blackberry, boxwood, and yew. The list of these plants is, of course, much longer.
In summary, dog eating grass is a natural activity, and if it is not too intense, it should not be cause for concern. Of course, if your dog tends to eat grass, it is better to choose places for walks where there is little risk of using pesticides.