Dogs are wonderful, quirky, creatures and they aren’t exactly picky when it comes to what they are willing to put into their mouths. Because of this, many pet parents find themselves having to rush their pup to the vet in order to excise the offending item. This could be anything from the squeaker out of a chew toy or a piece of a poisonous poinsettia plant. However, there are rare cases where dogs eat unusual things on purpose. For instance, why does your dog eat grass sometimes?
Why does my dog eat grass?
Most dogs don’t just eat grass because they like the taste. There might be the odd few that enjoy the flavor, but the real reasons behind this unusual behavior are a bit more complicated. Grass could help aid in digestion or induce vomiting. Eating it could speak to some sort of nutritional deficiency or parasitic infestation.
Dogs eat grass to induce vomiting.
Some experts surmise that dogs eat grass when they aren’t feeling well, as a means to either settle their stomachs or induce vomiting. According to The Fetch by WebMD, dogs might not be smart enough to make the conscious decision to eat something they know might make them throw up. The Fetch by WebMD clarifies the point further by stating that less than 25 percent of dogs who eat grass actually vomit afterward.
Dogs eat grass to improve digestion.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), many veterinarians believe that grass-eating is a form of pica in dogs, which is a condition that causes dogs to eat non-food items. This could be caused by anxiety but it usually occurs when the dog is missing some vitamins or nutrients in their daily diet.
Eating grass could be your dog’s way of getting fiber so they can pass gas or stools. Dogs are instinctual creatures, even if they aren’t smart enough to know grass might make them throw up, their bodies still know when there is a deficiency.
Dogs eat grass because of a parasite.
In the wild, wolves often eat grass in an effort to clear large intestinal parasites such as roundworms out of their stomachs. Such parasites are rare in domestic dogs, but they aren’t impossible. According to DogHealth, the added fiber of grass can increase motility in the small intestines. The grass itself can also wrap around the gut worms and chivvy them out when your dog goes No. 2.
Is it bad if my dog eats grass?
If your dog is throwing up whenever they eat grass, or are eating it all the time, it might be time to take them to the vet. Grass, in and of itself, is rarely harmful to dogs, but you must be mindful of several things: First, grass and soil can contain many parasites that are harmful to doggie digestive systems. Second, many lawn chemicals and fertilizers are toxic to dogs. If you spray them on your lawn or houseplants and your dog eats it, then a trip to the vet is imminent.
While vomiting doesn’t always happen, it’s still something to look out for, and you’ll want to keep your dog hydrated afterwards. According to the AKC, you should take action as soon as you notice any excessive vomiting, lip licking, diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, or blood in the stool.