Dogs eat grass for a wide variety of reason and we wanna talk you through some of the common thoughts on the subject.
- Grass helps dogs vomit or poop- Many have thought that dogs eat grass to ease digestive issues, vomiting and bowels. False knowledge suggests that when dogs eat grass it will encourage the bowels to move through the colon or for the pet to vomit. There is no real science behind these thoughts. Studies have shown that dogs that were nauseated before eating grass were more likely to vomit after it was consumed. As far as the laxative effect, we see for a typical dog with meat based protein diets, clean water, and exercise the plant matter actually sticks around longer in their digestive system since their bodies are not made to break it down.
- Nutrient rich? We have used this idea to explain why dogs have a taste for things like dirt, feces, and even grass. It’s the idea that grass hold some important nutritional value for our pets. In reality we must remember that our dogs also eat things like socks and toys. The truth is grass does not hold vital nutrients and is not a super food for our pets. Animals that require a diet with grasses and grains have much longer digestive tracts than those in cats and dogs. If there is a lack in nutrients in your dogs diet it is not because they aren’t getting grasses. Talk to your veterinarian about vitamin supplements that are good for your pets that have nutrients to bridge the gaps in their diets.
- Another theory is that they eat grass because their ancestors did. It was thought that because wolves ate their prey as a whole including what is inside the stomach that this is why they ate grass. This is a common misconception and really our dogs simply might eat grass our of curiosity. More exposure to grasses may make this change.
- Look closer at the grasses your pets are consuming and vomiting up. Are you or your neighbors/surrounding areas using lawn fertilizers and treatments? Even if your lawn is chemical free wind and rain can carry chemicals from areas that were treated. Making the grass smell and enticing your pet to eat it. Wild life feces may also be inviting.
- We may never know the real reasons dogs eat grass but owners do have some ways to cope with the habit like stopping less frequently on walks and growing pet friendly grass. People will always try to justify why dogs eat grass but the truth is we may never know!