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Don't Freak Out if Your Dog Eats Grass

Posted by Awesome Doggies

dog-mobile-pet-grooming-san-diegoIf you have ever caught your dog eating grass, you may have become concerned or confused by this practice, and you are not alone. The truth is, in the study of dog behavior there are few topics more hotly debated than the question of exactly why dogs eat grass. And the debate has never really been settled, though theories abound like muddy pawprints on a freshly mopped floor.

Could it be they are bored, sick, hungry, or deficient in some vitamin? Maybe. No matter the actual reason dogs are inclined to gobble up grass on occasion, there are plenty of reasons not to let it cause you to panic, and here is why. It is either completely normal or a sign to look closer at the dog’s health or activity levels, and what pet parent doesn’t appreciate a little insight into their fur baby’s health?

Some Possible Reasons Dogs Eat Grass

If you Google “why do dogs eat grass” (and we did)  you will find nearly 3,000 results and nearly as many theories. Of all the reasons posed by veterinarians and animal behaviorists, we’d like to mention a few of the most common.

Upset Stomach

Grazing on grass to induce vomiting is one of the most commonly accepted theories why dogs are compelled to nibble on the green stuff. While this could be one reason, there is evidence to suggest that most dogs do not seem unwell before eating grass and doing so actually causes less than 25% to vomit.

Hunger

Hunger is another possibility proposed by animal experts to explain the seemingly strange behavior. While most dogs today have access to plenty of food which is provided to them, some believe that the practice fills a need carried over from their ancestry of hunters who often consumed grass while eating prey.  

Nutritional Deficiency

Some propose that grass might satisfy some nutritional deficiency. While there may be some nutritional component, dogs actually lack the enzymes needed to break down grass and are unable to digest it. This makes it near impossible for them to gain any nutritional benefit from eating grass.

Boredom

Just like humans, dogs can become bored quite easily. If they do not have variety in activity, scenery, and foods they may seek that variety by entertaining themselves eating grass. It may seem like an odd way to keep busy but the process of ripping and tugging at the grass may be very satisfying.

Don’t Freak Out

If your dog is eating grass or eating grass and vomiting, don’t panic. Use it as an opportunity to tune in and see if there is some need you can meet more effectively. Pay attention to other signs of illness, such as lethargy. If your faithful companion seems ill, a visit to the veterinarian may be in order. Talk to the vet about the best food type and amount for your dog’s breed to ensure that they are receiving the proper amount of vitamins. If your dog is spending too much time alone or sedentary, or if they seem to need some variety at meal time, try adding new elements such as raw carrots for snacks. Varying the types and textures of foods can keep things interesting for them.

The fact that after much study and debate experts still do not know why dogs are compelled to eat grass tells us that whatever the reason, there is little reason to become overly alarmed. Ultimately, the reason could be something as simple as that they enjoy the taste of it!
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