If you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably asked, “Why does my dog eat grass?” at one point or another. Is it safe? Does this mean my dog is feeling sick? Should I be concerned? Why does he end up throwing up after chomping on the green blades? Should I call the vet?
All of these are great questions. While there is no scientific, cookie-cutter explanation for dogs eating grass, there are many possible reasons. Just like humans have different personalities, needs and wants, so do animals. Let’s explore the theories behind dogs eating grass and why grass eating may or may not be a sign of a sick pooch.
There are a couple of theories that try to answer the question, “Why do dogs eat grass?” For starters, your dog is a descendent of wolves. His ancestors consumed grass by default while eating their prey. As wolf’s prey would have fed on grass. When the prey is devoured, this often includes their belly’s contents. So the common belief is that dogs have the instinct to include grass in their diet, not because they’re nutrient deficient, but because it feels natural to mimic their ancestors’ eating habits.
Many people think that dogs eating grass do so because they don’t feel well. This is not always the case, but it has been said that when a dog is suffering from an upset stomach, his instinct leads him to grass. Grass itself does not make your dog sick. The reason some (not all) dogs throw up after gnawing on grass is because the long blade, if not chewed down, tickles their throat, leading to this reflex. By throwing up, a dog can relieve himself of his upset stomach. If your dog has a sensitive stomach and chomps on grass often to alleviate discomfort, consider including a stomach-friendly treat into his diet like Nutro Ultra Oatmeal and Pumpkin Biscuits Healthy Digestion Blend Dog Treats. With nutrient-packed natural fibers, these dog biscuits help ensure that your pup will have an easier time digesting food. Getting enough fiber leads to proper digestion, which could help circumvent the cycle of your dog eating grass and vomiting.
Another theory could be that your dog simply has a craving. If your pooch’s diet only consists of kibble, eating grass may be his way of introducing some other nutrients into his diet. Grass may also be more palatable than what he is used to eating.
Although eating grass does not present a direct risk, it is imperative that you are mindful of what grass your dog is eating and where. Public parks often spray pesticides and chemicals on the grass. Keep your eye out for lawn signs that show evidence of recent pesticide sprayings when you’re out and about with your pooch. Your dog can’t read, so it is up to you to make sure he does not try to snack on potentially poisonous grass. If your backyard recently got sprayed, make sure you and your family are aware of when it’s safe for your dog to go back outside to explore and nibble. If you are looking for a guaranteed safe option, consider growing your own patch of pet grass, safe for your dog to chew! Bellrock Growers Pet Greens Self Grow Garden Pet Grass allows you to grow your own USDA-certified organic wheat grass in just a week.
So, why do dogs eat grass? To revisit some of the questions above: Is it safe? Unless the grass has chemicals, yes. Does this mean my dog is sick? Not necessarily. Should I be concerned or call the vet? Only if symptoms of an upset stomach persist. Why does he end up throwing up after chomping on some green blades? Sounds like he may have a tickle in his throat!