You carefully select a nutritious food, by a well-respected pet food maker, that is appropriate for your dog… And yet he insists on chewing grass. What’s the deal? If you frequently see your dog eating grass, you might wonder if this is a sign of a health problem. The answer is: It depends on frequency and the amount he’s eating.
Grass eating has been observed in both domesticated dogs and wolves, suggesting this is no new behavior. And because the majority of dogs engage in this behavior, it might simply be a normal part of their diet. Studies have shown that dogs are more likely to eat grass both in the morning, and when they haven’t had a meal in a while, so in many cases they might simply be snacking on whatever is readily available. This is likely to be the case if your dog appears to be simply .grazing, rather than engaging in behavior that is outside his norm.
On the other hand, if your dog suddenly begins gulping down grass when he doesn’t otherwise seem particularly interested, he might be trying to induce vomiting. This can be helpful if he’s accidentally eaten something that can harm him, but they will sometimes do it when they’re feeling unwell for other reasons. The idea is that quickly gulping down grass might tickle the throat and help them to gag and empty the stomach.
So what’s the verdict on a dog eating grass? If you see your dog occasionally and casually grazing on grass, this is probably a normal behavior for him. If he’s suddenly interested in grass, and is eating it urgently, he might be feeling unwell.
There is one caveat to the “grazing” behavior, though: If you use pesticides or herbicides on your grass, your dog probably doesn’t know this. Therefore, grazing on grass could be harmful to him. Discourage the behavior, or discontinue your use of those products, if this is the case.
As always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have about your pet’s behavior. Give us a call if you’re concerned, or schedule an appointment if you suspect your dog is ill.