Why do dogs eat grass?
It is not unusual to see dog acting like a little cow, standing in the grass and eating it. But, why do dogs do that? Are they sick? Are they bored? Is it just a natural instinct?
Maybe the reason your dog is eating grass is a condition called „pica“. Pica is a disease that compels the eating of non-food objects such as dirt, toys, and grass. Both humans and animals can suffer from pica.
A lot of dog owners believe that grass eating is a sign of illness and sometimes that's true. Dogs can eat grass to induce vomit (it is believed that long, unchewed pieces of grass tickle dogs' throat and stimulates vomiting). They want to make themselves throw up because their stomach is irritated. Some researchers have shown that the majority of dogs that eat grass slowly rarely vomit afterwards, but, dogs that eat grass more rapidly almost always vomit. This finding raised the question whether dogs that eat grass rapidly are doing so to relieve stomach discomfort after eating something that makes their stomach hurt. According to this theory, dogs don't eat grass in normal circumstances, but only when they need a stomach relief.
Other people believe that dogs eat grass to improve their digestion, treat intestinal worms, or fulfill some unmet nutritional need. Dogs' bodies have certain nutritional needs and when those needs are not fulfilled some functions are not going to preform normally. Grass provides fibers that sometimes are missing from a dog’s diet and in these cases, dogs eat grass to supplement those fibers making it easier for their stool to pass. This was, grass may actually help their bodily functions run more smoothly. Consult with your veterinarian and if this is the most probable reason your dog is eating grass, make some diet changes - add more vegetables to your dogs' diet and increase fiber content.
A lot of people believe that dogs eat grass because it is a natural instinct. Before dogs became so domesticated they fed naturally on anything that they could find and were naturally omnivores (meat and plant-eaters). Modern dogs' ancestors used to eat their prey entirely, including the stomach content of plant-eating animal. Therefore, domesticated dogs instinctively include plant material in their diet. Dogs and dog-related animals in the wild consume anything that helps fulfill their basic dietary requirements. Examining stool samples shows that 11-47% of wolves eat grass.
Another common assumption is that sometimes a dog can be eat grass just to gain attention or out of boredom. In cases where the owner is not providing the dog with enough interaction, the dog may try to interact with the owner through engaging in unusual or even forbidden behaviors.
Many people believe that dogs eat grass simply because it tastes good to them and they enjoy it.
We may never know for sure why dogs eat grass, but, although this behavior can occur for many reasons, you shouldn't be worried if your dog is a grass-eater. You should, however, seek veterinary advice if grass eating becomes excessive and your dog does not want to eat its normal food, if your dog is repeatedly eating grass and vomiting or if your dog is eating grass and behaving unusual and/or sick. Also, make sure that the grass your dog is eating has not been sprayed with harmful pesticides or fertilizers.
World Dog Finder team