Fido has a whole bowl full of delicious dog food, so why is he eating grass whenever you take him outside? Some pet owners worry that it might be a sign that something is wrong, while others are just curious why their pooch seems to enjoy the taste of grass more than a real dog treat. Consider these three reasons why your dog might be eating grass, and learn why it’s not usually a cause for concern.
First, your pet might have an upset tummy. The texture and shape of a blade of grass agitates the stomach, which can cause your dog to throw up. If your furry friend knows that he has bellyache or is a little gassy, he might decide to eat some grass to induce vomiting. Animals are generally in tune with their bodies and how they feel, so they might try to self-medicate before you even realize anything is wrong. If you notice that your dog isn’t chewing the grass well and seems to be almost swallowing it whole, it might be a sign that he’s trying to induce vomiting by making those long blades of grass tickle the inside of his stomach.
Next, consider that your dog might just be having some urges left over from his ancestors. Wild dogs used to have to scavenge for their food. Your dog’s food likely comes in a bag or a can, so he doesn’t have to kill for his meat. However, wild dogs would hunt down animals and would usually eat as much of the prey as they could. This would include eating the stomachs of animals that fed on fruits, veggies, grass and other vegetation. Ancient wild dogs were accustomed to digesting plant matter that other animals had already eaten, so it’s not uncommon for your domesticated doggy to get the occasional craving.
Finally, your dog might need additional nutrients that he’s not finding in his dog food. Take a look at what is in your pet’s food, then determine what might be missing. You can always call your local pet clinic for their advice on which foods provide the best variety of nutrients for your pup. The next time you cook up some veggies, throw a small piece to your dog to see how he likes it. You can also grow a tray of grass or herbs for your dog to munch on indoors without the risk of consuming outdoor pesticides or other chemicals.
Your dog could be eating grass for one or a combination of reasons, but most are nothing that you should worry about. If you catch your pet eating grass, don’t overreact. Try to treat the underlying cause instead of just scolding your dog for feasting on your lawn or houseplants. If you notice that your dog is eating much more grass than usual, it never hurts to take him to the vet to get checked out. But if Fido is just occasionally nibbling while walking around the yard, you can put your mind at ease.