I was always told dogs that are eating are grass are encouraging themselves into throwing up. This is an unproven theory. Recent studies point to other reasons like boredom, anxiety, or simple ancestral instincts may be the actual cause.
Is your dog self medicating by eating grass?
It is extremely common to see dogs munching on grass. An extensive study from 2008, has debunked a lot of common theories. It is no longer a common belief that they eat grass to induce vomiting. Even healthy dogs have been known for eating grass. In most cases eating grass doesn’t even cause dogs to start throwing up. Wild dogs have been witnessed grazing on green grass as well. It is hard to know for absolute certain why they would do this, interestingly enough, grass does add fiber to the diet, while a diet of only meat does not. Chewing is also comforting for dogs especially if they are anxious.
Psychological reasons your dog might want some grass
Boredom or Anxiety can potentially be a reason WHY a pup decides to eat grass while outside.
Is your furry family member getting enough exercise? Dogs are built for movement and have an incredible sense of smell. Staying sedentary or in the house for too long without stimulation can make anybody bored or anxious. Your dog is no exception. If you are concerned make sure you can walk your dog a little longer or split walks into twice a day. Engage in a game of chase the ball. To combat boredom or anxiety introducing a new toy can be helpful as well. ( or even re-introducing an old toy your buddy hasn’t played with for a while.) Maybe your friend would also enjoy a new treat?
What are some other reasons your dog is eating grass?
Although hard to know for sure, I surmise a dog has instincts for its health. Grass is full of fiber and potentially helps with digestion.
“”We believe it’s a trait they inherited from their wild ancestors,” Hart says. “We know that wolves and cougars eat grass. That’s because they carry intestinal parasites. That’s just part and parcel of being in nature. Wild animals don’t have anything like the medicines we have for controlling worms. But by eating grass on a regular basis, they can prevent a buildup by purging their systems of these parasites.”—Benjamin Hart ,DVM
Does your dog suffer from Pica?
Pica is a common condition that describes when pets like a dog continually like to eat nonfood items. Although eating non-food items like paper or plastics can be dangerous, fortunately consuming grass is considered safe for dogs. As many as 79% of all dogs partake in eating grass or other plants from time to time. It is best if your dog does like to eat grass do your best to make sure it is pesticide-free. Unless eating grass is accompanied by other symptoms like lack of appetite, vomiting, or a noticeable INCREASE in eating grass there is not much to be worried about. Any serious concerns should be shared with your veterinarian.
It is hard to know exactly WHY your dog likes to eat grass.
So many of the myths have been debunked. It is probably not to induce vomiting. It is most likely not because your dog is ill. Many dogs typically eat grass and not throw up afterward. Perhaps it is genetically driven. It is believed dogs’ ancestors ate grass as a means to combat or prevent intestinal worms. Lastly, dogs may just simply like to eat grass. They do enjoy a varied diet from time to time and can eat more than just their dog or cat food. Therefore, a dog eating grass is pretty normal behavior and not a cause for alarm.