by Andrew Garcia
Aug 18, 2022
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Does Eating Grass Make Dogs Vomit?
- Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
- Should You Encourage Your Dog to Eat Grass?
Several homeowners have reported their dogs chewing on grass outdoors, especially when they are not watching. How safe is this? Let’s look at it more closely.
Does Eating Grass Make Dogs Vomit?
One side of the divide believes dogs resort to eating grass if they need to force themselves to vomit. Based on this, a sick dog can eat grass, vomit, and get well. The other side does not agree with this. They argue that dogs are smart enough not to adopt grass to treat a stomach upset.
Scientific evidence favors the second group. Most grass-eating dogs are pretty healthy beforehand, with less than 10% of the observed dogs showing signs of sickness. Furthermore, grass-eating is not always the reason dogs vomit. Less than 25% of the observed grass-eating dogs vomit after eating grass.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Grass-eating dogs may have quite a few reasons for doing that. Here are what the limited research so far has identified;
cientific speculations suggest that dogs eat grass based purely on their instinct. This is especially true of breeds that evolved from wolves. Research has shown that 2-10% of the content in wolves’ stomach consist of plant material.
Making Up for a Missing Nutrient
There was a case of an 11-year-old Poodle that had eaten plants and grass for seven years, vomiting after each grazing episode. This stopped when the dog owner introduced a commercial high-fiber diet. In the case of this Poodle, the love for grazing was due to dietary fiber. The absence of fiber in his diet meant he had to resort to grass as a supplement.
Regular Dog Behavior
Dogs that eat grass may just be looking to satisfy their hunger. For example, dogs who had eaten a meal tend not to eat grass, unlike hungry dogs who recorded increased grass eating. Grass eating can also depend on the time of the day—it is less frequent in the later hours. Check here to learn Why Is Your Dog Not Eating?
Curious Dogs Eat Grass.
Younger dogs with more curiosity tend to explore their area with their mouths. So, like some children eating dirt out of curiosity, dogs may also try grazing. In some cases where the dogs grow to like the taste of grass, it becomes a habit.
Crave for Attention.
No dog parent cannot ignore a grass-eating dog, especially if it hardly does that. Dogs may capitalize on this by eating grass to get their owners to look out for them and offering treats instead. Also, if a dog realizes that its owner pulls them away from a patch of grass every time, it may fuel their desire to graze as soon as they see grass. Cats love doing things that are forbidden.
Should You Encourage Your Dog to Eat Grass?
While grass does not provide considerable nutrition to dogs, it does not cause serious issues. Healthy dogs that regularly undergo worming will not have any problems grazing. That said, dogs should avoid grass with pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. There is also a lungworm infection risk if your dog feeds on grass over which snails and slugs have traveled. Finally, you should consult your vet if your dog grazes excessively and show symptoms of sickness or ill health after grazing.
Dogs may occasionally graze – this is not a problem. It only becomes a problem if it becomes obsessive for your dogs or causes sickness. If you are unsure of your dog’s health condition, we recommend speaking to your vet as soon as possible.
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