Help! My dog is eating grass! Why?!
Let's go ahead and get one thing straight...to date, many experts and veterinarians have a lot of theories....but no one has a definitive answer on why our pups insist on grazing like Cows in our back yards or on walks.
Most grass grazing is absolutely nothing to worry about. In fact, your pup could be supplementing their diet with much needed fiber. Most commercially processed dog food is pretty dry and "dead" by the time it reaches the store you purchase it from...let alone by the time ol' Sassy chows down on dinner! It sort of reminds me of backpacking or camping where I have nothing to eat except dehydrated/processed food with virtually no "life force" energy to be found. By the time I return to civilization...I feel I could eat a barrel full of salad and drink smoothies til I burst. This is because our bodies crave and need fiber and whole foods. Our domestic dogs are no different. DOGS EAT PLANTS!
Supplementing your canine's diet with whole fruits and vegetables can really round out their diet. Sometimes it may take a little work to get your bud really diggin' the carrot sticks, but once they are on a roll, you may find all different kinds of whole foods your dog loves! It's awesome! Our dog, Loki, LOVES 90% of the veggies we give him! And this was not always the case. The other day, I gave him the broccoli stems to eat. I am not pullin' your leg! And my sister's dog eats tomatoes right off the vine, no foolin!
Another reason a dog may be eating grass is because it's stomach is upset or gassy. A way to tell if this is the case may be if they eat grass followed by vomiting. And again, no reason to be too concerned even if there is vomiting. Dogs bodies are intuitive and intelligent just as ours are. They regulate just as ours do. If you notice vomiting following grass eating super often...that may be a cause for concern. Speak with your vet to make rule out intestinal parasites, gastrointestinal upset, etc.
Unlike Cats, Dogs are omnivores, meaning they have survived and thrived living on diets consisting of berries, herbs, flesh, bone, and plants for tens of thousands of years!
Dogs are also natural born scavengers, which could explain behaviors that may perplex us humans. Some ways that natural born scavenger instinct is presented in our domestic lives are:
- Feeling the need to pillage through your compost pile every now and then ( Why must this always happen when people are over?! Making you look like the jerk who never feeds the poor, starving, pitiful little guy....tear. )
- Digging in the trash can while you are away ( The podcast, This American Life, has an episode on this one that has me rolling every time I listen to it! Listen here. )
- Sniffing around your kitchen floor for little pieces of food that may have dropped... or that petrified french fry juuuuuuust out of reach under the oven gap
These behaviors are ways your dog keeps busy and entertained!
Something to be mindful of: while your dog eating grass in itself is not cause for concern...eating grass that has been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides is harmful! When landscaping...remember your pets and avoid using harmful chemicals whenever possible. There are all sorts of ways to fertilize, git rid of unwanted weeds or invasive species, and keep your yard lookin' good without using chemicals that are harmful to your pets who come in very close contact with these products on a daily basis!