Let’s cut the bullshit and get straight to the point.
Dogs eat grass because they love eating grass and sometimes to fulfill dietary needs.
I have a German Shepherd and a Pitbull. Both have grass-eating behavior.
Observe! I used the term ‘behavior’ and not ‘issue’. Fact- 68% of dogs eat grass or plants daily!
It took me a long time to get the facts right, and when I did, I thought this could be compiled into an article for many dog owners who are worried.
Here you go!
All reasons why dogs might eat grass.
1. Primal instinct.
In a research study, it was found that 2%-74% of wolves and cougars had plants in their stomachs.
So, what does it mean for a dog?
It might be a primal instinct that dogs might have developed when they were in the wild! And that never truly left their system even after domesticating them for hundreds of years.
2. Because they love the taste.
Eating grass doesn’t make dogs sick! That was the final result of research conducted on 12 dogs. The grass-eating behavior is perfectly normal, and your dog might just love the taste of grass.
So, let them graze around and have grass to satisfy their taste buds.
3. To fulfill nutritional needs.
You might have heard about the famous poodle dog who ate grass and vomited for 7 long years. There was nothing the vets could do.
Finally, the dog stops eating grass when his daily diet was changed.
And what was the change?
The dog was provided with fiber-enriched food.
So, your dog might just have a deficiency of an essential nutrient, or simply the daily diet lacks fibers. So, you might want to change the diet a bit to see some positive results.
4. To feel satiated.
Sometimes the food you provide might not meet your dog’s hunger.
So, as a way to fill up the stomach, dogs can eat grass. This is evident from the fact that Leopards in the wild eat grass to prevent starvation.
If that’s the case, an increase in food supply might just stop this behavior.
5. Get relieved off intestinal stress.
Sometimes, a dog might suffer from certain intestinal discomfort. So, as a way to get that out, they might consume grass.
You see vomiting after consuming grass doesn’t happen quite a lot. Only 22% of dogs vomited after grass consumption.
And even if your dog vomits, it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
The bad things might have gotten out for good.
6. Treating intestinal worms.
Chimpanzees in the wild have been found to treat intestinal worms by ingesting grass. Though I really can’t vouch for that, it seems we can also apply the case to dogs.
Pica is not uncommon in dogs and can often be seen among people as well. It’s a kind of compulsive behavior directed towards eating non-food objects like garbage, plastic, and even grass.
If your dog is eating grass because of PICA, it can be redirected toward other edible food ingredients. And in most cases, your dog might be struggling with nutrition that causes PICA in them.
Is grass-eating connected to diarrhea or gas in dogs?
In a 2010 research study, dogs were treated artificially to induce diarrhea and gas in them. But the remarkable finding revealed dogs fed with normal food ate more grass then dogs with stomach with soft stools.
So, I think I have answered the question. Dogs might not use grass to treat gas or diarrhea. In fact, eating grass is more linked to treating constipation.
Is eating grass toxic for dogs?
The grass is not toxic for dogs if they eat it in a normal way. But if your dog is eating grass frantically, it might be because he is experiencing some kinds of illness.
Look out for house plants as some of them might be dangerous for dogs. Azalia, Daffodil, Tulip, and many more plants can fall into this list.
When should I stop my dog from eating grass?
These are the following scenarios when you need to stop your dog from eating grass:
- Your dog is eating grass after meals. Normally they would eat it before meals.
- Eating grass and other plants in large amounts.
- Vomiting severely.
When is time to see a vet for my grass-eating dog?
According to Hills pet, you might have to see a vet for these two following reasons:
- Continuous vomiting and signs of pain after eating grass.
- Eating other objects besides grass.
It’s perfectly normal to ingest grass for dogs. But you do need to keep an eye on your pet if things get out of control.
You may like Why dogs lick the human face?