Why Do Dogs Eat Grass, Anyway?
Spring is just around the corner, and dogs everywhere couldn’t be more excited to gobble up the first delicate shoots that emerge from the newly-thawed soil.
Grass eating is common among dogs – some even make it part of their daily routine – and not necessarily a cause for concern. Let’s explore the reasons dogs eat grass, and when or if curbing this behavior is necessary.
Why do Dogs Eat Grass?
Many people believe dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when their stomach is upset, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, studies have shown that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass and only 10% show signs of illness prior to grass ingestion.
Other potential reasons could include helping parasites to pass easier (a behavior inherited from their wolf ancestors, who also eat grass), the addition of micronutrients to their diets, or simply because they enjoy the taste.
Animal behaviorists aren’t exactly sure why dogs eat grass, but all agree that the behavior is normal.
Watch Your Lawn
One of the biggest concerns related to grass eating is the chemicals used to treat most lawns and manicured grassy areas. If you have a grass-loving pup, we strongly recommend not using chemicals to treat your grass, or switching to pet-friendly lawn and garden treatment.
When to Call Us
A dog who suddenly starts eating grass (or other non-food materials) or is eating grass obsessively may be experiencing an underlying health condition and should be evaluated by their veterinarian immediately. Other signs your pet may need to come in and see us include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drooling
- Lip licking
- Changes to coat
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact your Blue Valley Animal Hospital for more information, or to schedule an appointment for your pet.