If you are the parent of a dog, you may have observed that they can sometimes be quite partial to eating grass. It may seem unusual because dogs are carnivores, but the herb can have some benefits.
All dog owners know that their canine companions enjoy the occasional bite of grass, often followed by vomiting. Due to this reaction, it is common for dog owners to think that grass is toxic to their canine bodies, and many people will criticize them for eating green things.
You might be surprised to learn that grass-eating may have numerous health benefits, including everything from relieving constipation to relieving natural stress. Here in this article, we discuss various potential reasons for grass-eating, and what impact grass has on your dog’s body. So for more information, keep reading.
Why Does my Dog Eat Grass?
Dogs eating grass might seem strange, especially since they are carnivores and do not need plants to survive. In its current form, researchers haven’t agreed on a definitive reason why your dog likes to test your lawn, but there are many theories as to why they might. The main reasons are:
1. The herb helps an upset stomach
One of the common theories why dogs eat grass is that it helps with an upset stomach. Dogs sometimes vomit the grass after ingesting it, and possibly the reason for doing so is because dogs lack the necessary enzymes to digest grass. This process may help them, allowing them to cleanse their stomach of anything they cannot digest, such as their feathers, hair and bones. This is also a common theory as to why cats eat grass as well.
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2. Herb juice contains folic acid
Interestingly, grass juice contains folic acid, an essential vitamin that aids digestion, supports cell growth, and enhances hemoglobin production. If your dog feels that he is deficient in these vitamins, he can search for grass to find it. So if in doubt, why does my dog eat grass? It could be due to a lack of folic acid.
3. Grass acts as a natural laxative
Sometimes your dog can’t digest things that move too much up the GI tract. In this case, the grass can help to decompose it, facilitating the passage. It means that the herb may also help cleanse your gastrointestinal system and relieve constipation. Ultimately, the herb may act as a laxative and potentially provide a calming effect.
4. Provide enough juice
Like most breast milk, herb juice contains folic acid. It is an essential vitamin (B9) for the body’s normal functions and helps produce hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to the blood. Think of it as your dog’s wheatgrass smoothie (hopefully, they like it better than you do).
Sometimes other medical conditions may cause animals to generally eat inappropriate things (including grass), in a condition called Pica. This should be evaluated by a vet in order to discover the underlying causes.
Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Grass?
When consumed in moderation and provided it has not been treated with pesticides or herbicides, eating grass is not a problem. However, if your dog eats grass to excess, it can become trapped inside his nasal chambers and cause him to sneeze excessively. If this occurs, you will need to contact your vet doctor immediately to have the grass removed manually.
If your dog has a routine of eating plants and grass, you must make sure that all the plants in your house are not toxic. Some popular indoor plants, such as lilies and Kalanchoes, are toxic to dogs and can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. And remember that lilies are also life-threatening to cats as well! If your pets contracts a poisonous plant, always be sure to take him to a veterinarian for treatment.
Tips When Playing Outside
If you want to make sure your canine companion only eats safe grass, you can buy dog grass pots to feed your dog. Not only can this satisfy their needs, but it can also prevent them from chewing or eating their favorite houseplants. Keep this in mind when your dog is playing outside:
- If your dog tends to eat grass occasionally or rarely, this is usually not a cause for concern. However, you must take some precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your dog.
- Pesticides – If you have a yard that your dog has declared a suitable hunting ground, make sure you don’t use pesticides or herbicides. You can accidentally poison them.
- Check for poisonous plants you can grow there.
- Grow dog grass. If the entire neighborhood is a suitable roaming area for your pet, make sure that it does not eat anything other than dog grass.
- Cut grass is a better option to replace potentially harmful substances present in the exterior. You can provide dog grass with dog food at home, which you know is a safer option and completes dog grass needs.
- Dog grass seeds, usually oats, barley, or wheat, are available at any pet store. You might even consider growing them in pots or outdoors in an open field.
- Poisonous Plants – If you keep your dog indoors, be sure to remove all poisonous plants they might use and provide dog grass instead.
Whether your canine spends a lot of time outside or inside, it helps to review this list of the most common toxic plants:
- Sago’s palm
- Aloe plant
- Dieffenbachia (also known as Dumb Cane)
- Heartleaf philodendron (also known as horsehead philodendron)
How to prevent your dogs from eating grass?
You can prevent your dog from eating grass by doing the following:
- Give them enough phosphorus and calcium (contained in any high-quality, nutritionally balanced commercial dog food)
- Give your puppy/dog a nice gift
- Make your backyard a water park!
- Help your dog get outside quickly and safely
- Provide dog trees and outdoor toys
Still looking for answers? Schedule an instant video consultation with our qualified veterinarians and get tailored advice from the comfort of your home – today.
And for your future problems, visit our partners for premium pet insurance options. Have the peace-of-mind knowing your pet is covered.