We used to call our Jack Russell Obi ‘our little cow’, because he was white with some big brown spots. You might also confuse your pooch for a small cow when he stops to eat grass during walks. Dogs are carnivores, right? So why do they eat grass?
You might be worried about your canine companion when he devours a lot of greens and vomits right after. Is this normal? Yes, it is. There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why your dog is eating grass.
Why do dogs eat grass?
A common myth is that dogs eat grass to clean their stomach. Some people believe that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting when feeling nauseated. Although that might seem like a logical reason, it’s not true! Not all dogs throw up after they eat grass. There has also been some discussion about whether dogs would consciously think about eating grass when their stomach is upset. So why do they do it then?
Eat your veggies!
Although their diet consists mostly of meat, dogs need fiber to be able to properly digest their food. That’s why a well balanced diet for dogs also includes some veggies. Grass is a tasty way to get fiber in. Even if your dog gets his greens with his food already, he might just eat grass because he likes it as an afternoon snack.
It’s all in the head
Your pooch might eat grass because of a psychological reason. We’ve discussed Pica in a previous article about dogs eating rocks. It’s a disorder where dogs eat non-food items, often seen with dogs that have been malnourished in the past.
Another reason could be that your pet is bored or feeling anxious. It’s a bit like people who are emotional eaters or nervously bite their nails. You can help by giving your dog more toys, longer walks and more attention in general. If you work long days, it might be interesting to bring your dog to doggy daycare or hire a dogwalker.
If your dog eats a lot of grass and seems obsessed with it, he might suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder. In this case you should consult a vet or behavioural therapist.
It’s perfectly normal for your dog to eat grass and it causes no harm. He might even benefit from it! Just make sure you don’t treat your grass with pesticides or other chemicals as they might make your dog sick.
If your dog is eating a lot of grass and also throws up a lot, it’s time to see your vet. There might be a number of underlying gastrointestinal issues.
Does your dog eat a lot of grass? What do you think might be the reason?