Animal Issues
WHY IS MY DOG EATING GRASS? Published: 01/02/10
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It is quite peculiar to see dogs eat grass.  Some are so into it; they are actually grazing once they find delectable patches of grass.  It can be quite worrisome for some dog owners especially when they see their dogs vomiting after swallowing a mouthful.

Research on why dogs eat grass is still inconclusive.  Some speculate that grass eating is a result from a gastrointestinal disorder.  Usually, dogs that eat grass are found to have gastric ulcers, worms, or just typically an upset stomach.  It seems that the grass acts as a binder for the toxins or worms that infest your dog’s digestive tract, and is purged along with the grass when your dog either vomits or has diarrhea.  It is still a mystery if your dog vomits or has diarrhea because of the grass, or he does so because he initially has stomach problems.

Pregnancy can also cause your dog to eat grass.  Usually, this happens when your dog is at the first stage of pregnancy.   You will notice that before your pregnant dog would eat grass she would show signs of being nauseated, but nothing comes out.   It seems to help calm her stomach after inducing her to vomit.  However, this is a case to case basis.  Some pregnant dogs will not eat grass during the duration of their pregnancy.

Dogs also seem to prefer eating grass that has been constantly urinated on by other dogs or animals.  The keenest senses of canines are their sense of smell and taste.  Once they have caught the scent of another canine that has urinated on a patch of grass, they would munch away.  It may be because the dog is gathering information about the dog that has marked its territory.  Or, it could be that the taste of that particular grass is much better compared to others.  Urine has urea, a component that is found to enrich plants and a common compound found in composts and commercial fertilizers. 

Other dog owners theorize that dogs eat grass because it is a common part of a dog’s diet in the wild.  Even if wild dogs hunt game, grass and other vegetation are still found inside the intestines of these animals.  The preference has evolved because dogs cannot simply pick out grass from the inert parts of what they have killed. 

Grass-eating is quite harmless to dogs.  Just make sure that the grass that they are eating are not prayed with harmful insecticides and maintained by use of commercial fertilizers.  These chemicals are harmful for dogs, and can create health complications. If you are concerned with your dog’s grass grazing habit, try to substitute some vegetables in the diet.  A lot of pet owners have found that supplementing their dog’s diet with raw vegetables such as carrots and lettuce lessens the grazing of dogs.  Excessive vomiting and diarrhea may or may not be brought about by grass eating and regardless of the cause, warrants an immediate visit with the vet.







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