Have you ever seen a dog eat grass? They do it all the time. The common explanation as to why dogs eat grass is because it’s sick… This is not always true. If your dog is grazing but not sick, then the herbivore side of your dog is craving some plant life. There are a few theories as to why dogs eat grass.
- Your dog is sick
- Minerals, vitamins and fiber
- Marking or covering scent
- Simply, they like the taste
Stomach issues seem to be the first thing people think when they see a dog eating grass. But you have to look at the entire picture to establish if your dog is sick. Look for other signs of sickness as well; heavy panting, are they lethargic, or is there a loss of appetite. These are signs your dog may be sick and they can be accompanied by grass and foam vomit. Being sick is one reason why dogs eat grass. But what if your dog eats grass and you don’t see any other signs of sickness?
The next theory as to why dogs eat grass can also be categorized in digestion and nutritional needs. Your dog could be deficient in a nutrient. Dogs are omnivores. When you consider that dogs, like wolves and other canines in the wild, eat a collection of nutrients, such as grass, berries, and other plants, not just wild game; it’s easier to see that adding a nutrient could be why dogs eat grass. Domestic dogs are limited to the foods we feed them, you might want to look into more nutrient dense foods if your dog is supplementing by eating grass.
Added to the nutritional value dogs may use grass as a fiber. Most articles state that grass cannot be digested by a dog’s system; which makes sense because full-intact blades do come back up when the dog vomits, and only 25% of dogs actually vomit after eating grass. So is the grass being used as a filler, like a fiber, when the stomach is empty? An empty stomach could be why dogs eat grass. If you have a grazing dog, try a good snack in between feeding times.
Is your dog nibbling at the grass? This could be a sign that they are marking their scent; just like sent rolling (when your dog rolls and rubs their body vigorously in the grass). But wait, there are other theories that states dogs are actually trying to cover their own scent. Wild pack canine lick and roll to cover their scent from predators. I have found a few different views on this topic. The results were a divide between mouthing the grass to cover their scent or to mark their territory. Whether you choose one or the other; to scent or not to scent, either of these could be why dogs eat grass.
The last in the list as to why dogs eat grass is simple; they just might like the taste.
For other great dog tips and suggestions see the complete list of Beach Dog Blogs on Newburyport.com.