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Why Your Dog Eats Grass?

January 19, 2018

Your best friend clearly isn't a grazing animal like a cow or goat. So you might be confused when they suddenly start munching down on blades of grass. Although there is no consensus of opinion or concrete scientific evidence as to why, there is a term for the disorder. Pica is defined as the ingestion of non-food items such as grass, plants, rocks, feces, etc. Since there are a number of speculations as to why your dog loves to munch on fresh blades but no definitive cause, here are some possible reasons:

  • Your pet needs to throw up. Grass eating is believed to be a mechanical act for naturally expelling parasites, upsetting foods or other swallowed objects. It can be a quick way to vomit, although most dogs don't.
  • Your pet likes the way it tastes. Dogs are omnivores and can eat just about anything. In the case of eating grass, they may like the taste, texture or droplets of water found on the blades.
  • Your dog evolved as a grass eater. We know that, in the wild, grass was often found in the stomach of a canine's prey. So when food was in short supply, eating grass would fill an empty belly.
  • Your pet is bored. Let's face facts. Dogs (and especially puppies) are easily bored and often choose to chew on things. Providing more appropriate chewing options can help.
  • Your pet's diet is lacking nutrients. It is possible that your dog is missing a key nutrient in their diet. Most dog food is supplemented making it improbable they are lacking anything found in grass.
  • Your pet is suffering from anxiety. Compulsive forms of pica may originate from emotional conflict. Dogs that are left for long periods can become frustrated and may adopt unhealthy coping behaviors. Try increasing your pet's physical activities.
  • Your dog may have a disease-induced malabsorption. Since the majority of canine companions eat grass at one time or another, this is rarely the case. But, any concern is something you should discuss with your veterinarian.

Although researchers, veterinarians, and animal behaviorists continue to study the predisposing factors, etiology and pathology in search of answers as to why pets eat grass, there is little reason to worry about your pet's behavior. What would be of concern is the need to ensure the grass eaten was not recently treated with chemicals. If you do suspect your pet ingested something that is potentially harmful or if your dog's behavior seems abnormal, contact PrimeVET. Our caring veterinarians will check your pet's health, and put your mind at ease.

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