Your dog came up to you and let you know that it’s urgently time to go outside, or, you are taking your dog out for a walk and they randomly start chewing grass. For some dogs, they chewed so much grass that they even got sick. It seems so instinctive for them to do this as well right? For starters, this is not always cause for alarm and it’s quite common.
We have witnessed this, and have talked to many dog parents that suggest that dogs eat grass when they temporarily don’t feel well as a way to make themselves vomit, and then feel better.
If you are simply feeding your dog processed foods, some suggest that dogs instinctively do this in attempt to repair digestion issues. Some may be lacking fiber or dealing with another form of unmet nutritional need. Other dietary deficiencies include missing vitamins, nutrients, or minerals.
“Evidence suggests that most dogs that eat grass are not unwell beforehand, or at least they don’t seem so. In fact, fewer than 10% of dogs seem to be sick before eating grass, according to their owners. And grass-eating doesn’t usually lead to throwing up — less than 25% of dogs that eat grass vomit regularly after grazing.” [Fetch by Web MD]
The most important consideration
The immediate concern is that there is a high risk for harmful and toxic chemicals in grass. Depending on the source of the grass, there could be herbicides, pesticides, and more used on that grass. These are bad if ingested. There is also the potential for intestinal parasites that can develop depending on what is on the grass itself. If you are not sure of the purity of a patch of grass, avoid it all together.
Dogs are Omnivores
Long before your dog became domesticated, canines in the wild hunted their own prey. They ate an entire (flesh, blood, bones, organs and more) animal for an optimal diet. They also naturally ate a bit of grass and other plants as part of their genetic makeup. While eating grass did not help them nutritionally, they did crave it. Today, most of us try to feed our dogs’ foods that closely resemble what they would have eaten if they hunted for the food on their own, as well as supplement them nutritionally.
Just like with humans that prefer vegetarian only diets, protein or vitamin deficiency can occur in dogs if their diets are not properly supplemented. Thankfully, most human vegetarians understand and do not mind feeding their dogs meat or other animal based products.
When should I be concerned about my dog eating grass ?
Hopefully, we have demonstrated what could be considered normal. However, the opposite of that spectrum is when your dog begins eating grass more frequently or excessively. There could be a serious underlying illnesses that your dog is trying to fix on their own. When they start vomiting, having diarrhea, sudden weight loss, a decrease in appetite, blood in stool, lethargy, and other signs, it’s time to go to the Vet.