Why does my dog eat grass?
We all know that dogs love to eat grass now and then, but have you ever stopped to question why they do it?
There are several potential explanations why your canine companion may have a craving for grass, from its natural fibre content providing essential roughage to its potential ability to ease an upset stomach. If your dog eats excessive amounts of grass, is repeatedly vomiting or is unwell, please contact your vet.
Read on to discover the answer to the age-old question: Why does my dog eat grass?
Diet – One Reason Why Dogs Eat Grass
Dogs are both meat and plant eaters, and their digestive systems can handle both. So, eating grass is not unusual for them. Grass contains fibre and essential roughage as well as phytonutrients and is high in potassium and chlorophyll.
Potassium acts as the main electrolyte for dogs and performs many tasks to keep your dog fit and healthy. Like humans who go to the gym and do a good session, the electrolytes in potassium help to rehydrate your dog and keep its ph levels in a good range. It also keeps their heart beating normally, so it doesn’t go out of rhythm.
Chlorophyll is a powerful antioxidant and has a host of benefits for your dog. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, cleans and renews red blood cells, and is anti-viral to support their immune systems.
If your dog’s diet is lacking in one of these elements, they may crave grass to increase their levels.
My Dog Eats Grass And Vomits
While it can be quite distressing to see your dog vomiting after eating grass, it’s quite a natural occurrence. If your dog has an upset stomach or tummy ache, it will seek grass to induce vomiting as relief. We may see this as more frenzied eating and not the casual grazing you may observe above. The long strands of grass are thought to irritate their throat and cause their body to react by being sick.
Is It Dangerous For Dogs To Eat Grass?
If your furry friend has vomited and seems to be ok, they may have eased their discomfort and may settle. If they repeatedly eat grass and throw up, you may need to take them to the vet for a check-up. They may have parasites like hookworms or roundworms and need treatment. Any symptoms such as dark, tarry stools, sudden weight loss, dehydration and coat deterioration should be investigated promptly.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
To increase potassium in their diet, try upping healthy ingredients like fish, chicken, turkey, potatoes, carrots, beans and peas to their normal food. Chlorophyll is present in leafy greens like spinach and kale and in broccoli, parsley, and Chinese cabbage. You can serve them up a hearty veggie casserole twice a week. Fruits such as bananas, apples (no seeds or core which can be toxic to dogs) and blueberries are also ideal.
Also, have a regular de-worming schedule in place to protect your pet from any parasites.
If your pooch is a fussy eater (like ours) supplements can be a fantastic way to ensure your dog is getting enough of the nutrients they need. There are lots of great products you can buy to support good health.
Dogs may eat grass to relieve an upset stomach, a lack of certain nutrients in their diet or because they have parasites. If it’s none of these reasons, well, they may just like the taste! Some dogs do. Just be careful to stay away from any grassy areas which may have been treated with pesticide, as it can be very toxic to dogs.
If you know of any other reasons your dog eats grass, please share them below in the comments.
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