Dogs and grass!

Most, if not all, dogs eat grass – this explains why!

Of the many Mother Nature Network articles there are many that concern dogs. Such as this one.

Dogs love to eat grass especially when the grass is green and fresh. Quite often some of the dogs throw up not long after.

Here’s a post on Mother Nature Network that explores the topic.

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Why do dogs eat grass?

By Morieka Johnson    August 15, 2019.

Some dogs just like the taste of grass. (Photo: Tanja Esser/Shutterstock)

No walk around the neighborhood is complete without my dog Lulu eating grass. Even on a full stomach, she likes to hunt for the perfect blades and chew away. Left unattended, I’m sure she could mow down a small lawn. Since lawns today have any number of herbicides and pesticides, many pet parents wonder if it’s OK to let their dogs eat grass.

Here’s what the experts say about these grass-eating habits.
It’s yummy: It’s normal for dogs to chew on the green stuff because they like the taste of grass, says Dr. Jennifer Monroe of Eagles Landing Veterinary Hospital in Georgia. Some pooches even develop preferences that range from fresh leaves to drier weeds or even a particular species of grass. What they cannot discern is whether grass has been chemically treated. Use caution when walking on a neighbor’s lawn and stick with greener products in your own yard. Monroe recommends nontoxic treatment options.

“You do have to be careful if you have a dog that is a chronic grass eater,” she says. “We do have a lot of clients who bring pets in for vomiting and wonder if it’s from something the yard was treated with.”

Nutritional deficiency: Most commercial dog foods offer a balanced diet, so many experts say its unlikely that your dog isn’t getting the nutrition he needs from his dinner. Instead, dogs with certain intestinal diseases don’t necessarily digest food properly and have trouble absorbing minerals, which can lead to grazing, says Monroe. Anemia and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract also cause dogs to eat dirt.

Some dogs eat grass because they need to throw up. (Photo: smerikal [CC by-SA 2.0]/Flickr)
They are trying to induce vomiting: When dogs are eating something that doesn’t agree with them, they often have an upset stomach and eat grass to induce vomiting. If eating grass causes your dog to vomit twice a week or more, call your veterinarian because there could be another underlying health issue. She also recommends a visit if there is any doubt that your dog may be ill; better safe than sorry.

Some dogs nibble the lawn and are fine, while others are always eating grass and vomiting. It may just be the grass tickling their throat and stomach lining that causes them to vomit, says PetMD, or it could be something more serious. That’s why it’s key for dog owners to make sure their pets aren’t sick. Keep track of how often your dog vomits and let your vet know.

Instinct: One theory is that this unusual dog behavior is just instinct. Dogs in the wild are natural omnivores who eat meat and plants, so domesticated dogs naturally gravitate towards plant material too, says Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Another theory is that wild dogs would eat plant material in the stomach of their prey, so they developed a taste for it.

Behavioral issues: Dogs can develop obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) regarding the grass. (I suspect that my Lulu falls into this category. She’s pretty determined during those lawn-gobbling excursions.) In the majority of cases, Monroe says this is no reason for concern. To correct the behavior, she recommends reducing your dog’s grazing time.

Basket muzzles restrict grass guzzling, too. In severe cases, she recommends consulting a certified veterinary behaviorist for advice. Otherwise, let them stop to smell — and chomp — the greenery.

“If not they are not vomiting and not destructive, I say let them enjoy it,” Monroe says.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information since it was first published in October 2013.

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All very straightforward it seems.

But I suspect there may be just a few who found this post revealing.

23 thoughts on “Dogs and grass!

  1. Great info. I had a dog who definitely used grass to induce vomiting. She was a picky eater with a sensitive stomach.

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  2. While we’re on the subject let me add this…

    Keep your dog out of mulch or top soil that dark dirt that is spread around the shrubs in early spring and through out the year

    It could contain a fungus disease that is lethal to your dog

    My dog walked in some mulch in early May 2019 at the local Rite Aid Drug Store and got this fungus disease

    You can’t see it in the dirt and not all dirt has it

    6 months later my dog Sami died from it at the age of 8 years old

    I never heard of it and apparently it only attacks dogs and there is no cure for it

    And no one seems to be talking about it 🐕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s a very good advice!

      I’m so sorry to hear of your Sami’s death, and of the cause. Very sorry indeed!

      The other day we purchased a cubic yard of topsoil to go on a small flowerbed in front of the house. The dogs have already been in it so I’m guessing that it is OK.

      Would you like to write a guest post about this? It should certainly be brought to a wide readership?

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  3. This is good to know! I board dogs through an app as one of my side-hustles, and I’ve often noticed them eating grass in the backyard while I sit out back and work on my books. Honestly, though, I think sometimes the dogs are just a bit anxious to be left at a stranger’s home and eating grass is an outlet for their nerves.

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    1. Dale, a very warm welcome to this place and lovely to have your response. You may be right that a degree of anxiousness causes grass eating but it still does our dogs no harm. Hope to see you again!

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  4. Great post!I have been planning to adopt a dog since a long time. Probably I’ll take the plunge this year. I had no clue dogs ate grass and could have such strong reasons for doing so. I guess I’ll be more careful and cautious when I get my buddy home. Thanks for sharing! 🌸

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