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Why Dogs Eat Grass

Updated on May 19, 2016
Do you know why your dog eats grass?
Do you know why your dog eats grass?

It is a normal phenomenon for snakes to bite humans. Society finds it very strange or to an extent totally illogical for a man or woman to bite a snake. Every society has its accepted norms and behavioral tolerance, hence any individual who lives or behaves contrary to societal standards is perceived to be deviating from the status quo.

With extremely sharp canine teeth for carnivorous feeding adventure and daily supply of food by their respective owners, dogs live an omnivorous feeding lifestyle. As such, owners find it extremely strange and totally unacceptable seeing their well fed and trained dogs consuming grass like herbivores do. Owners who see their dogs feeding on grass should not go on a panic spree. Owners of such dogs begin wondering as to whether their dogs are hungry, sick or bored or whether or not the grass is healthy for consumption.

Why dogs eat grass?

There are so many reasons why the average dog eats grass. If one day you find your dog eating grass, then any of the following could be the possible reasons why it is doing so:

Pica

Firstly, don't be surprised your dog is feeding on grass as yours isn't the first to do so. Most dogs do feed on grass not for the purposes of overcoming hunger. Pica is the technical term used to describe the habit of continuously eating things that aren’t foods and have no nutritional value.

Boredom

Sometimes, eating of grass by dogs is attributed to boredom especially when practiced by puppies that have no logical reason for their action. Left alone at various homes in the absence of their owners, dogs result to eating grass to kill time as they patiently wait for their owners to return from work. To overcome the condition of dogs feeding on grass because of boredom, owners can keep their dogs busy by playing or entertaining them with a tennis or golf ball. Owners can as well take their dogs to their shopping expeditions and daily morning and late evening jogging activities or may as well buy their dog pet a robust chewing toy to keep them busy.

Illness

Dogs, it has been proven, may also eat grass when not feeling well. The grass, when eaten, stimulates vomiting, thereby getting rid of congestions in their stomachs mostly responsible for their sickness. Other experts also argue that though dogs, like most animals, can detect when not feeling well, they aren't that intelligent to recognize grass as a remedy to their stomach troubles and other sicknesses.

Are there any dangers with dogs eating grass?

There are quite a number of dangers associated with dogs eating grass. One of the most common of these dangers has to do with grass that has been sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. We all know that most (if not all) herbicides and pesticides consist of poisonous chemicals that are very harmful to the internal organs of animals, especially during the early stages of the grass or lawns being sprayed. Can you imagine what would happen to your dog when it mistakenly eats grass that has been sprayed with pesticide or herbicide?

This is the reason why dog owners are often advised as a precautionary measure to keep their dogs away from lawns freshly sprayed with herbicides and other poisonous chemicals.

Again, the fecal residues of other dogs and animals left on grasses or lawns may contain harmful parasites like hookworm for instance. These parasites outside their host cells remain dormant but quickly resume full life processes once they reach the intestines of dogs that consume them. They cause infections to the intestinal tract of their new host. This situation can be very harmful to your dog.

What you can do to help your doctor

Veterinarians, nutritionists and other experts are always the first most important point of contact in addressing matters of dogs eating grass. However, owners of dogs should bear in mind, that just as humans struggle to overcome addictions, dogs like other animals might also be addicted to grass. Owners are advised to study the behavioral patterns of their dogs to help assist them in overcoming their addiction to grass. Designing routine exercises and jogging expeditions and other means of entertainment will keep dogs off grass. Most importantly, give the best of meals to your dogs.

Giving your dog a constant supply of a variety of nutritious foods will keep it well fed and would likely reduce its likelihood of falling on grass to satisfy a nutritional need or requirement.

Does your dog eat grass?

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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 7 months ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      I've always considered the reason dogs eat grass is the same reason they eat sticks, rocks, socks, coins, and other debris. Who knows? Theories abound, but I'm not aware of one broadly accepted answer. Well written hub on an interesting subject.