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Why Dogs Eat Grass?


Why Dogs Eat Grass

Many dog-owners can attest that their dogs often act as their own personal lawn mowers, "trimming" the lawn whenever they are outside. Sometimes dogs appear to be merely supplementing their diets, while others are known to eat grass and almost immediately throw it up. Inevitably, many have found themselves asking why their dog eats grass.

It is thought that dogs who devour grass only to throw it up actually cause themselves to vomit on purpose. A dog who partakes in this behavior usually does so because they have an upset stomach, and deliberately devours grass without completely chewing it. As they swallow this grass, in-tact blades of grass tickle the dog's esophagus, causing them to vomit and, oftentimes, providing the dog with relief.

Why, then, do some dogs appear simply to snack on grass? Dogs act as scavengers, and are highly opportunistic in choosing their food sources. Therefore, a hungry dog, or a dog of a breed known to eat voraciously, may be inclined to nibble on grass, chewing it thoroughly so as not to induce vomiting. Dogs may also eat grass because they enjoy its texture. Lastly, dogs might also eat grass out of necessity; it is believe that dogs may consume grass when their diets need more roughage.

Though some may worry that eating grass could be unhealthy for their dog, there is actually some nutritional value in grass, and most veterinarians argue that dogs should not be discouraged from eating grass. In addition to being a source of fiber, grass contains important nutrients that dogs may crave. This is particularly true of dogs who subsist on commercially available food, which may not always offer a sufficient supply of such nutrients.

There are, however, potential downsides for dogs who habitually eat grass. Though grass itself is not harmful to dogs, grass may be grown with harmful chemicals and pesticides. A dog owner who is concerned about this may want to consider buying or growing a small tray of grass or starting a small herbal garden in their home for their dog. Grass may also host the eggs of parasites that can afflict a dog's intestines. However, this should only be of concern to owners of dogs who do not take heartworm medication, as heartworm medication also protects against common intestinal parasites.

A dog's habit of eating grass is generally only a cause of concern if a dog abruptly begins to eat a large amount of grass or a significantly greater amount than they normally do. This behavior may be worrisome not because of any properties of the grass, but because it may suggest an underlying health problem that the dog is trying to self-medicate. Should this happen, it is best that the dog's owner immediately consults a veterinarian.

Though many dog-owners may find it bizarre, frustrating, or worrisome, the tendency of dogs to eat grass is overall natural and safe, and is nothing to fret over.

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