Believe it or not, one of the most commonly asked questions vets receive from their dog owning clients is, “Why does my dog eat grass?” While the practice may seem rather distasteful to us, it’s really rather common among just about every breed of dog. The answer to the question, however, is not exactly cut and dry. The truth is dogs eat grass for a number of reasons. Here are just a few of these reasons, as explained by an experienced Athens veterinarian.
They’re Hungry – Seems pretty obvious, although the sight of green grass in the yard isn’t exactly what most people would refer to as appetizing. To a dog, however, that is hungry and opportunistic, grass may seem like the perfect thing to snack on. If you notice your dog seems to be seeking out this alternative food source quite frequently, you may want to discuss it with your Athens veterinarian to ensure that you are providing an adequate amount of food to keep your pet satisfied.
Their Stomach’s Upset – In many cases an animal that has consumed a fair amount of grass will vomit shortly thereafter. This may be by design. If your dog is feeling queasy, gassy or just has a generally upset stomach, they may decide to chomp on a little green stuff in the yard to remedy the problem. After it’s swallowed, the grass will tickle the inside of your pet’s stomach lining and throat, which may induce vomiting. Voila! Stomach issues cured!
They’re Missing Some Nutrients – Believe it or not, grass does contain some nutrients and your dog may be munching on the lawn because his body is craving those nutrients. Have a discussion with your Athens veterinarian to see if your dog might benefit from nutritional supplements or natural herbs. This just might do the trick and curb that grass eating behavior once and for all.
Most experts agree that occasionally snacking on grass isn’t going to cause harm to your dog. Just be sure to watch for excessive or sudden increases in the behavior, as they may be signs of a serious underlying medical problem. You should also be particularly careful of where your pooch finds her grassy snacks. Certain fertilizers and pesticides can cause illness or even death if consumed by your dog.
Above all, if your dog likes to eat grass, it’s probably not a big deal. Just keep an open dialogue going with your Athens veterinarian to ensure that the behavior is normal for your particular pet.