It’s one of those things we’ve all seen and maybe don’t quite understand. Your pooch is outside, happily munching on a bit of grass, seemingly entirely happy and healthy.
They come inside, roam around a bit, and maybe drink a bit of water.
Then they throw up all of that grass and some icky bile onto your favorite carpet or perhaps into your shoe.
And you are left to wonder, not for the first time most likely, “Why”.
Why do dogs eat grass?
In spite of those large sharp teeth, your dog is an omnivore and, as such, craves plants as much as meat. Most dogs get all the meat they need to satisfy their cravings but often the plants they crave for their diet goes missing.
Unless they can get to that tasty grass in the front yard.
Keep in mind that in the wild, dogs (wolves) eat other wild animals and those other wild animals often ate plants. So in the wild, the plants they crave could often be obtained from their diet of wild animals.
Your domesticated dog is most likely not eating a lot of wild animals.
It is also often thought that eating grass is a form of Pica, which animals (humans included!) get when their diet is lacking in something specific. The animal will have strong urges to eat items that provide what the diet is lacking.
So your dog eating grass could be a sign of its hereditary need for plants or it could indicate a dietary imbalance.
Your dog may also just enjoy the taste! Some grass is sweeter than others and the time of the year will play a part here as well as which can also affect the taste of grass.
Is it normal for a dog to eat grass?
It’s not abnormal for dogs to eat grass. As mentioned above, it may indicate a dietary issue you want to take a closer look at but in the end, dogs eat grass.
They just do.
If you notice it a lot, or if they usually eat just a bit but seem to be on a grass eating rampage lately, then you want to take a closer look for underlying medical conditions and, most likely, involve your vet to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Why does grass make dogs throw up?
Good question and even your vet isn’t quite sure!
Many believe dogs eat grass when they have upset stomachs. We, as humans, always need to draw a line to connect the dots somehow and this one may be incorrect.
Were they eating the grass because they had an upset stomach?
Or did the grass cause an upset stomach and the eventual vomit in your shoe?
As mentioned, even your vet isn’t sure why dogs eat grass and vomit. There’s no hard and fast answer.
The overall process typically is that the dog seems fine beforehand, they eat the grass, then they vomit. This seems to indicate the grass is causing the vomit. However, some dogs seldom vomit after eating grass and many never do.
So again, it’s unclear that grass is actually causing your dog to vomit.
Even the scientists don’t seem to know for sure.
Should I let my dog eat grass?
Typical grass in your typical lawn is harmless with the exception of the vomiting. Too much vomiting can be problematic as it can lead to dehydration which, of course, is bad.
We tend to shoo our dogs away from the grass when we see them eating it. It does them no good although, for the most part, no harm either. Still, I’d rather not have to clean the vomit out of my shoes so my tendency is to try to prevent them from eating grass.
An ancillary consideration here is that some plants in your yard may be toxic to dogs and if they accidentally eat some of them while eating the grass, now you do have a problem on your hands.
Overall, my recommendation is to not let them eat grass.
Can I buy grass for my dog to eat
Actually, yes, you can!
You can find pet friendly grass on Amazon and other sites that offer “Pet grass“. This is usually targeted at cats but there are also some for dogs. We have not tried them so I can’t recommend them. But the labels claim they are “pet friendly”, “good for them”, etc.
These are typically grown in little planters that you might keep on the porch or perhaps inside, not actual lawn type grasses.
If you have experience with this and care to share, we would love to hear your take on it.
Is there anything I can do?
Not much – just keep the dog safe as always.
Keep in mind that grass is low to the ground (says Captain Obvious) and there are parasites living in the ground. If your dog is eating a lot of grass, it’s not a terrible idea to have her checked for parasites.
Some lawns are treated with pesticides or other potential toxins so ensure your dog isn’t eating that grass. In this respect, it’s good to know what your neighbors use on their lawns. If visiting friends or relatives, the same thing – be careful.
Talk to your vet, of course. You took the time to read through this article so it’s obviously important to you and anything worth spending 5 minutes reading about is worth spending 5 minutes talking to your vet about.
Dogs eating grass – conclusion
It’s important to remember that your dog eating grass, in and of itself, is not dangerous. But it may indicate a nutritional balance (so check her diet). If it happens excessively, or if the vomit is endless, then it’s worth talking with your vet about. If it happens rarely, it’s most likely nothing to worry about.
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