During a walk or in the garden at home, it happens again and again. Your dog bites hard into the fresh green and chews with relish on the stalks. But why do dogs eat grass? First of all, the good news: In most cases, your dog’s culinary preference is neither due to illness nor unnatural behavior.
When the meadows glow green, some four-legged friends seem to have their mouths watering. As a result, many dogs eat grass – apparently because they just like it. Grass can even enrich dog nutrition because it is juicy and aromatic and rich in nutrients and raw fiber. However, if the chewing fun gets out of hand, dog owners should contact the veterinarian.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
When dogs eat grass, they are following an urge that is firmly anchored in their genes. Because: their ancestor, the wolf also consumes the stalks. What role this behavior plays in the context of dog nutrition has not yet been clarified. However, several theories address the question of why a dog eats grass:
- Coping with stress or boredom: If the four-legged friends are under tension, their blood sugar level drops. The intake of grass lifts it again and helps to cope with the situation in a relaxed manner and increase concentration.
- Compensation for vitamin or nutrient deficiencies: grass is full of folic acid and provides fiber.
- Stimulate digestion: The fiber in grass stimulates bowel activity. So eating grass is healthy.
- Stomach problems: Because of too much stomach acid or hair that through the grooming have accumulated in the digestive tract: The grass helps your dog stomach problems by vomiting to eliminate. The only half-chewed stalks tickle the four-legged friends in the throat while swallowing and thus trigger the gag reflex.
Many dog owners are initially frightened when their dog eats grass and then vomits yellow mucus. The yellow mucus is often a mixture of gastric fluid and bile, which takes on a foamy-slimy consistency when vomiting. However, if your dog also looks limp or if you notice other abnormalities on him, you should speak to your veterinarian as a precaution.
Is Grass Harmful For Dogs?
If your dog eats grass occasionally, you don’t have to worry about him – over 90 percent of fur friends chew on stalks now and then. But, on the other hand, does your dog eat a lot of grass, literally swallow whole clumps, and restlessness? Then you should check with your vet to find out the reasons for this unusual behavior.
The same applies if eating grass is accompanied by severe vomiting and diarrhea. Suppose you notice blood in the vomit or feces at the latest. In that case, you should not hesitate and present your four-legged friend to the vet immediately because these can be signs of serious illnesses such as inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Do you suspect stress is behind your dog’s behavior? Then give your four-legged friend some rest and observe whether this measure brings about positive changes. You can counteract boredom with new games and other criteria.
Whether eating grass is harmful to dogs can be answered with “no” in most cases. Chewing grass is generally neither unhealthy nor unusual for your four-legged friends. So don’t stop your dog from taking a break for a snack while walking.
Exception: You know the farmer that insecticide or herbicide has just been used in the region or that the meadow is next to a busy road. In these cases, you should prevent your dog from eating the grass. The agricultural chemicals and exhaust pollution can harm him. The pesticides even cause poisoning.
Regardless, you should always keep an eye on the meadow your dog is about to nibble on. Do plants grow there that could be poisonous for your four-legged friend? Then the snack has to wait.