Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Does your canine pal sometimes stop during his walks to nibble at grass? Chances are, the answer to that question is yes. This is a pretty common behavior in dogs, and one that many people are confused about. A local Chesapeake, VA vet offers some insight into this curious habit below.

Reasons Fido Eats Grass

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this one. In fact, there are many theories as to why dogs do this One popular theory as to why your canine buddy may be turning your yard into a doggy salad bar is that Fido does this when his stomach hurts, in order to induce vomiting. However, dogs don’t always—or even usually—throw up after eating grass, so there’s no way to be sure. It’s also possible that your furry friend’s diet is lacking something, such as fiber. Then again, it’s also entirely possible that your pooch is just bored, or maybe likes the taste. In some pups, this could also be a nervous habit, kind of like chewing fingernails.

Is It Dangerous For My Dog To Eat Grass?

The answer to this one is, well, yes and no. The grass found on most lawns isn’t toxic in and of itself. However, it may very well have been treated with toxic chemicals, such as fertilizer, slug bait, or pesticides. These are as poisonous to dogs as they are to unwanted insects! Fido could also ingest parasites from the grass. You’ll also need to be cautious about foxtail grasses. These are very dangerous, because of their sharp seed awls. These have barbed hooks that allow them to ‘burrow’ into dogs’ bodies, causing dangerous infections and internal injuries.

What Do I Do If My Dog Eats Grass?

In most cases, this isn’t necessarily going to be grounds for an emergency room visit, unless you know or suspect that the grass was treated with toxic chemicals. You also shouldn’t punish Fido: he’s only following his instincts. We would recommend talking to your vet about the issue. This is particularly important if your canine companion is vomiting, as this could be indicative of a medical issue. It could potentially be related to a dietary issue, such as malnutrition or perhaps a lack of fiber. It’s also important to keep up with your furry best friend’s parasite control products.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Chesapeake, VA animal clinic, anytime!

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