If you have a dog who likes to eat grass, you probably occasionally wonder why and if it is safe. You've also probably had others tell you it's because they have an upset stomach or that they are lacking a nutrient in their diet. Here's a look at what you should know if your furry friend likes munching on grass.
Why Do Dogs Really Eat Grass?
Scientists are completely sure, but as wild canines have been seen to eat grass or other herbaceous greens, chances are, they may just like it. People often think of dogs as strictly carnivores, but when you consider all the odd things they have been reported to have eaten, such as drywall, or remember they aren't exactly picky when it comes to people food, they are more likely omnivores. It's also possible that if they have an upset stomach, grass may have a calming effect, or they possibly know it will help them vomit and make them feel better.
Can It Hurt a Dog to Eat Grass?
Yes and no. If you routinely use weed killer or other herbicides on your lawn and your dog then eats this treated grass, it could make him sick. The dog may not become ill right away, either, as some poisons won't do a lot until they accumulate in the system. Whether they become ill or not can also depend on the size of the dog. Regardless, obviously it's not good to consume poisons.
If you don't use any chemicals to treat your lawn and flowerbeds, then it is relatively safe to allow your dog to eat a bit of grass occasionally. Puppies and younger dogs should be carefully watched that they don't overdo it, though. They haven't yet learned the value of being selective and may think it's okay to eat twigs, bark, and leaves as well. Too much of any of these could cause an intestinal block or choking.
You also want to make sure your dog isn't eating flowers or other plants, and that they aren't eating mushrooms. The great majority of mushrooms that grow in the typical urban backyard are extremely poisonous.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Suddenly Starts Eating Grass?
If eating grass is a new habit for your dog, consider any recent changes to your pet care. Have you changed his dog food recently? Does the dog seem more lethargic than usual? If you haven't changed their diet, it is best to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian for a checkup just to make sure everything is all good.