There are 2 main reasons dogs eat grass. One because its a purgative and two simply because they just want to! Your dog knows best!! Did you know that grass has nutrients and digestive enzymes your dog may need? What do you do if your dog consumes grass several times per week or even once per week?… this is NOT normal!… more on this below…
SCENARIO #1 Dogs eat grass to purge their system.
Most of you are well aware that dogs will, on occasion, eat large amounts of grass in an attempt to make themselves throw up. In fact, if your dog consumes a large amount of grass, it could be because she has:
Gas or bloating
Eaten something she shouldn’t have
A virus or bacteria
When they exhibit this behavior, it tends to be almost frantic. They’ll whimper and cry to be let out, then they’ll run outside and start eating any grass they can find; they’re not selective.
After they consume a large amount of grass, they’ll often times lick their lips because they’re nauseous, and then of course, they’ll vomit.
It’s completely normal for your dog to vomit occasionally (like people do when they are ill), meaning one or two times a year. Most often it’s nothing to worry about and, surprising as this may sound, your dog knows what’s best in terms of intentionally voiding their system of something that could be toxic, or making them unwell.
SCENARIO #2 What to do if your dog eats grass often.
Your dog knows what is best! Its rarely something to worry about. However if your dog is consumed large amounts of grass on a regular basis, you need to reevaluate DIET. Work with your veterinarian to get the brand and protein sources to be accurate for your dog and you may need to integrate the switch slowly if your dog has been on one monotonous diet for awhile.
The other items that you should consider adding to your dog’s food are probiotics and digestive enzymes. Probiotics help reseed and fortify the beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut, while the digestive enzymes provide what the entrails or the guts of their prey species would have. These enzymes provide a rich source of amylase, lipase and protease, which can help your pets process food much more successfully.
SCENARIO #3 Dogs eat grass because they want to.
Your dog runs out to the yard and selective picks out grass not so frantically as in Scenario #1. This is simply because the dog just wants to eat grass!
SCENARIO #4 Eating grass is a normal dog behavior.
Dogs know what they need to consume. And in fact, biologists have told us that all canids — dogs and wild dogs (wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc.) — consume grass and it’s a completely normal behavior.
So it’s important to recognize that you don’t have to prevent your dogs from eating grass unless you have treated grass or your grass has pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals on it.
It’s obviously important that you don’t allow your dogs to consume toxins when they’re consuming those grasses, but if the grass is free from contaminants, you can let your dog eat away.
SCENARIO #5 Grass has nutrients that your dog may need.
The grasses your dog is seeking out probably contains some nutritional value that your dog is seeking. We know that grass contains an abundant source of fiber or roughage, for instance, and we know that since grass is a living green food it contains phytonutrients and is high in potassium and also chlorophyll. Grasses are also a pretty good source of digestive enzymes.
So your dog could be seeking out selective grasses to make up for one of these nutritional components that they’re currently not getting in their diet.
Some dogs may also eat grass because they are under-fed, don’t have access to adequate food or are just plain bored. But, in the vast majority of cases, even if your dog is well fed and well cared for, he will still selectively pick out certain grasses just for their nutritional health benefits.
–Data collected from Dr. Becker
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