Some dogs like to chew on and eat grass; others don’t. Pet owners often wonder just what makes a dog eat grass when they are well fed and seem very healthy. There are a number of myths and beliefs about this interesting, curious activity. But what’s the truth about why dogs eat grass?
First of all, this isn’t something that should be of major concern to the dog owner, according to most veterinary medicine experts. It probably isn’t an indication of any serious health problems and shouldn’t cause major problems for the dog after the grass is eaten. The only real concern might involve grass that has recently been treated with chemicals. But dogs sometimes won’t eat this grass!
Dogs are not strictly meat-eating animals. This member of the animal kingdom has eaten all types of stuff to satisfy their hunger. They are known to be scavengers and are not as picky about their diets as some other animals seem to be. When dogs eat grass they may be trying to get some necessary nutrition from the plants that they got from other sources in the past. Scientists believed that, in ancient times, dogs ate all or most of the prey they killed, including the stomach contents (which may have contained vegetation).
Of course, pet owners sometimes see their dog vomiting right after the dog has eaten grass from the lawn. This may be an indication of stomach problems that the dog is trying to solve by eating green vegetation. Some veterinarians believe that the sensation of eating grass causes an automatic response of vomiting. However, a dog that seems to devour larger amounts of grass then throw it up may well be ill and may need medical attention.
But pet owners shouldn’t worry too much about their dog when the animal seems to be nibbling and is contentedly “grazing” on the lawn. Some dogs just seem to like the feel and taste. They may even feel better in general after eating small amounts of fresh grass. After all, grass can be good roughage for the dog’s digestive system.
Do dogs need grass as part of their diet? Maybe, maybe not. We have mentioned that there is generally no harm in letting a dog munch on small amounts of grass. But there is one other factor to consider. Most family pets are fed prepared dog food and get little else to eat during the day. When the dog chews on grass and eats small amounts the animal may be adding a small amount of some nutrient it needs. Some pet owners have even reported that their dog eats leaves from a house plant!
If this is the case with your dog you may want to add a few cooked vegetables or some other natural material to its diet. Make sure you do a little research on this subject first and talk with your veterinarian about it as well. Don’t worry too much if your dog munches on some grass occasionally. It shouldn’t be a cause for concern in most cases.