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Dogs Eating Grass

Dogs Eating Grass

One of my family dogs likes to sneak in a few chomps of grass every now and then, and I was never sure why. More importantly, perhaps, I always wondered if it was OK. I figured that his dog instinct was telling him “grass, yum, must eat,” so it was probably all right. But just to make sure, I decided to look into it a little further.

My first question was one that I have seen debated on these pages frequently: Are dogs carnivorous or omnivorous? The Encyclopedia Britannica states that dogs are indeed omnivores, but there seems to be plenty of debate about this. (I’d love to hear your insights about this in the comments field.)

Arden Moore, author of The Dog Behavior Answer Book (Storey, 2006), also states that dogs are omnivores, and that they like a little variety on their diet and know the value of adding some greens to the menu. Hello, grass.

Moore says that while some dogs eat grass and throw up afterward, some frequently do it and don’t throw up. They may simply like the taste and feel the need to add some roughage to their meals. This pertains more to those dogs that actually chew and swallow the grass blades thoroughly.

Grass can also act as a healthful aid for dogs with upset stomachs who need to purge their systems. In that case, you might notice that they seem to almost gobble the grass without really chewing the blades. The prickly little stalks irritate their stomach linings and cause them to vomit. If this occurs only occasionally, let nature take its course. But if your dog is vomiting daily and not eating well, please consult your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical reason behind this behavior.

Grass is fine for dogs when it is free of pesticides, lawn chemical, or other harmful substances.

Read more: Everyday Pet Care, Pets, , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

161 comments

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10:43AM PDT on May 11, 2013

ty

3:15AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Thank you

10:27AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

My cats have always like to chew on a little bit of grass.

10:22AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

I have 3 dogs and the one that eats it the most is my AB and he has stomach problems. He will go behind my flower garden to find those long blades of wild grass, not lawn grass. I always thought it was some form of calming agent for their bellies. I just don't like when he doesn't chew it up. . . that creates problems coming out the other end! LOL Just sayin'

7:40AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Well, it is pretty common for us here to see dogs eating grasses every now and then.

According to many elders that's of our parents' age, dogs knows when they are unwell and they will chew on grasses and then, vomit everything out which makes them feel better.

And the interesting fact is that, according to the "Wu Xing",also known as the Five elements in Feng Shui, dogs belongs to "Earth" element. So this is most probably the reason how they managed to cure their own stomach ailments in times of needs

1:37AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Thank you for sharing!

12:47AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

I've never known a dog that doesn't eat grass ,it has never done them any harm.

7:38PM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

thanks for sharing..

4:19AM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

It's the cats who go crazy for grass!!!! Not so as much for dogs...thanks.

8:39AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

Noted, thanks.

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