If your dog eats grass, there could be several reasons. First of all, he is instinctively drawn to certain plants, such as his distant ancestors the wolves who also fed on grass and berries. It may help him digest and purge himself. He may also just enjoy the taste of grass. Or it can also reveal a diet too low in fiber or even a pathology: pica.
Your dog eats grass to purge his stomach
The first explanation for why a dog eats grass is digestive. Indeed, if your dog has difficulty digesting properly (whether occasional or frequent), he will spontaneously try to make himself vomit. For this, he will consume grass which will irritate the intestinal mucosa and cause a minor regurgitation. Beware, however, some vomiting is, in other cases, a symptom of serious conditions, such as acute kidney failure. However, this type of illness is accompanied by other significant symptoms.
Your dog likes to eat grass
Your dog may also simply be instinctively attracted to plants or like to eat grass. In general, dogs like to eat couch grass because it is high in fiber. It can also be a compulsive, difficult to control craving. If this episode is temporary, there is no need to worry since eating weed will not affect your dog's health.
Your dog eats grass to get more fiber
If your dog is eating a diet that is too low in fiber, he will need to eat more. The grass will then be an ideal food for making a significant intake. If this is the case, make sure to correct his diet by offering him adapted, more balanced meals that are rich in fiber. Consult your vet if necessary.
Your dog suffers from pica
It may also be that your dog is prone to pica. If this is the case, your dog will have a tendency to inappropriately eat unusual materials, such as grass or dirt, wood, stones, sand, plastic, etc. If this happens, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian, so that he can have your dog tested and can determine the origin of the problem. Indeed, pica can be due to various pathologies, other than behavioral disorders, in particular pancreatic insufficiency or digestion or metabolism disorders. Keep in mind, however, that while pica is to be taken very seriously in an adult dog, it is not necessarily serious in puppies, which must be trained.
If your dog eats grass, watch him
Dogs can therefore eat grass for a variety of reasons, which can be quite mild or more serious. So take the time to observe your dog and his behavior on a daily basis, to know how to react. If you find that he continues to eat grass a little too often, whether you are worried or in doubt, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a vet who will advise you on what to do next.
Do dogs self medicate when they eat grass?
It is commonly assumed that dogs eat grass to relieve upset stomachs as some dogs vomit shortly afterwards. However studies show that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass, so it is unlikely that they eat it to self-medicate. Added to this, only 10% of dogs show signs of illness prior to eating grass. This shows that the majority of dogs who eat grass are not sick beforehand and do not vomit afterwards, and therefore eat it for one of the other previously mentioned reasons.
Watch the video by tailored dog food brand Tails.com filmed at DogStroll Doggy Daycare center.