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dogs eat grassDogs are pretty infamous for eating anything they come into contact with. While we can definitely understand some of the more tasty options that fall from the table, it might be a stretch to say that other canine snack choices don’t invite scrutiny. At the top of that list is, of course, grass.

Wondering why dogs eat grass? The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital have some ideas.

Maybe This, Maybe That

It is unknown why dogs eat grass, but there are theories out there that can account for this mystery.

For starters, many people think that dogs eat grass to make up for something that is missing in the diet. Sure, this makes sense, but it could also be that dogs are tuning into the behaviors of their ancestors. To be sure, wild dogs previously had an omnivorous diet and they used to eat a great deal of plant matter.

High quality dog food will have sufficient levels of fiber. When grass is eaten, however, it isn’t fully digestible.

Dogs Eat Grass Due to Tummy Troubles, or for Fun?

Likewise, dog owners and experts speculate that dogs eat grass to help them vomit, in an attempt to rid the body of something that’s upsetting the stomach. A recent study showed that less than 10% of dogs vomited after eating grass, so it’s unlikely that dogs eat grass as an emetic.

Perhaps dogs eat grass simply because it tastes good and it’s fun to chew on.

Whatever the Case May Be

If your dog eats grass, it’s probably okay. However, The Pet Experts recommend keeping a very close eye on how much is consumed, and note any changes in behavior. Among other things, an underlying gastrointestinal disease may result in grass eating. Diagnostic testing is often needed to uncover the reasons for this behavior.

When to Worry

If you see your dog obsessively eating grass, it is time for a consultation. Grass eating can become a problem for some dogs.

Likewise, try to keep your dog off of lawns that you know (or suspect) have been treated with pesticides or fertilizers. There could be other plants growing in the lawn that shouldn’t be eaten.

The Pet Experts Understand

If you have additional questions about what your dog likes to eat, or have specific concerns regarding grass consumption, please contact the team at The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital.