Why do dogs eat Grass?
One of those mysterious dog behaviors that pet parents wonder about is eating grass. Lots of dogs do it… but why? Are they sick? Hungry? Bored? And more importantly, is it a good thing, or could it be harmful?
Veterinarians, Nutritionists, and even Behaviorists have weighed in on the subject. Here are a few theories on why dogs eat grass.
- Dogs may be hungry.
- Dogs will eat indigestible substances when they suffer from poor nutrition.
- They may have intestinal worms.
- Dogs are craving more greens in their diet.
- Eating grass might be an instinctual behavior. (In the wild, Canines would hunt for prey animals like Rabbits and eat the contents of the stomach which contained grass and other greens)
- Dogs eat grass when they feel sick to help them regurgitate.
But while many experts perceive eating grass as harmless, what’s added to grass can be downright toxic or dangerous!
If your lawn or the dog park has been treated with chemical pesticides or herbicides and your dog is grazing on the grass they are ingesting poisons. (That’s why freshly sprayed lawns have danger signs telling you to not walk your dog on them)
Beware of Roundup Weed Killer which has had multiple class-action lawsuits for Cancer exposure in humans. Can you imagine the potential toxicity if your dog actually licked the grass after being sprayed.? Additionally, dogs may lick their paws after a backyard walk and ingest toxins.
Here are some tips to keep your dog’s safe and healthy
1.When your out with your dog have treats on hand as an alternative that you can offer to prevent them from eating grass
2. Wash your dog's paws after a walk to remove chemical residue. (Dogs lick their paws) There are multiple paw washing devices available.
3. If you maintain your own lawn, read the product labels, and consider natural pesticides or not spraying your backyard instead.
4. If you use a gardener or pest control company make sure the products they apply are non-toxic, If you live in a condo or community speak to your Home Owners Association (HOA) or Landlords representative and provide them with Pest control companies that offer natural solutions.
5. Watch for signs indicating grass has recently been sprayed
6. If you really want to determine how safe products are, check out the EPA website (you can search by brands) or, you can search any product name online and attach the word, “MSDS” (Material Safety Data Sheet)
7. Adding Greens to Your Dog’s Diet is great for antioxidant support and might help curb their grass craving.
Wheatgrass (also known as “cat grass”). is a very healthy grass-like snack for dogs and it contains chlorophyll, (a powerful antioxidant), vitamins, minerals, fiber, and amino acids.
Try feeding Fresh Vegetables like cooked broccoli, brussel sprouts, peas, green beans, and dark, leafy lettuce which are also powerful antioxidants. These greens are very nutritious and they might help satisfy your dog’s cravings.
TIP- When you introduce any new fresh Vegetable to your dog, give them a small portion (Size of a quarter) then wait 24 hours to make sure that they do not have any digestive upset. You can increase the portion size after that.