Your dog begs you to go outside, and once there, the first thing he does is to munch on grass and then promptly vomits it all up. Question is, why? Your dog is clearly not a cow, the closest connection they have is that they belong to the Carnivora clade of mammals. So why do dogs eat grass?
The truth is: none of us are really sure why. Science suggests that eating things that are not food is characterized by a disorder named Pica and sometimes Pica indicates that a dog might have some type of nutritional deficiency, or it could simply be a sign of boredom. Most veterinarian consider it a normal behavior.
Let’s take a look at the variety of reasons why your dog might be grazing on your lawn:
It is palatable: as natural scavengers, dogs are ‘programmed’ to search for sustenance anywhere they can find it. There is a possibility your dog finds it flavorful and enjoy its texture. Sometimes switching to a high-fiber food could decrease or end this behavior, but before making any change to your dog’s food consult with your veterinarian.
Boredom: in some cases, eating grass is a form of time fulfillment. The backyard is there, all for him, but what to do with it? Eating grass it is! Engage your dog in some fun activities. Take him for daily walks, at least a couple times a day, providing him with regular exercise and mental challenges as well.
Stomach distress: another possible reason why your dog is eating grass is that she is not feeling well. Dogs might use grass as a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach. The ingested grass tickles the throat and stomach lining, creating a sensation that cause dogs to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed.
Nutritional necessity: grass contains essential nutrients that a dog might crave. Introducing natural herbs or cooked vegetables also may help supplying the nutrients your dog is lacking. But be aware that some vegetables and fruits are not ‘dog-friendly’. Consult with your veterinarian what specific greens you can feed your furry friend.
Keep in mind that some herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers used on lawns are toxic for dogs, as well as some garden plants. Protect your dog by using non-toxic products on your own lawn. If you are out on public areas, keep an eye out for signs warning that chemicals have been used on grass. Make sure your dog gets plenty exercise and walks, this will help him to stay fit physically and mentally. And if you think you dog may be suffering from poisoning caused by lawn treatments, contact the National Animal Poison Control hotline: 1888-426-4435.