Why do Dogs eat Grass?

1,081 Views Updated: 03 Aug 2017
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Why do Dogs eat Grass?

It’s not uncommon to see a dog eating grass. While some eat and swallow, others throw up right back. If you are bothered that it may prove to be harmful to your furry friend or is a sign of an underlying mental problem, then you can stop worrying. The behavior is even considered normal by many veterinarians.

The precise reason as to why do dogs eat grass is unknown, and different pets may be eating grass for varied reasons. Take a look at some popular theories on this peculiar dog behavior.

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#1. Many people believe that dogs eat grass when they feel like vomiting. However, a study conducted at the University of California found that merely 8 percent of the pets who ate grass displayed signs of any illness before the ingestion and around 22 percent ended throwing up post consuming it. 

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#2. Another theory suggests that a dog could be eating grass because of a deficiency in its diet. Meaning, the dog could be trying to gain nutrients that its diet lacks from the surroundings. So, making sure that your dog follows a healthy diet may help you correct its behavior. 

There is no unanimous agreement among animal experts that diet is the cause of dogs eating grass and neither is there any prominent study proving it.

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#3. Eating grass might as well be an inherited quality that has been passed on to your pet from its wild ancestors. In the past, dogs could have consumed plant matter through the bowels of their hunt, which drove them to seek it. 

Since dogs have evolved to be omnivores, it seems like a great possibility that they have an appetite for plants, as is also evident by their behavior.

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#4. Wild chimpanzees are believed to ingest themselves with plant matter to increase digestive function and get rid of the parasites thriving in the intestines. Though most of the pet dogs are vaccinated for parasites, it could be their instinct driving this behavior.

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#5. The last theory which explains why your dog is eating grass says that it could be rewarding for your pet. It could be the taste of the grass luring your dog, or it could be the satisfaction it gets from consuming it. 

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While there are several theories, no one can say for certain as to what drives a dog to eat grass; whether it is an inherited instinct or they exude this behavior when they are sick.

Now comes the question whether eating grass is safe for dogs. Although many experts agree that grazing isn’t harmful primarily, pesticides and insecticides used in the lawn or garden may cause the health of your canine friend to decline. Additionally, some plants in your yard or nearby park could be toxic, so you need to make sure what your dog is ingesting. 

Just bathe your dog daily, clean its ears, provide a healthy diet and abandon all the worries about its well-being.

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(Featured Image Courtesy: The Natural Dog Food Company

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