Why does my dog eat grass ? It is an important to know that the vast majority of dogs eating grass without it being linked to a health problem.
Although this is most often normal, you will see that eating Grass for a dog can also hide more serious health concerns.
My Dog eating grass and vomiting is this normal?
It is important to know that the vast majority of dogs eating grass without it being linked to a health problem. When this phenomenon remains occasional, there is often nothing to worry about. Most of the time this is completely normal behavior for the dog.
The phenomenon of vomiting in dogs, or rather regurgitation (the animal spits out as is what it has swallowed) is just as classic although often disturbing for the owner. Be careful not to take this behavior lightly!
Abnormal repeated ingestion of the herb accompanied by vomiting can reveal a serious disorder or pathology requiring the consultation of the veterinarian.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Several explanations are given by specialists to explain that dogs eat Grass. Among the various causes considered, there are:
The ancestral instinctive behavior from the wolf
Our domestic dogs would have inherited behavior from their ancestor, the wolf. This omnivorous animal feeds on prey, including herbivores whose digestive tract contains grass, but also plants and berries. Our faithful companions would have instinctively kept this natural need for grass in their diet.
A dog’s attraction for grass
Some dogs have a particular taste for grass. In other words, dogs like eating grass! This behavior can be observed in your animal even if it’s food is suitably adapted to its physiological needs.
We then speak of food “craving”, that is to say an irresistible desire to eat food. This behavior common to cats who throw themselves on catnip, is also found in humans who will rather turn to sugary foods like chocolate!
Dog eat grass and vomit
When the dog feels discomfort or pain in his stomach, he may try to induce vomiting in order to eliminate the stomach contents which bothers him. To achieve this, he will quickly ingest a large amount of grass without taking the time to chew it well. He also chooses, if you observe it, a specific and widespread type of grass: quack grass.
It is a herbaceous plant rich in fibers, indigestible and irritating for the stomach, which triggers vomiting when the dog swallows it. The regurgitation thus caused allows the expulsion of grass I then plays a role of “broom” helping to move up the troublesome stomach contents.
This phenomenon relieves the dog and reduces its feelings of nausea.
You therefore understand that a disease having effects on the digestive tract can inconvenience your Dog and cause this behavior excessively. Thus, it can become abnormal during underlying pathologies such as:
- A more or less serious digestive disorder (food intolerance, foreign body …)
- Metabolic disease (kidney, liver, pancreas)
- An infestation with digestive parasites (irritant intestinal worms)
Pica in dogs: behavioral eating disorder
When the dog eats grass, it can also be a behavioral problem.
Pica in dogs corresponds to the ingestion of non-food substances such as earth, sand, stones, paper, plastic or any other inedible object but also feces, we then speak of Coprolalia.
Ingestion of grass is also a form of pica when it is accompanied by the consumption of these non-nutritive materials.
This phenomenon can then reveal a medical or behavioral disorder. Indeed, a dietary fiber deficiency, in the case of an unbalanced diet (exclusively meat-based for example) can lead a Dog to eat grass.
In other cases, digestive disorders, pancreatic or metabolic, can also cause this pica in dogs.
If you notice this extreme behavior in your dog, it is recommended to consult your veterinarian who will look for the cause of the pica. Indeed, this behavior can be dangerous and lead to digestive complications which are sometimes serious (intestinal obstruction, perforations, etc.).
What can I do if my dog eats grass?
Watching your Dog is essential!
Regular observation of your dog makes it easier to distinguish what is normal from what is not. You must therefore be reactive and consult your attending veterinarian if:
• The behavior is new
• Your dog eats Grass too frequently. The “too much” occurs when the Dog eats much more than usual.
• The ingestion of grass is associated with vomiting and that these present an abnormal appearance (he vomits yellow, presence of blood, inedible elements …)
• The animal shows other symptoms, or if its general condition is altered.
However, if your dog looks better after eating Grass and vomiting, you can start by monitoring it and if it starts again, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.
IMPORTANT: As the behavior is normal at the base, you can let your Dog “dog eating grass” do it and not scold him BUT you must also make sure that the swallowed grass is not contaminated by toxic products and dangerous for his health (fertilizers, pesticides, …).
What does the veterinarian do for this?
Your veterinarian will investigate to determine why your dog is eating too much grass.
• He collects information about his behavior from you. You can see here that regular observation plays an important role because your Dog cannot speak!
• He performs a clinical examination of your companion,
• He checks that he is properly dewormed,
• He may initiate additional examinations to find the cause (stool analyzes, blood tests, abdominal x-rays or ultrasound, etc.).
Does the grass have a deworming action?
The presence of digestive worms in the stomach or intestine can annoy the dog and lead to the eats grass. It is commonly said that the Dog “purges itself”.
Attention, this expression is often misinterpreted and contrary to what many owners think, Grass has no deworming action!
Nothing will replace the effectiveness of a real dewormer to get rid of the dog’s digestive worms. This treatment is delivered by your veterinarian who prescribes a substance adapted to the physiology of your animal, its lifestyle and the types of parasites likely to contaminate it.
This belief is all the more misleading since Grass eaten by your dog can carry microscopic eggs (imperceptible to the naked eye) of parasites emitted in the stools of other animals.
Regular deworming is thus essential in dogs in general and more particularly in “dogs eating grass”!
As you can see, the reasons pushing the dog to eat Grass are numerous and require, for some of them, to be vigilant.
After reading this article, you are better able to understand this behavior, most of the time normal, and to know when to worry and consult your attending veterinarian.