Why do dogs eat grass? 5 possible reasons explained.
Why do dogs eat grass? This is a question that vexes many do owners. The simple answer is that not even the veterinary experts can give a definitive explanation.
That doesn’t mean that we are entirely without ideas though. Here are 5 common explanations as to why dogs eat grass.
Is it because they feel ill?
This is a common assumption by dog owners. However, evidence suggests otherwise. A recent study by the University of California-Davis surveyed 1,600 dog owners, of which 68% said they noticed their dogs eating grass on a regular basis. However, only 8% said their dogs had shown signs of being ill prior to eating the grass.
This suggests that their is probably no basis to the idea that dogs eat plants because they feel unwell.
Is it clear their intestines of parasites?
Another idea is that dogs eat grass or other plants to make themselves defecate and thus clear their intestines of potential parasites. This behavior may be inherited from their wild ancestors.
Does it remind them of prey?
A third suggestion is that dogs eat grass because, on an instinctual level, it reminds them of the taste of prey. A wild dog or wolf’s prey consists primarily of herbivores, and often the prey will have undigested plant matter in the stomach. It could be that your dog is eating grass as the taste is reminiscent of his natural prey. For the same reason some dogs also enjoy green vegetables.
Is it to address some dietary imbalance?
Yet another possible reason is that the dog is eating grass because he is lacking something in his diet. Although most vets dismiss this as a possible reason, you may want to consider including some cooked green vegetables in your dog’s food if he is constantly eating grass.
Is it simply because they enjoy the taste?
Dogs have a pretty poorly developed sense of taste and will generally eat anything they come across. But while taste itself may not be a factor it is true that dogs are omnivores, and need to eat vegetable matter as well as meat. By eating grass your dog is simply doing what comes naturally.
Some vets suggest that eating grass may indicate the dog needs more fiber in his diet. So, you if your dog is constantly eating grass you may want to speak to your vet about how you can increase his fiber intake.
But there really is no reason to worry about a dog that occasional eats grass. Just be sure to keep him away from toxic plants, and chemicals, like fertilizers.
The actually reason for your dog eating grass is likely a combination of at least some of the factors above. But in truth we may never know the answer to the question, why do dogs eat grass?