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Why Do Some Dogs Eat Grass?

Contary to popular belief, when dogs eat grass it doesn't always mean that they are feeling sick. Many dogs will eat grass because they like the taste of it.

Our beagle use to eat grass and every time he did, he would vomit.

Sherman likes to eat graze but only the tall grass and only one blade at a time. He never vomits after eating it.

Leroy likes to eat clumps of grass but Leroy thinks he needs to eat something every time that he goes outside.

During winter he eats snow, in the spring and fall he eats mud and in summer he eats clumps of grass.

He’s never vomited after eating the grass, or the mud or the snow.

Years ago it was believed that when dogs ate grass it was a sign that they weren’t feeling well.

But now, that times have changed and medical advances have been made the question is:

Why do dogs eat grass?

Do dogs eat grass to make them vomit? or Does eating grass make dogs vomit?

Contary to popular belief, when dogs eat grass it doesn't always mean that they are feeling sick. Many dogs will eat grass because they like the taste of it.

Out of 7 dogs that I’ve had in my life, 3 have been grass eaters and only 1 has vomited from it.

I remember it clearly because I use to clean it up all the time.

So if you asked me I would say it entirely depends on the dog.

I think my beagle ate grass to make himself vomit.

I think Sherman eats it because he likes it.

I think Leroy eats it because he likes to eat clumps of things on the ground. He craves the idea of it but not the actual “grass”

If you ask science:

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine performed a survey in 2007 regarding grass ingestion among dogs and the

correlation between this behavior and illness.

This study revealed that although grass ingestion was common among dogs, no relationship with clinical illness was

identified.

However, some dogs were observed vomiting after eating grass.

These dogs, although clinically healthy, did not have access to grass regularly.

Why Do Some Dogs Eat Grass?

Further investigation revealed that dogs without regular access to grass were more likely to vomit after ingesting it.

It is now believed that grass can act as a stomach irritant in dogs that are unaccustomed to it.

It is possible some dogs may learn to associate grass-eating with vomiting and seek it out when they are feeling ill.

However, this study revealed that grass ingestion does not appear to be a form of self-medication in dogs with clinical illness.

Contary to popular belief, when dogs eat grass it doesn't always mean that they are feeling sick. Many dogs will eat grass because they like the taste of it.

In 2008 The University of California had this to say:

So contrary to the common perception that grass-eating is associated with observable signs of illness and vomiting, we found

that grass-eating is a common behavior in normal dogs unrelated to illness and that dogs do not regularly vomit afterward.

Vomiting seems to be incidental to, rather than caused by, plant-eating.

 

Should you let your dog eat grass?

While most veterinarians seem to think that eating grass isn’t harmful to your pet you should make sure that the grass they are eating is free of chemicals.

We don’t treat our grass so I have no problem with the boys grazing on it but while we don’t use chemicals my neighbor does. 

I always pay attention to when she has her yard treated and will keep the boys away from that side of the yard.

If you suspect that your dog is eating grass because they don’t feel good it’s recommended that you speak to your veterinarian.

So is your dog a grass eater? A grazer? Do they ever vomit?

Contary to popular belief, when dogs eat grass it doesn't always mean that they are feeling sick. Many dogs will eat grass because they like the taste of it.

 

 

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Jan K

Monday 2nd of July 2018

This was so interesting, but University of CA seems to be the ones that got it right. We have definitely had dogs that sought out grass when they don't feel well, and if they did, it would make them vomit. But they always had access to it. However, Luke eats grass all the time, and very rarely vomits. It sometimes even seems like an obsessive behavior with him, or he just simply likes it. Now, you need to figure out why cats do it. Ours definitely seems to love it, but she never keeps it down!

My Golden Life

Sunday 10th of June 2018

Shadow doesnt usually eat grass unless she's hungry. And I can't remember the last time she vomited.

Ducky, OTH, will eat anything she can find in the yard EXCEPT grass. She will eat dirt, dead leaves, pieces of twigs, pieces of acorn shells, and just recently - are you ready? - birdseed!! Normally, though, it's only when she's eaten her breakfast or dinner too quickly and can't get it to go down properly so she gets obsessive about eating anything to make it all come back up. The obsessiveness was quite frequent when she was having the IBS episodes; but now that we have that mostly under control, it's only an occasional thing. And, luckily, most times I catch it before it gets too bad. Our vet suggested trying CatLax for her at those times. I've only known it to not work twice in the last year.

Dan Zurcher

Friday 8th of June 2018

Our last 2 Newfy's have been grass eaters. I think the younger one does just because the older one does. He eats the long grasses one blade at a time every day, never vomits. Neither one does. We had a Great Pyrenees a few years ago who would eat grass and vomit pretty regularly. The Newfs never do....

waggytalesblog.com

Thursday 7th of June 2018

Years ago vets used to say that dogs induce vomiting by eating long grass to tickle the back of the throat. I find it interesting that my dogs always eat from a very small patch of grass in the garden, I never see them eating from other areas. I think mine just like a little salad now and again!

Jen

Thursday 7th of June 2018

I'm pretty sure that's what our old vet use to say too. Sherman doesn't do it everyday but if he sees a long blade of a grass he goes for it. It's so funny because he's so gentle about it!

Tails Around the Ranch

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Some dogs (like Old English Sheepdogs) are genetically programmed to eat grass. When they worked the Highlands watching herds of sheep, it was the majority of their food. Thanks for sharing info on this interesting topic. It's a lot like the what came first, the chicken or the egg conundrum. ?

Jen

Thursday 7th of June 2018

That's pretty cool to know! Thanks for sharing!

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