Have you ever been watching your dog outside in the backyard and caught them eating grass?
Our beagle used to eat grass sometimes and every time he did, he would vomit.
My other dog, Sherman, used to eat graze in the backyard and when we were out for walks.
He never got sick after it.
Leroy used to only eat clumps of freshly cut grass and again, he never vomited afterward.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Years ago and even now, some people and veterinarians believe that when a dog is eating grass it’s a sign of a vitamin deficiency.
There is something lacking in their diet such as fiber and so they seek out grass to help them pass gas, stool and to assist other bodily functions.
However, a study performed by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, found that although eating grass was a common behavior seen in dogs, no relationship with clinical illness was identified.
Some dogs were found to vomit after ingesting grass but they were found not to have any obvious signs of illness and these dogs did not have access to eating grass regularly.
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.
Is Eating Grass Bad For Dogs?
For some dogs, eating grass can be a sign of an upset stomach and they are looking to relieve that discomfort by eating grass.
However, since most dogs that eat grass do not vomit and are not feeling ill, it isn’t necessarily bad for them if they are in good health.
It is important to keep in mind that not all grass is healthy for dogs.
It’s not so much the grass that can be harmful to dogs but what’s hidden in the grass such as toxic mushrooms which can accidentally be ingested when a dog is grazing.
Grass that has been treated with chemicals such as fertilizers should also not be consumed by any pets.
And can also be home to certain parasites such as hookworms and roundworms that come from the feces of other dogs.
So if you’re going to let your dog eat grass, make sure it’s safe grass.
Should you let your dog eat grass?
If you’re concerned about your dog’s health or their grass-eating habits you should always speak with your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.
Some dogs just really like to graze on grass and it’s perfectly fine for them.
I would caution that if your dog likes to eat freshly cut grass that you don’t allow them to eat clumps of it which can cause an intestinal blockage.
I always try to pick up the big clumps of grass left behind by the lawnmower, especially if they are wet.
So is your dog a grass eater? A grazer? Do they ever vomit?