Dogs have similar varied dietary needs as their human owners, as they also need a balanced diet. This might have you wondering why dogs eat grass and when should you take yours to the vet for it?
There are several reasons your furry friend might be eating grass. This culinary choice is common and generally harmless, although some dogs may become ill afterwards. But according to VCA Animal Hospitals, less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass.
How to keep dogs cool:Tips for keeping your pup cool in sweltering heat
How often should you bathe your dog? :A guide based on breed, lifestyle and coat.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs that eat grass can have a condition called pica. This disorder consists of the compulsive consumption of non-food items, such as grass or rocks, according to Great Pet Care.
Dr. Katherine Houpt, Emeritus James Professor of Law at Cornell, said eating grass could be a learned behavior. Puppies from mothers who ate grass are more likely to eat grass, she added.
Connections to nature
“Probably in nature the dog would kill the rabbit, it would eat the rabbit. It could also eat what’s in the rabbit’s intestines, which is grass,” Houpt said. “Their official diets don’t get that, so there may be a natural tendency to eat grass.”
She added that in some cases, dogs might not even eat grass at all, but clog it up because of interesting smells. Dogs have an organ between their nose and mouth called the vomeronasal organ, which is their “sixth sense,” according to Houpt.
“If he really wants to know who passed by here or who urinated here, having the weed in his mouth will allow them to perceive better,” she said.
When to go to the vet
But when does your dog’s habit become worrisome?
Houpt said if a dog eats grass and constantly vomits, the dog most likely has gastrointestinal issues and it’s time to take him to the vet.
“They may even have ulcers; they can have inflammation anywhere. And especially things in the upper gastrointestinal tract, throat, and stomach tend to be associated with eating or licking non-food items, like dogs licking carpet,” she explained.
Just curious?:We are here to answer the daily questions of life.