Why does my dog ​​eat grass?

Many of you have probably seen it before: your dog suddenly starts nibbling on grass. It can be a little worrying, especially if you’re not sure why they’re doing this. In this article I delve deeper into the answer to the question: Why does my dog ​​eat grass?

The origin of the behaviour

Although dogs and wolves share common ancestors, they are cousins ​​rather than direct descendants. Dogs have been domesticated over the past ten thousand years and have evolved into a species very different from wild wolves. During this long period of domestication, dogs have developed many behaviours that can no longer be directly traced back to their wild ancestors. Yet some instinctive behaviours, such as eating grass, may be a remnant of this common origin.

Why does my dog ​​eat grass?

Why does my dog ​​eat grass?

Natural Instincts
As mentioned above, it may be an instinctive behaviour left over from their common ancestors with wolves. In living with people, dogs have also learned to adapt to ‘what is available’, they have become quite opportunistic eaters. From table scraps to trash, dogs have learned to make a meal of it. It is quite likely that grass species have gradually become a tiny part of the menu.

Stomach problems
Some experts believe that dogs eat grass to soothe their stomachs. Grass can help induce vomiting, which can be helpful if the dog is feeling nauseous. In practice, however, I don’t often see my dogs vomiting after eating grass.

Nutritional needs
Grass contains certain fibers and nutrients that may not be sufficiently present in regular dog food. One theory is that dogs eat grass because of the fructan, a type of carbohydrate found in grass that may contribute to the health of their intestinal flora.

Taste preference
Some dogs just seem to like grass. This may have to do with the texture and taste of young blades of grass. Many dogs eat grass in a leisurely manner, often selecting the younger, more tender blades, indicating that they may simply like it. I sometimes jokingly call my own dogs ‘Labracows’, when they are grazing quietly.

Boredom or Stress
Dogs may eat grass out of boredom or as a way to deal with stress. In these cases I see my own dogs pulling large chunks of grass out of the ground, which they usually immediately leave behind. It seems to be more of a coping mechanism than actual ‘eating’.

Is eating grass dangerous?

In most cases, eating grass is not dangerous for dogs. However, it is important to pay attention to a few things:

Pesticides and Chemicals
Make sure the grass your dog nibbles on is free of harmful pesticides and other chemicals.

Poisonous Plants
Not all greenery is safe for dogs. Check whether there are any poisonous plants among the grass.

Frequency and Quantity
If your dog eats large amounts of grass or does so very frequently, it may be a sign of an underlying problem and it is wise to consult your vet.

Dogs eating grass is usually a normal behaviour that is not of immediate concern. It can have a variety of causes, ranging from natural instincts to nutritional needs and behavioural problems, and sometimes dogs just like grass. By paying close attention to your dog and ensuring a balanced diet and sufficient exercise, you can contribute to a healthy and happy dog.

Do you have experience with your dog eating grass? Share your stories and tips in the comments below!

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