dog eat grass
why does my dog eat grassWhy does your dog carnivore sometimes think of itself as a herbivore? Does he really purge himself by doing this? Can this behavior reveal a health problem in your pet? The answers to your questions are in our article on the subject....
Why does your dog eat grass?
Although the origins of this behavior in dogs are not yet precisely known, several hypotheses are commonly put forward.
So, a dog could eat grass:
By instinct as a descendant of the wolf, the dog may instinctively seek to reproduce its ancestor's diet of herbivorous prey whose gastric content contained berries, plants...and grass. It is in the stomach contents of small prey that wolves find a fiber that contributes to their digestive comfort.
Because he likes it.
Although the sense of taste is not the most developed in dogs, they can still eat grass because they simply enjoy the taste.
Because his stomach hurts.
If your dog cannot digest his last meal, he may experience discomfort in his stomach that he wants to free himself from. To do this, he will ingest a large amount of grass quite quickly. It will irritate the lining of his stomach and make him vomit.
This behavior is not a concern when it is occasional, but it should alert you when it becomes frequent. The abdominal pain that causes this behavior may be a sign of digestive disease or food intolerance that you will need to identify during a veterinary consultation.
Do not confuse vomiting with regurgitation. When a dog eats grass, she can go tickle the bottom of her throat and make it regurgitate. He then "spits out" the grass itself and saliva. When the dog vomits, it expels the contents of its stomach after abdominal contractions.
Because he has pica.
When your dog constantly eats unusual and inedible materials such as sand, soil, stones, cloth, droppings, plastic or even... grass, it may be because he has an eating disorder called Pica.
Pica can be the result of a behavioral or medical problem such as chronic digestive disorders or metabolic disorders.
In the case of pica, it is, therefore, necessary to consult your veterinarian in order to quickly find the origin of the problem and to remedy it effectively.
Because he's not satisfied
It is finally possible for a dog to eat grass because he is hungry... and the high-fiber grass would help to satisfy him. Dogs with a diet high in fermentable fiber are less likely to eat grass. It is known that the fermentation of these fibers in the intestine during digestion could lead to a better feeling of satiety in these dogs.
If you think your dog eats grass to satisfy himself, you can enrich his diet with rich fermentable foods to try to stop his behaviour. Fermentable fibres are found in particular in:
fruits such as apples, pears, plums, or bananas,
vegetables such as carrots, broccoli or artichoke stock, legumes such as lentils, peas or grain beans...
the wheat bran.
An absorption of grass under surveillance
Even if a dog's intake of grass is not always a concern, you should still be careful that the grass your dog eats is not treated with chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides that could harm his health.
On the other hand, you must ensure that your pet is dewormed regularly because it is on the grass that different parasites lay their eggs and that the dog can become contaminated.
My dog eats grass: when to consult?
Most of the time, ingesting grass is completely harmless to the dog and does not present anything to worry about.
However, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian when consuming grass in dogs:
seems excessive and/or systematic to you, is associated with symptoms that may remind you of pica or digestive problems. Among these symptoms, frequent vomiting and/or vomiting of which the aspect is worrying should, in particular, encourage you to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Does grass help the dog purge itself?
What is called a purge is a practice based on the use of plants and whose purpose is to rid the body of harmful elements that make it or could make it sick. In dogs, these harmful elements can be intestinal parasites so that purging is often considered worming.
According to a well-established preconceived idea, dogs could, therefore, eat grass to purge themselves, in other words, to deworm naturally.
While it is true that grass consumption can accelerate intestinal transit thanks to the fibers it contains, it has no deworming effect. On the contrary, it is often through the consumption of grass that dogs become contaminated with digestive worm eggs that are present.
The best way to deworm your pet is to use veterinary deworming products that have been tested and proven effective.