DOGS EATING GRASS
QUESTION: My dog eats grass, then vomits. I was told the dog is doing this on purpose to make itself throw up. Is this true? And why?
ANSWER: First lets understand the domesticated dogs wild relatives. When a wolf pack makes a kill such as a deer for instance. One of the first and choicest delicacies from the deer is the contents of the stomach. The deer eats grass and other vegetation. Mother Nature tells the wolf that he needs such grass and vegetation in his own diet too, thus they eat all of the stomach contents.
Dogs or their wild relatives need more than just meat and that is why dog food contains anything from rice to other cereal by products. People who place their dogs on a meat only diet are doing them a great disservice. Unless they then supplement the dogs with vitamins, etc. that dog will never be as healthy as one recieivng a more balanced diet. So...................
(1) Dogs eat grass because their bodies may be telling them they need it due to an inadeqaute diet for that particular dog or dogs.
(2) Dogs eat grass when Bored for something to do. Some dogs lick or chew themselves constantly because of Boredom. It is something to do!
(3) Dogs eat grass when they are in a low lying level of pain, either External or Internal pain happening and eating grass takes their minds off of it. Some dogs lick or chew their paws or bodies when in a continual low lying level of pain. Others eat grass! (such discomfort is often unknown or undiagnosed by their masters)
(4) Dogs that are "Mentally Stressed" may again eat excessive amounts of grass to take their minds off of their problems. Or again, some dogs lick or chew themselves. Find out what is Stressing the dog and stop excessive amounts of grass eating at the same time!
(5) Dogs with a heavy infestation of Internal Parasites (worms) may eat large quantities of grass in an attempt to rid themselves of the worms. In this case, it always causes vomiting.
(6) AND some dogs eat grass because they simply love the taste. I have a dog who chooses each blade with delicate care. Nipping off only the tastiest one. She actually sorts through the grass until choosing just the right, most tender blades.
In the spring here on the farm, when a big slough in my horse pasture recedes each day, tender shoots of grass are exposed. My pack of dogs line up like piggies at the food trough and gobble it down while trying not to get to wet. None vomit afterwards.
Sometimes a dog simply eats to much grass and vomits, sometimes they don't. Grass in city parks, along side walks, etc. are often sprayed with chemicals for weed control or lawn maintenance that make a dog vomit each time it eats that grass. Same with people's back yards, if you use fertilizers, weed control, etc. that will all add to the dog having to vomit afterwards.
Certain types of grasses also cause vomiting and it has been noted that if the dog had another choice of grass, it would not chose these types.
Also PLEASE NOTE, when no desirable grass is handy, many dogs will eat house plants, outside flowers, etc that cause not only vomiting but many are poisonous to the dog, so keep such plants out of the dogs reach.