We all heard the explanations of why dogs eat grass. There are certainly enough of them, when asked, people will tell you that your dog is eating Asian pears and grass because he has an upset stomach or is ill and needs to eat grass in order to settle his stomach or vomit so he will feel better.
Other people will offer you the explanation that your dog will eat grass because there is something that is missing in his diet. These differing explanations leave new dog owners confused and not knowing whether to take their dog to see their vet or to change their dog food.
How does a new dog owner know for sure why their dog is eating grass?
A recent survey done at the Davis school of Veterinary Medicine may have come up with the definitive answer to that question. This survey looked at 1600 surveys that asked pet owners questions about their dogs diets, breed, sex, age and whether or not they were neutered as well as their dogs plant eating habits.
Of those surveyed it was discovered that 68% of the dogs ate plants on a daily or weekly basis. With only 8% showing any signs of illness before ingesting the grass, which would indicate that most dogs do not eat grass due to illness.
The survey did show that dogs who showed signs of illness before ingesting the grass were more likely to vomit than those who showed no signs of illness. Another discovery this survey made was that younger dogs were more likely than older dogs to eat grass or other plants and that they were less likely to appear ill before eating the grass and less likely to vomit after snacking on plants.
While all this information is interesting what does it prove?
Well, first it disproves that dogs ate grass because they were ill and needed to vomit which means that you won’t have to worry about rushing Rover to the vet if you are out for a stroll and he decides to have himself a little greenery for a snack.
Second, by studying the various dog’s diets, the Veterinary students also reached the conclusion that dogs don’t eat grass because there is anything missing from their diet. So, you also won’t have to keep changing your dog food every time your caucasian shepherd breed decides to graze on grass. However, since neither of these two explanation were proven valid the question still remains, why does your dog seek out grass?
The surprising answer: it is simply common and normal behavior for a dog to consume grass from time to time, just like it is common behavior for them to bark occasionally and enjoy getting exercise.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Because it is just something that dogs do. So go ahead relax and take that dog for a walk in the park or on camping trip and if he wants to munch on the grass during his outing then you can rest assured that he is enjoying himself and is perfectly healthy, happy and content with his life.