Why do dogs eat grass?

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Your dog is a descendent of the mighty wolf, a noble hunter and confirmed carnivore. You feed him meals of the best possible quality, so why does he insist on eating grass?

While no-one is entirely sure why dogs eat grass, pet intuitionalists are fairly certain it's just normal canine behaviour and certainly nothing to worry about.

Grazing

There are two main types of canine grass eating. The first is simple grazing where your dog happily munches on grass and suffers no ill effects.

Some vets suggest dogs eat grass to make up for a nutritional deficiency but even dogs that eat well balanced diets will eat grass. It's possible that they simply like the taste. It's like salad to them. So even if you're feeding your dog well, he might still fancy some greens!

Instinctive behaviour

The other type of grass eating is when a dog eats some grass and throws it up. This is thought to be a deliberate instinctive attempt to induce vomiting after they've swallowed something that makes them feel ill.

Dogs that eat to make themselves vomit usually swallow grass as quickly as possible, barely even chewing it. It is believed that the long, unchewed pieces of grass tickle their throats to bring on the vomiting reaction.

If your dog eats grass then vomits and seems fine, he's probably taken care of whatever was bothering him. If he keeps retching and is unable to throw up or keeps eating grass and carries on vomiting, you should take him to see the vet.

Safe to eat?

With all grass-eating behaviour, keep a careful eye on the sort of grass your dog is consuming. Don't let him eat anything that has been treated with pesticides or fertilisers. Most lawn-care products will indicate whether or not they're safe for pets.

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