Many dog owners find it odd when they see their dogs chewing on grass and even swallow it. Could it be a sign of Pica (eating sidorder charaterised by persistent eating things that aren’t food)? Are they hungry? Sick? Or boring perhaps? No one knows exactly the reasons that dogs eat grass, but several ideas have been put forward.
1. Feeling bored
Do you ever feel bored and try to look for something to do just to kill time? Dogs might to do the same as well. When they go to the yard themselves, but they find that there is not much to do there. Eating grass then becomes something they do to pass the time.
2. Texture and flavour
There is a possibility that dogs simply love the way grass feels and tastes. They look forward to eat something that is cool, fresh and textured like grass.
3. Dietary needs
Some claimed that dogs are eating grass in order to fulfill certain kinds of dietary needs. Perhaps their normal diets lacks of fibre, so they turn to grass to make up for it. Though this claim sounds valid, however no scientific proof was found to support this claim.
3. Ease stomach upset
Other people think that when dogs are suffering from a stomach upset, they turn to grass for relief. When they gulp a large amount of grass, they tend to vomit. And this act of vomiting can help ease stomach discomfort. Again, this idea is disputed by many others. As they pointed out, dogs are smart, but not to the extent that they are able to decide on a way to treat their upset stomach. Also, not all dogs vomit after they ingest grass. Many dogs are fine and don’t show any sign of discomfort.
4. Improve digestion and get rid of parasites
Another popular belief is that dogs eat grass to improve digestion and get rid of intestinal worms. By adding grass as an extra source of fibre to a normal diet, it can help to improve digestion. Although dogs are usually free of parasites, grass is a useful mean to get rid of those intestinal parasite. Plant material in grass can increase intestinal contraction and able to physically wrap up the parasites and carry them out of the body.
5. Traits from ancestors
Many people believed that dogs eating grass is a behaviour that is inherited from their ancestors. Before dogs become domesticated, they hunted down preys like mice and rabbits and feed on them to survive. They would have ingest the whole part of their preys’ body including plant material inside the bowel and this drives them to seek those plant material unconsciously. In the present day, dogs inherit this herbivore-like behaviour.
Most experts agree that dogs eating grass is a normal behaviour and this behaviour itself doesn’t possess a real risk to dogs, but bear in mind that certain pesticides or herbicides used in yard is toxic and some of the garden plants may be dangerous to dogs. All in all, best to stop your dog from eating grass. One of the way to stop your dog from eating grass is through training.