As a dog owner, from time to time you may have wondered why dogs eat grass. I’m not referring to weeds or plants that a dog sometimes munches on, but ordinary grass that grows on your lawn or a neighbor’s.
Dogs are carnivores and their diet is largely based on meat and meat products. But dogs are very adaptable and they often like to eat vegetables and other types of food. Most dogs, unless they are very spoiled, are not picky eaters, so if you find your dog eating from your garbage or chewing on things like paper sacks from the grocery store, don’t be alarmed.
The definition of an herbivore is an animal that eats mainly grass and other plants. An omnivore is an animal that eats both meats and grass or plants. So if you wanted to be technical, you could say that a dog is an omnivore if it eats both meats and greens.
There are some theories that possibly explain why dogs like to eat grass and green plants. If a dog has an upset stomach it will be inclined to munch on grass because it stimulates vomiting and relieves the queasiness in the dog’s stomach.
If a dog swallows grass without first chewing it, the rough texture of the grass can irritate its stomach lining and cause the dog to vomit. Likewise, if the dog chews the grass before swallowing, it won’t always provoke vomiting. If you notice your dog is suffering from mild gastrointestinal problems, you probably shouldn’t let it eat grass because it can worsen the problem.
Some dogs enjoy the taste of grass, so even if they aren’t suffering from an upset stomach, they may eat grass. That doesn’t make them vegetarians; but if their usual diet is lacking in vegetables or greens, they may compensate by eating grass.
If you do notice your dog eating a large quantity of grass, understand that this is an indication it needs more fiber and greens in its diet. I like to add broccoli or green beans to my dog’s regular food and he always scarfs it down as if it were a treat I’m feeding him.
These are the main reasons why dogs eat grass. Grass is not toxic to a dog unless large quantities of fertilizer or pesticides have recently been placed on your lawn. Dogs should not eat fertilized grass until the fertilizer has had time to fully absorb into the soil.