Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why does my buddy eat grass?

Our newest addition to the pack, little Cody the Beagle, was eating grass earlier today. All of the reasons that dogs eat grass do not seem to be fully understood. A quick Google Search on "dogs eating grass" or something similar will yield many speculations however, I have found little in the way of empirical scientific fact.

All of our happy little pack here (pictured in their den at bedtime) do, from time to time, eat grass.  I am not a Veterinarian, Doctor, or Biologist (nor do I play one on T.V.) so my knowledge is a little limited but here is what I do understand:

Dog's are not strict carnivores. They are, like us, omnivores. This means they need meat and plant matter in their diets. Modern dog foods provide this pretty well. However, sometimes a dog will nibble on grass for the plant material (roughage, etc.). Grass is pretty plentiful outside and is easy for the dog to reach so, the dog may eat grass to provide needed plant material in his diet. However, I do not think this is why our pack eats grass from time to time.

Sometimes when dogs are bored outside, they will eat grass. This is generally more of a grazing than a nibbling. Our pack usually has plenty of interesting things to do when they are outside so this is not why they occasionally nibble on grass. I would certainly discourage this sort of grass eating. It would be much better to provide something else to occupy the dogs time and perhaps even exercise their mind. If you need help with this, please contact me and I will be happy to offer suggestions and work with you and your little guy or girl.

I really believe that the reason our pack members occasionally eat a little grass is to help them with upset stomach. There are usually other symptoms as well that lead me to this conclusion. Typically there will be other signs of stomach distress. Copper, for instance will sometimes loose interest in food or treats before he eats grass. This is a definite sign that his tummy hurts. He never turns down food unless his stomach is upset. Cody has been a little less active today and seems not to feel as good as normal. He also has vomited at least once today after eating grass. He is using the grass to help induce vomiting. I tend to think this is instinctual. However, I really have nothing scientific to back this up it is simply a hunch.

Again, I am no expert here. This is simply my opinion based upon many years of observing the members of my pack.

Till Next Time


William Moore
William Moore Canine Training

No comments:

Post a Comment