Does your dog eat grass?

Does your dog eat grass? One of my dogs eats grass like a cow. This habit of hers doesn’t bother me at all, since it seems to have no ill-effects on her whatsoever.

However, whenever I’m standing outside in the cold waiting for her to relieve herself it’s hard not to hop impatiently from foot to foot while she enthusiastically eats at least five to seven mouthfuls of grass. Unless your dog's digestion is suffering unwanted upheavals from his grass-eating habit, it's not really a problem.

What I would suggest you do is to keep an eye on your dog around recently treated lawns, or anywhere where pesticides, snail bait, or rat poison could be, especially since most garden chemicals are highly toxic to dogs.

Dogs have been eating grass since the dawn of time with few ill-effects, aside from the odd bout of vomiting - and really, this is one of those things that seems to bother owners a lot more than their dogs; most dogs, will simply re-ingest the vomitus and go about their day unfazed.

Does your dog eat grass? Truthfully, nobody really knows why dogs eat grass in the first place but there are many theories. One of said theories pertains to the fact that dogs are not, actually, carnivores but that they’re actually omnivores, which literally means, they'll “eat anything”.

Another popular theory I've heard a lot is that dogs use grass as a sort of natural emetic. For example, a nauseous dog will eat grass to help it throw up. It’s true that grass does sometimes make dogs vomit – those tickly stems can irritate the stomach lining, and there have been more than a few occasions when I’ve seen dogs vomit up a chunk of something along with a clump of grass too.

If you’re worried that eating grass is going to hurt your dog, you can lay that concern to rest right now. The one possible downside is that he’ll irritate his throat or stomach lining, but this issue will only cause him aggravation for a second or two at most: he’ll either cough the problem away, or will toss his cookies without further ado (which rarely bothers most dogs).

Does your dog eat grass? Overall, grass eating is nothing to worry about – it’s a life-long habit with many dogs, and if yours does decide that it’s no longer in his best interests, he’ll simply stop eating it all by himself.

Ideally, you'd be keeping an eye on him anyway if he's around those substances, but grass-eaters are at higher risk than most dogs since they're more likely to eat plant matter that herbicides and other toxic chemicals have been sprayed onto.

If your dog's grass eating is really bothering you, there are a couple of things you can try doing to reduce his desire to supplement his diet with grass from the yard – but the success rate is more hit-and-miss than guaranteed:

* Try varying his diet slightly. You can try introducing various tasty vegetables into his food: most dogs enjoy green beans or carrots (either steamed or raw). Be sure to stay away from grapes, raisins, and onions, since these are toxic to dogs.

* Supervise him whenever he's around grass.

So, does your dog eat grass? The general consensus from the experts seems to be that grass eating is just "one of those things" as far as your dog is concerned. It won't do him any harm, and you can be sure that if he's eating it, he's enjoying it – so there's really not a lot to be said for depriving him of that simple pleasure.

Furthermore, I've got to say that watching your dog ripping up and chewing generous mouthfuls of turf with an expression of half-lidded bliss on his face can provide you with some unexpected entertainment when the two of you are out and about together!

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"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera

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