For the most part, dogs are mainly carnivores, but they can and do eat plants and vegetables. One of the more common plants eaten by dogs is basic grass. Raw grass is not toxic to dogs unless it is treated with chemical pesticides and or fertilizers. So if you begin to notice this habit in your dog, don’t panic. The exact reason behind why dogs eat grass and why it makes some dogs throw up is still basically unknown.
Theories about Dogs Consuming Grass:
For years, dog owners and veterinarians believed that dogs with upset stomachs ate grass to induce vomiting or that the grass upset some dogs’ digestive systems. A study has been conducted were approximately 1,500 dogs were examined that had consumed grass at least ten times over the course of a year to get more definitive answers. The study found that less than nine percent were sick prior to eating the grass, and less than one in four vomited after consuming the grass. The researchers determined that grass consumption is most likely a trait that modern dogs have inherited from their wolf ancestors which also ate grass occasionally. Scientists believe wolves generally eat grass to help them purge internal parasites and prevent the parasites from building up in their systems.
When Grass Consumption May Signal an Illness:
Owners who occasionally catch their dogs in the act of eating grass can relax a bit once they understand that this behavior is fairly normal and usually harmless. However, it still pays to watch for any change in your dog’s general behavior and habits after he consumes that grass. If your dog becomes lethargic, has diarrhea, or shows any other signs of illness right before or shortly after eating grass, you should ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s health right away. While grass is unlikely the cause of any illness, any change in eating habits and behavior sometimes indicates a problem. A veterinarian can examine the dog to try to determine exactly what’s going on.
Since the consumption of grass by dogs is generally harmless, there is no reason to prevent your dog from eating it. Unless he eats an unusually large amount each time or it always causes vomiting. Of course, never let a dog eat or play on grass that has been treated with harmful chemicals for pest control or fertilizers.