Most dogs will eat grass at some point but many owners become concerned when they see their dogs eating grass and wonder if they should let their dog eat grass?
Grass is perfectly safe for a dog to eat but owners should be careful where and when their dog consumes this unusual treat. If the dog is exercised in areas where weedkiller or other chemicals could be applied to grass then steps should be taken to prevent the dog from eating it to avoid illnesses. Likewise areas of grassland used by livestock and other animals should be avoided.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs are by their nature scavangers and will take every opportunity to have a free meal whenever possible.
Although a seemingly strange choice, most dogs enjoy a chomp of grass every now and then and, most likely, enjoy the taste and smell – something which, as humans, we cannot appreciate.
Many people suggest that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick when they are unwell, and, although some dogs will vomit after eating grass, there is no evidence to support the suggestion that dogs are intelligent enough to consider that eating grass is a cure for illness.
Does eating grass make a dog throw up?
Less than 25% of dogs that eat grass actually throw up and most dogs that eat grass simply do so because they enjoy it.
However if your dog has suddenly started consuming large amounts of grass and is regularly being sick then you should take him to the vets for an examination.
If the grass has been treated with herbicides or other chemicals or if it has been contaminated by other animals, then it is possible that the eaten grass could cause a dog to throw up.
Do dogs get any nutrition from eating grass?
Grass is probably not the best source of nutrition for dogs and there are foods that are more suited to meeting a dog’s dietary needs.
Typically grass contains:
Dogs do not really benefit from eating grass as they cannot break down cellulose which makes grass almost indigestable for canines.
Any nutrition that a dog gets from eating grass is minimal and grass should not be considered to be of added value to a dog’s diet.
Providing that the grass is clean and has not been treated with chemicals or subject to livestock grazing, then grass will not present any problems for dogs.
There is no harm in allowing your dog to eat grass but, if he eats a lot of grass then this could be an indication of an underlying health problem and you should consult your vet.
Grass adds little, if anything of benefit to a dog’s diet and he won’t benefit from any added nutrition.
If he enjoys the odd chomp and he is fit and healthy then it won’t do him any harm.