Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Dogs are omnivores. They eat both plants and animals. Some breeds of dogs have been known to exclusively eat meat while others will only consume fish or poultry. However, all types of dogs will occasionally devour plant matter such as leaves, grasses, twigs etc. (1) .
In humans, there are many different reasons why we may eat certain foods. These include: nutritional value, taste, health benefits, convenience or even just because it’s fun! (2) .
Some dogs love grass and some don’t like it at all. Many people think that if your dog doesn’t like grass then it must not be good for him or her. However, this isn’t necessarily true.
There are several factors that determine whether or not your dog likes grass.
The first factor is the type of grass your dog eats. Some dogs enjoy eating grasses while other prefer herbs and vegetables. If you want to keep your dog from becoming overweight, try feeding him/her a variety of different kinds of food instead of one specific kind.
Another reason why some dogs dislike grass is due to its texture. Some plants are tougher than others and may even cause stomach pain or discomfort. This is especially true for dogs that are used to eating softer foods (such as canned food) or those that don’t regularly eat plants at all.
The final reason why some dogs prefer certain types of food over others is due to personal preference. Over time, some dogs develop preferences for foods that taste tangy, sweet, spicy, etc. This is caused by a change in taste buds.
Some dogs even have more flavorful taste buds than others. (4)
Is Eating Grass Bad For My Dog?
Many dog owners will tell you that eating grass is bad for your dog. While this may be true in some circumstances, there are several instances in which eating grass is completely harmless.
The first thing you need to know is that eating grass is not bad for your dog. It’s completely natural and, if your dog goes hungry, he or she may do it more often. However, there are certain circumstances in which grass eating can be potentially dangerous or even fatal.
If your dog consumes a large amount of grass (or any other type of plant matter) it may cause gastrointestinal upset. The rapid consumption of plant material may also cause your dog to throw up. If this happens, take your dog to the vet to ensure that all remnants of the plants are removed from his or her body.
If your dog has a preexisting condition like grass allergy or irritable bowel syndrome then eating grass may make these conditions worse. If you notice unusual symptoms in your dog after he or she has been eating grass, take him or her to the vet as soon as possible.
Finally, if your dog eats pieces of sharp grass they may cause internal lacerations. These lacerations can cause serious health problems and, in some cases, even death. If you think that your dog has consumed pieces of sharp grass, take him or her to the vet immediately.
Can Dogs Get High From Eating Grass?
There is a popular myth that dogs get “high” from eating pot. However, this is untrue for many reasons.
First and foremost, marijuana (and pot) is not the same as lawn grass or any other type of plant that your dog may consume. Marijuana contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), it’s this chemical that is responsible for the psychoactive effects. The problem with your dog eating grass (or any other plants) is that they don’t contain THC.
This means that they can’t get “high”.
In some cases, however, your dog may have consumed a plant that actually can cause hallucinations or some other sort of reaction. If this is the case, seek immediate veterinary attention.
Even if your dog eats a large amount of grass, he or she is very unlikely to get sick. Dogs have a much higher tolerance for plant matter than humans do. While some dogs may get an upset stomach or throw up shortly after eating grass, they are very unlikely to suffer any long-term side effects.
What Should I Do If I Catch My Dog Eating Grass?
If you see your dog eating grass and you’re worried, don’t be. Most of the time it’s completely harmless. As long as your dog doesn’t eat a ton of it at once and they’re not vomiting or showing other symptoms of illness, they should be fine. Just make sure never to let them eat grass that has been chemically treated, however, even this is unlikely to cause any serious health issues. (3)
If you have any concerns about your dog eating grass, however, speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible. If your dog has a history of health problems, it’s best to be safe and check with your vet before allowing them to eat grass or other plants in the future.
READ NEXT: 10 Common Household Items That Are Poisonous To Pets
Sources & references used in this article:
- Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows: An introduction to carnism (M Joy – 2020 – books.google.com)
- CVC 2008 Highlights: Why do dogs and cats eat grass? A) They are sick and need to vomit. B) They have a dietary deficiency. C) Studies point to a third … (BL Hart – mastiffmessageboard …)
- “And they shall make you eat grass like oxen”(Daniel 4: 24): Reflections on recent practices in some New Charismatic Churches (KT Resane – Pharos Journal of Theology, 2017 – pharosjot.com)
- Good to eat: Riddles of food and culture (M Harris – 1998 – books.google.com)
- Everyone eats: understanding food and culture (W Whitman – 1900 – D. McKay)
- The tin drum (EN Anderson – 2014 – books.google.com)
- Man and the natural world: Changing attitudes in England 1500-1800 (G Grass – 2017 – books.google.com)
- The grass is singing (K Thomas – 1991 – books.google.com)
- The Gramineae: a study of cereal, bamboo, and grass (D Lessing – 1973 – books.google.com)