Dogs sometimes exhibit very strange behavior. For example, when the four-legged friend stands in a meadow like a cow and begins to eat grass. Dogs aren’t ruminants.
As a dog owner, you may not only be wondering why my dog of all people has eaten so much grass again.
This made me very insecure at first because I didn’t know whether the grass I had eaten could be unhealthy or even dangerous.
What is wrong with the dog when it eats grass?
First of all, I can reassure you: that eating grass is a completely normal dog behavior that is not a cause for concern for the time being.
However, if your dog is eating a lot of grass and is suffering from digestive problems, then you should get to the bottom of the matter.
Make sure the dog only eats grass where no insecticides or herbicides are sprayed. So avoid letting your dog eat grass on field edges.
Why are my dogs eating grass?
My three boys eat weed for very different reasons:
- Maui always eats grass on longer walks. Mostly because he‘s just bored or thirsty.
- Alonso eats grass, only to vomit it up again shortly thereafter. After a while, everything is back to normal.
- When our tequila eats weed, it’s a sign to me that he has a stomach ache. Then he doesn’t want to eat anything and is listless.
I give him cheese popular tea to drink and make him light food. I cook short-grain rice very soft and add chicken or lean fish. Most of the time the matter is resolved within a day.
Dog eats grass as a snack
The reasons why dogs “grab the blade of grass” are very different.
For one thing, fresh and young weed tastes good. It is nutrient dense and the fiber is good for digestion.
The sugar-like substances it contains help the dog to reduce stress. When a dog is overwhelmed or particularly excited, blood sugar levels drop. Eating grass causes blood sugar levels to rise again quickly.
So grass has a similar effect on the dog’s ability to concentrate, like a Snickers that I like to eat in between long car journeys.
In addition, chewing the blades of grass relaxes, similar to nibbling in humans. The movement of the jawbones releases endorphins. We feel happy and content.
Nose work and water loss
Grass eating can also be observed in thirsty dogs. Dogs that do a lot of nose work and sniff a lot when walking need more water than other animals.
Smelling causes the mucous membranes to dry out. The grass provides the dog with liquid quickly.
Vomiting to quickly empty the stomach
Last but not least, the green straws also serve the dog as first aid for stomach or intestinal problems. If the dog has eaten something indigestible or even poisonous, it tries to excrete this substance as quickly as possible.
It eats grass to be able to vomit. By ingesting grass, dogs mechanically trigger their urge to vomit. Stomach contents come right back up, usually wrapped in mucus.
This mechanism also sets in when choking out hair accumulations in the stomach. The grass is therefore used to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract.
This behavior is known in cats because they pick up a lot of their hair when they brush. Only dog grass is not known to me, whereas cat grass is offered in every hardware store.
Help with digestive problems
In addition, eating grass can be a sign of a parasite infestation in the intestinal area. Gastritis, i.e. too much stomach acid, or organic problems such as liver or kidney weakness can be a reason for the dog eating grass.
If the weed is not vomited out immediately, it will travel through the digestive tract and be excreted undigested in the feces.
Sometimes you may notice blades of grass sticking out of the dog’s anus. Never pull on it with force. The sharp-edged blades of grass can cause cuts in the intestinal area.
If the dog eats grass regularly, keep a close eye on why and how often it does so.
If you notice that the dog is trying to relieve stress, avoid such situations.
When to the vet?
If the dog is eating an unusual amount of grass, discuss this with your veterinarian. You should also visit him if you have these symptoms,
- if the vomiting does not stop after eating grass,
- if blood is seen in the vomit or stool
- or the stool is coated with mucus.
There could be intestinal inflammation. Alarm signals are also other signs of illness such as exhaustion and fever.
If the dog is unable to defecate, you should go to the vet immediately.
Especially when the dog eats a lot of grass, it can happen that it cannot excrete the grass it has eaten. There is a risk of a life-threatening intestinal obstruction.
That’s why dogs aren’t cows
As mentioned at the very beginning, the reasons for the strange grazing behavior are very diverse and mostly completely harmless. So let your pet do as it pleases.
Just watch if you can figure out the exact reason why your dog is eating grass:
- As a snack
- For liquid intake
- First aid for digestive problems
In this way, you can quickly recognize if it is a health problem that requires a visit to the veterinarian. And either way, eating grass is a thousand times better than having your dog suddenly start eating poo.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it bad if dogs eat grass?
Eating grass does not usually cause any harm to your four-legged friend – on the contrary: grass contains fiber and stimulates digestion. The reasons for the sometimes extensive nibbling of the juicy greens have not yet been scientifically clarified. However, there are many explanations and assumptions.
How often is it normal for a dog to vomit?
If your dog vomits only once, in most cases no medical treatment is necessary. A 12-24 hour break from feeding is often enough for the feeling of nausea to go away and the stomach to calm down. Of course, your dog should always have access to fresh water.
What if the dog throws up yellow?
Does the dog vomit yellow liquid or brown? If the dog vomits yellow liquid or yellow foam, poisoning or liver disease may be the cause. But it doesn’t have to be – because the yellow in the vomit may just be “bile”, the digestive juice from the gallbladder.
What can I give my dog for vomiting?
Make sure your pet has enough water and encourage them to drink when needed. The situation is different with the food because if you feel sick it is worth putting in a fast day. Do not give your four-legged friend any food for around 12 to 24 hours so that his stomach can calm down.
What is gastric torsion in dogs?
If your dog shows the following symptoms, you should consult a veterinarian immediately: increasing restlessness, excessive salivation, pale oral mucosa, and unproductive vomiting. A bloated stomach is a typical sign, but not always clear in the early stages.
What is gastric mucosal inflammation in dogs?
Acute gastritis is accompanied by vomiting and abdominal pain in dogs. Your animal then eats a lot of grass and drinks large quantities. The symptoms can be treated with appropriate treatment – however, they must be recognized to do so.
How does a dog behave with intestinal obstruction?
Profuse vomiting of any food or liquid. The dog vomits feces. Distended, tense, painful abdomen. Languor.
What can you do to calm your dog’s stomach?
To calm the stomach, it is best to feed your animal friend some oatmeal, psyllium husk, or carrot soup. For the beneficial soup, boil about 500 grams of carrots in one liter of water.