Is your dog a grass eating machine or a connoisseur of specific grasses? Eating grass is a perfectly normal dog behavior and dogs eat grass for several reasons. Understanding why dogs eat grass will help you determine if a change in diet or trip to the vet is in order. A dog who runs outside and frantically gobbles up grass, only to vomit it all up a short while later, is most likely trying to clear a digestive disorder such as gas, a virus, bacteria, to get rid of something disagreeable, or even a buildup of stomach acid.
Dogs do this to purge themselves and unless it happens frequently, or suddenly increases with other symptoms, there’s most likely nothing to worry about. However, vomiting weekly or more is not normal. One reason dogs eat grass that may surprise you is that grass contains fiber and roughage. It is a living food rich in phytonutrients, potassium, chlorophyll, and digestive enzymes.
Interestingly, dogs cannot digest grass, so it passes through or is vomited out. Since dogs can’t go to the corner market to purchase greens they can digest, we have to provide it for them. In the wild, wolves get these nutrients from eating the partially digested guts of their prey, but you can easily supplement your dog’s food with lightly cooked spinach and kale, which are rich sources of fiber, iron and chlorophyll.
Simply wash and sauté the greens in a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil until slightly wilted and serve with food. Digestive enzymes and probiotics will help your dog absorb the nutrients from greens. Some dogs simply eat grass because they like to! If your dog expertly sniffs around and carefully selects only certain grasses to nibble on, he may be a grass snob who likes the taste and smell of specific grasses.
The bottom line is, eating grass is normal for dogs unless accompanied by vomiting once a week or more, or your dog suffers other symptoms. It’s better to be safe than sorry so if in doubt, contact your vet. You can keep your grass loving dog safe and healthy by avoiding the use of toxic chemicals and herbicides on the grass your dog eats.