Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Life

The Mystery of Why Dogs Eat Grass Still Unsolved

‘Why do dogs eat grass?’ It’s a question that has yet to be answered, but I can think of a good reason to prevent it in certain places!

I was browsing the web the other day and I read a few articles on the subject of why dogs eat grass and whether it’s a sign they’re ill.

Conventional wisdom over the years suggested that a dog would eat some grass when it needed to throw up. The grass would apparently act like an emetic, a substance designed to induce vomiting. But only one of the dogs I’ve owned would ever throw up a bit of bile after eating grass, and even she didn’t do it all the time.

My Collie will eat grass from time to time but he never throws up, so if that’s the motive, it has yet to have worked for him.

Others have speculated that it’s a matter of the dog knowing he needs more nutrients in his diet. Maybe the green grass gives some additional nutrients to supplement your pup’s dinner. Maybe.

The fact is, scientists don’t really know why dogs eat grass, even today. As long as those four-legged creatures have been a part of our lives, there are still a few questions we just can’t seem to find a simple answer to.

You might think twice before allowing it.

Some dogs seem determined to ingest a few blades of grass no matter how much you may try to stop them.

But if you’re walking a dog outside of your own yard, where other dogs (and perhaps other kinds of animals) may have frequently been, you might consider preventing the behavior.

If you live in an apartment complex, for example, you may not know whether landscapers may have sprayed a common area with certain fertilizers or pesticides that could sicken your dog.

Then there’s a delightful little thing called Giardia, a parasite passed through feces that can cause a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, which can be mild or explosive. There are other symptoms, but that explosive part there is probably enough to explain why you’d want to avoid this scenario if you can. It’s mostly associated with eating contaminated soil, but if your dog pulls up grass, soil may come with it.

Otherwise, eating grass probably won’t hurt your dog at all, even if it’s not clear what’s motivating him to do it.

I recall, during a visit to California, trying the trendy “Wheatgrass shot,” a shot-glass sized smoothie made with actual wheatgrass and as green as the perfect lawn we’ve all dreamed about. It was one of the worst tasting things I’ve ever had!

If a dog wants to experience that taste that badly, and I have reason to believe the grass is probably safe, I’ll let him…but I’ll feel sorry for him at the same time.


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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.