One of the things that many new dog owners notice is the fact that their pup loves to chew on grass. The first few times you take your dog outside, you might find that it begins to sniff and then eat the greenery there. Some people put this habit down to nothing more than a sheer sense of curiosity. After all, when a dog has been inside its entire life, it is sure to have an interest in the weird green stuff growing in the garden. So why does my dog eat grass?
What is perhaps most surprising, though, is the fact that this habit seems to be present in most breeds of dogs. That suggests that there may be another reason for the issue. If all canines feel the need to eat grass when they see it, perhaps there is something deeper than mere curiosity here.
For many years, this issue has been one of serious debate. There are many conflicting views out there, and so it might be difficult for you to choose one. While there is a wealth of information on the internet, you have to be as savvy as possible. Not everything you read will be true, and so you need to make sure that you only trust reliable sources. There are a few theories on this subject, yet no one is quite sure which (if any) is the right answer. Let’s take a look at three of the reasons why your dog may eat grass.
1. It is an inherited predisposition
The first theory is the one that has the most weight. Since all dogs tend to eat grass, it would appear that it is an innate characteristic that they can’t control. Much like barking, they feel an urge to eat grass when they see it. This theory explains why it’s hard to stop a dog nibbling when it wants to do so. What your dog is doing will feel completely natural to them, and they will not understand why you’re telling them to stop.
A study called “Characterization of plant eating in dogs”, backs up this theory perfectly. Three researchers, Karen Sueda, Benjamin Hart and Kelly Cliff, carried out the study. They found that all dogs, regardless of the breed, health or gender, tend to eat grass on a regular basis. After looking over the results, they suggested that this habit is innate to the canine species. If this theory is correct, it means that there is little you can do when your pup decides to eat some of your lawn.
2. When dogs are sick, it settles their tummy
Another theory, which has less evidence than the first, is that dogs eat grass when they are ill. You may have noticed that some animals throw up after they have eaten some of the plant. There is a possibility that your pet eats some grass when they have an upset stomach. Ultimately, they know that eating the grass will make them throw up. That is, in fact, why they do it.
Think about it. When you’re ill, sometimes, it feels better after you have thrown up. After all, it means that you have got rid of whatever was hurting your tummy. Dogs are much the same as humans in this sense. They struggle when they feel ill. If, over the years, canines have found that eating grass is a quick solution, it is no wonder they do so.
There are a few flaws in this theory, though, and you should know them. The main one is that it seems that even healthy dogs like to nibble on the lawn now and then. Also, not all dogs are sick after they eat grass.
3. It has nutritional value
In evolutionary terms, dogs were scavengers. Most people tend to think that canines were hunters, but there is no truth to this myth. While they would eat animals when they had a chance, they would often eat just about anything else they could find as well. That means that, at one time, dogs would eat plants and flora as well as their prey. The main drawback to this theory is the fact that grass offers little to no nutrition for canines. It is unlikely that this theory is right.
Should you stop your dog eating grass?
So we’ve hopefully presented some reasons as to ‘Why Does My Dog Eat Grass’ but finally, let’s try to answer the burning question. When your dog starts chomping on some grass, should you stop them and put them in their crate to prevent them doing it again? While grass will not harm your dog in any way, it doesn’t benefit them either. If you find that your dog is sick after they eat grass, you might want to stop them. Many dog owners find that this is difficult, but it is well worth trying.
Please feel free to comment with your own ideas of why dogs eat grass. We’d also really appreciate it if you liked or shared this blog post.
Thank you to Smerikal for use of the dog eating grass image.