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January 30, 2017 3 min read

In this article we will discuss the 5 Reasons Dogs Eat Grass. All dogs are capable of eating grass. While some of the dogs eat and swallow it, others seem to just hold it between their teeth or chew it and spit it out. The reason for them eating grass is still unknown, but there are possible theories to this.

  1. Studies have shown that wild chimps usually feed on plant materials to increase the mobility of their intestines and also to fight intestinal parasites. Majority of pet dogs are raised to be free from parasites, but they may still eat grass because their instincts always push them to.
  2. Some people still consider dietary deficiency to be the cause of dogs eating grass. The dogs in the research had variety of diets to feed on and in the end it was impossible to get the relationship between what was contained in the diet and chances of the dogs eating grass. in view of this, the assumption of dietary deficiency was not proven. Always endeavor to feed your dogs with balanced diets to avoid worries of deficiency.
  3. There is this general notion that dogs eat grass when they feel sick. A study done on this reported that only 8% of plant eating dogs showed signs of illness before eating grass and 22% of dogs that ate grass vomited later after. Only the dogs that were feeling sick before they ate the grass vomited after eating the grass. The dogs used for the study were over 1500 and they were client owned. It is difficult to ascertain that your dog eats grass as a result of illness since the number of dos used for the research is small. however, some people still find it hard to agree with this research results and the dogs cannot speak for themselves.
  4. The study also reported that eating of grass by dogs is an inherited characteristic of dogs from their wild ancestors. There is also a postulation that the wild ancestors of dogs ate preys with plant matter in their bowels and this has caused their likeness for grass. That dogs have undergone evolution and have become omnivores like humans does not remove the possibility for them to hunger for plant matter sometimes.
  5. We can simply say dogs eat grass because they get reward for and also it is fun to them. A research was done on giant pandas (whose distinct hunger for plant has added their name to the list of endangered species) to know the secret behind their love for bamboo. They discovered that there is a complex interaction of internal chemicals associated with eating and appetite which include dopamine assumed to play a role in pleasure-reward in many species. This discovery suggests that bamboo help stimulate dopamine metabolism in giant pandas. When a panda eats bamboo, it experiences a ‘reward’ (i.e. pleasure) so the panda always chooses to eat it and get that reward. We can also assume dogs eat grass to experience that reward caused by the release of dopamine.

Irrespective of the causes of dogs eating grass (which may vary for different dogs or may be combination of all the above), it is sure that eating of grass by dogs is abnormal but a common behavior for healthy dogs. So if discover that your dog looks ill or has been vomiting frequently (whether the sign is associated with eating or not), then is most wise to see a veterinarian. It is advisable that all dogs irrespective of whether they eat grass or not to be taken to a veterinarian to place them on a regular parasite control program.