Creature Comforts: My Dog Acts Like a Cow!

If your dog is only eating grass, you should consider yourself lucky. While it isn’t surprising that a dog can eat all kinds of vile, disgusting things, it may be surprising to learn why they do. To understand these behaviors, we need to go back thousands of years, long before dogs were domesticated, when they roamed the countryside in packs, hunting their food, as referenced from an article published out of American Animal Hospital Association: “Dogs and Grass Eating”

Wild dogs ate their food on the run. They hunted all kinds of animals, and ate the whole of the animal, except for things like the skin. They ate the major organs, the muscles and even the bones, all to get the nutrients they needed to be healthy and strong. They didn’t have the easy life of most dogs today. Most of the prey they subsisted on were herbivores. While a dog’s digestive system is strong, it does need vegetable matter to help digest meat proteins, especially those in the raw meat it was eating. They ate the vital organs first; the stomach and intestines of the animals they were eating were full of partially digested vegetable matter.

Even though their digestive processes remain the same, you need to carefully review what your dog is eating to ensure they are getting a well-balanced diet. Without a proper balance of nutrients, a dog will develop all kinds of health problems, just like their human masters.

Your dog can be fed vegetables, but they need to be cooked so they can be properly digested. Feeding them dark greens, like broccoli, can help curb their liking for eating grass. Just because your dog gets vegetables in their kibble, it may not stop them from eating grass. Here are some important tips that you need to know when it comes to dogs and grass.

First off, even biologists and veterinarians aren’t completely sure why dogs eat grass. There are a lot of theories, but the jury is still out. Take a look at some of the latest theories online, as well as dozens of suggestions for breaking the animal of the habit.

Whatever the reason, if your dog won’t stop eating grass, you should make sure they are not eating manicured lawns containing harmful fertilizers and pesticides. You can control this in a few different ways. One, you can consider dog ‘friendly’ grass: grow some grass at home that doesn’t have any added chemicals and be sure your dog has regular access to his special grass patch. Don’t walk your dog on grass that is newly manicured or recently treated with chemicals. Usually these substances break down within a few days; after that they are safe.

Sometimes dogs will eat grass to make themselves throw up. If your pet does this on a regular basis, it may be a sign that they have a more serious problem. Have your vet check the pup, just to be sure there’s nothing seriously wrong. Most vets say that eating a certain amount of grass isn’t harmful for your dog, and can actually help their digestive processes.

Creatures carries several digestion aids for dogs to help curb their need for actual grass eating from chews to powders to pastes. Open Mon-Fri 10-6; Sat 10-5; Sun 12-4; 503-429-PETS (7387).