Dear Porky and Buddy,
My dog Sally frequently nibbles at tufts of grass when we go for walks, not a lot usually, but sometime later that evening she will sometimes puke it all up.
Leaving aside the grossness factor, which is considerable, should I be worried about this? Is there something missing in her diet? Can the grass hurt her?
As you probably know, dogs, for the most part, are not picky eaters. Quite to the contrary, while their preference overall might be a nice rare steak, most dogs will chow down on all kinds of weird and sometime disgusting things, table scraps, old dead stuff, garbage, and sometimes grass.
No one is sure why some dogs like grass, although there are many theories about it.
Dogs are primarily meat-eaters. Although they like to eat meat, they can also survive on a well-balanced vegetarian diet.
Like all living creatures, dogs need a combination of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water in a balanced diet that provides enough calories to meet their daily needs.
Most veterinarians believe that dogs eat grass simply because they like it, and vomiting just naturally follows. When dogs eat grass, the grass acts as an irritant and causes vomiting.
It is unlikely that she eats grass because she has an upset stomach and wants to vomit. Dogs are great, but they are not smart enough to diagnose and treat health problems.
Some veterinarians believe that dogs eat grass because their prepared diets are lacking in greens and so they eat grass.
No matter what the reason, Sally’s “grass” habit is normal behavior and you need not be concerned about it.
A note of caution, however: Make sure that Sally does not eat grass that has been treated with fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. This could cause very severe stomach upset or even worse problems for her.
So be careful about that, but keep up those walks. They’re good for both of you and someone has to buy all that carpet cleaner!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets to animal lovers across Oswego County.
Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter.
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