The Theories and Remedies as To Why Dogs Chew Grass
My dog chews grass sort of like a cow. She chews it with enjoyment whenever she encounters it, to the extent that my friends and family have begun to refer to her, jokingly, as ‘the grass whisperer’. However, this is not strange nor does it bother me. Perhaps because the grass does not cause any trouble for my girl. If anything, the idea of keeping me in the cold while she has a mouthful of grass is what bothers me the most. So, if you are wondering why dogs chew grass… read on!
Is grass chewing a problem?
If you ask me, I do not think if your dog eats grass and does not suffer any digestion complication it's a problem. If anything, since ancient times some breeds of dogs were known to eat grass without any damage or complications caused to their stomachs during digestion. However, the only time I find this as a problem is when my dog vomits from eating grass then goes right ahead to re-ingest the vomited contents and go about his business as if nothing just happened.
Why do dogs really chew grass?
To tell you the truth, nobody really knows why some dogs have this behavior of chewing grass. However, people have come up with different theories trying to explain why animals that fall under the category of carnivores still ingests grass.
What are some of the theories that try to explain why dogs chew grass?
One theory argues that dogs are not carnivores in the first place. According to this theory, it classifies dogs as omnivores, meaning they can ingest just about anything. Here, the theory suggests that when a dog chews grass, it is trying to supplement the nutrients it gets from eating meat. The main point of this theory is that, just like human beings, dogs too need some vegetables to balance with meat that they take regularly.
My verdict on this theory
From my end, this theory is misled and is utter nonsense. Personally (and I know most people do) I feed my dog on kibble. This has all the nutrients that a dog may need. The dog does not have any basis of seeking nutrients from other sources such as vegetables.
However, if you are the type to feed your dog on canned meat, your dog may not be getting all the nutrients it needs, therefore, giving some substance to this theory. Though canned meat has some nutrients, they are too soft and may cause dental diseases and indigestion amongst other complications to your dog.
The grass as a source of natural emetic theory
According to this theory, when a dog is nauseous, it does not have “the finger down the throat” option to help its vomit. In that case, it resolves to eat vegetables such as grass to achieve the same purpose as humans.
My verdict on this theory
While it is true that after taking grass the dog is likely to vomit, I do not agree with this theory either. Naturally, dogs are able to vomit by themselves and therefore I do not see why they will resort to eating grass to achieve that. If anything, I have witnessed several dogs eat grass without necessarily having to vomit the entire contents of their bowels.
Reasons why you should not worry about your dog chewing grass
If you are worried about your dog eating grass, you can go to bed and sleep without any worries. Some of the reasons for this are:
- There will be no harm caused to the dog: The most that can happen is the grass will irritate the stomach lining of your pooch. However, your dog is perfectly capable of dealing with this problem on his own by simply coughing it away. If anything, the chances of your dog suffering from this complication are very low.
- It is a lifelong habit by dogs: Dogs have been eating grass from ancient times. If yours decides to start the habit, leave it. It will do away with the behavior as time passes by. However, all you need to do is keep an eye on him especially in places such as recently treated lawns and anywhere else with nasties such as pesticides and rat poisons.
PRO TIP: You should clear up recently mowed grass as these may contain traces of petrol that may be harmful to your dog. Only food-obsessed dogs will eat grass with petrol anyway. The rest will keep away from it.
What to do if you have unending concern about your dog eating grass
While it is true that there is nothing much that you can do to prevent your dog from eating grass if it decides to, there are some basic things that you can do and pray that he quits the habit. Some of them include:
- Varying his diet: Dogs are creatures known to have a routine and do not need a wide variety of food supplements to make them interested in taking food and quitting grass. However, as aforementioned one of the theories suggests that dogs eat grass to supplement to their nutrients. If that is the case, you can try varying his diet and hope that the idea works.
Dogs are creatures known to have a routine and do not need a wide variety of food supplements to make them interested in taking food and quitting grass. However, as aforementioned one of the theories suggests that dogs eat grass to supplement to their nutrients. If that is the case, you can try varying his diet and hope that the idea works.
One of the ways to achieve this is introducing vegetables into his food.
My dog enjoys:
However, you should avoid vegetables such as onions, grapes, and raisins as they are toxic to dogs.
Close supervision when around grass
This is an option, especially for off-lead walks. You have to keep an eagle eye on him or else he will find his way to the granary and do the “unwanted”.
Generally, according to experts, there is nothing to worry about and there are no major reasons as to why dogs chew grass. If anything, if your dog is doing it, it is probably because he enjoys it and nothing else more sinister.
On the other hand, you can make this a hobby. When out there taking a walk, you can enjoy the sight of your dog eating a mouthful of grass and tease him with it for an altogether fun. Remember it is never that serious.
For additional reading
For additional info on why dogs chew grass and dog psychological science and general canine behavioral traits, with a specific focus on problematic behaviors, you’ll probably want to take a glance at Secrets to Dog Training.
It’s an entire, detailed manual for the intelligent and responsible owner, and covers everything from obedience training through to preventing and handling a large variety of common problem behaviors. Well worth checking out! You'll be able to visit the Secrets to Dog Training website by clicking here!