For a long time, I thought my dogs ate grass because their stomachs were upset. Over time, I’ve realized that they seem to eat grass pretty much any old time. They are just grazing fools.
But it still makes you wonder, so why do dogs eat grass anyway? Pretty much every dog I’ve ever owned has munched down on the lawn like a furry sheep at one time or another. Considering dogs are primarily meat-eaters, it seems like an odd activity.
After researching this question in many books and online, I’ve learned that no one seems to know why dogs eat grass. People have a lot of theories however. The idea that I heard years ago (from my Mom actually) is that the dog feels queasy and knows he has eaten something disgusting. So he eats grass to make his tummy feel better. You have Tums; your dog has the lawn.
Other people suggest that since dogs often throw up after eating grass, maybe they are doing it on purpose. The dog feels sick, so to make himself vomit, he snarfs down some grass. The grass irritates his stomach and he yaks everything up on the carpet. Given that so many dogs throw up after eating grass, I can definitely buy into that idea.
Another theory is that dogs need a balanced diet, so Rover is just making an effort to eat his veggies because today’s dog food doesn’t include enough nutrition. Dogs are descended from wolves and a related theory says that dogs are after vegetable matter because it’s historically been part of their diet. When wolves kill something and eat it, they get the stomach contents along with the meat. Since wolves eat a lot of herbivores, they get sort of second-hand plant material. Ancestors of dogs used to get lots of grasses this way, so dogs still like eating grass.
The consensus seems to be that unless your dog really goes nuts about it, eating grass is a normal activity for your furry friend, so you don’t really need to worry about it. However, before you let your dog graze on the neighbor’s lawn, make sure that the grass hasn’t been sprayed with any type of chemicals, such as fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides. Limit your dog’s snacking to organically grown non-toxic greenery.