Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?

Written by adrienne farricelli Google
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Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?
Many dogs love to eat grass. (brown dog on grass image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com)

There are various theories as to why dogs eat grass. One of the most common explanations is that dogs eat grass in order to vomit. Do dogs, however, eat grass in order to make themselves vomit or do they vomit because they're eating grass? Perhaps the answer to this question may never be known.

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Expert Insight

In nature, wild canids such as wolves and foxes survive by hunting and eating prey. Many of the prey are herbivores. When ingested, the canid not only processes the meat, it also consumes an amount of digested grasses and plants found in the intestines of these animals, according to Holly Frisby, veterinary epidemiologist at Drs Foster & Smith Inc.

Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?
Wolves eat their prey whole along with digested grasses. (wolf image by Melissa Schalke from Fotolia.com)

Effects

While there is really no way of determining if dogs seek grass in order to vomit and feel better just as a human would seek an anti-acid, grass appears to have the capability of causing vomiting in a dog. Indeed, dogs seem to be interested in grass when they have an upset stomach. The grass binds with the offending material and acts as an irritant, ultimately causing the dog to vomit, according to Celia Feiler, DVM at Winston Veterinary Hospital in North Carolina.

Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?
Dogs with upset stomachs may seek grass. (dog image by Michal Tudek from Fotolia.com)

Benefits

Other than helping dogs get relief from an upset stomach, grass also contains a variety of beneficial nutrients for dogs. It is a good source of fibre and it may benefit dogs suffering from digestive problems due to a diet high in proteins. Grass also contains vitamin E, which is a good antioxidant along with niacin and other B group vitamins known to help the metabolism, stimulate the nervous system and preserve the skin health in dogs, according to Vetinfo.com.

Warning

While munching on grass can be healthy for dogs, however, owners are responsible for ensuring that their dog is eating a safe type of grass. Owners must ensure that the grass their dog is consuming is free of potentially toxic pesticides and fertilisers. Another important step is to inspect that there are no toxic plants that look like grass in yards or plants with thorns, as dogs may accidentally munch on them.

Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?
Ensure your lawn is free of pesticides. (grass image by green 308 from Fotolia.com)

Prevention and Solution

Sometimes dogs vomit after eating grass because they consume an excessive amount of it. While dogs eat primarily meat, it must be considered that they are omnivores and enjoy eating vegetables as well. A dog on a kibble only diet will crave some greens. If a dog develops a tendency to eat too much grass, it is not a bad idea to add grass alternatives to the dog's diet such as broccoli or runner beans, according to Vetinfo.com.

Why does my dog eat grass & vomit?
Greens benefit dogs as well. (broccoli image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

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