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The all you can eat veggie buffet...

Why do dogs eat grass?

It simply would not be a complete walk around the park with my dog without the obligatory stops here and there to munch on some grass...

But what gives? What is this irresistible attraction to eating grass? Is he going vegetarian on me?

According to a study conducted at the University of California, Davis in 2008 (Hart, Benjamin. (2008). Why do dogs and cats eat grass?. Veterinary Medicine. 103. 648-649. ), it was found that contrary to what a lot of people think, dogs do not eat grass to induce vomiting because they are sick. The study found that only 8% of dogs were sick prior to eating grass and only 22% of them did vomit after eating grass. This study also concluded that dogs were indeed not eating grass in order to fix some sort of dietary imbalance. In short the researchers in that study simply debunked two of the biggest myths relating to why do dogs eat grass! So.....what then?

It is believed that wild dogs do tend to turn to grass chewing when needing to calm some gastrointestinal issues, so it would not be hard to also believe that our dogs could be doing the same thing, would it?

It might just also be that your dog is simply a bit curious and wants to try something new, not to mention that perhaps "that" particular patch of grass has some sort of lingering scent that your dog is particularly attracted to at that very moment. This eating behavior although more prominent amongst younger dogs, is nonetheless still observed in older dogs. My 12 year old Lab tends to always pass by that very same bush and cannot resist a little nibble... It never ever fails...

Boredom has also been observed to be a reason why dogs sometimes tend to chew grass in the backyard. So it is a good idea to keep your dog occupied with a few chew toys outside so he doesn't end up eating an entire patch of your lawn :-) The end result of overeating grass is unpleasant for both the dog and its human who often has to pick the mess.

Although eating grass may not be all that bad for your pooch, keep in mind that while doing so, your dog could be harmed by also ingesting either some chemicals or other products sprayed over the grass. If eating grass starts to become an obsessive behavior, there's a good chance that the dog may soon turn to eating not only grass but also other vegetation such as flowers and plants which could be very harmful as lots of flowers and plants are known to have poisonous characteristics. Keep an eye out for that as well.

If it just a dog being a dog, then let him enjoy some greens once in while.

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