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Pica – This term refers to animals that ingest inappropriate, non-nutritive items and substances. To Induce Vomiting – This theory is a golden oldie, but not one that probably deserves much credence. So, the take home is that grass eating may serve a purpose, have an underlying cause, or just be a thing some dogs do! The important thing is to make sure that the grass they’re munching has not been treated with any toxic substances. You don't see dogs eating grass everyday, but in some dogs this can be a sign of a health change.
For years, dog owners and veterinarians believed that dogs with upset stomachs ate grass to induce vomiting or that the grass upset some dogs' digestive systems. Owners who occasionally catch their dogs eating grass can relax a bit once they understand that this behavior is fairly normal and usually harmless. Since grass consumption is basically harmless, there is no reason to prevent your dog from eating it unless he eats an unusually large amount of it each time he goes out or it always causes vomiting.
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations and assistance if your dog continues to consume an excessive amount of grass.
The modern dog, partly because of evolution and domestication, is no longer like its ancestors, which frequently ate their prey entirely, including the stomach contents of plant-eating animals. Clearly, dogs can find their nutrients in a wide range of plant foods, but that doesn't explain why Fido usually throws up after eating grass.
A dog will seek out a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach, and grass, it seems, may do the trick. Although dogs don't typically graze on large amounts of grass like a cow, they may nibble on grass, chew on it for a while, and not throw up. You may also want to buy a small tray of grass just for the dog, or start an herbal home garden. Normally the vet will start with the least invasive test and move on to more expensive, more invasive tests as needed (which will depend on the severity of the symptoms).
Few grass-eaters are likely to have ever suffered an exploratory laparoscopy to surgically look into the contents of an abdomen and biopsy the gastrointestinal tract, but severe symptoms could theoretically lead a veterinarian to decide this is the best approach.


Drinking excessive water (in the absence of a medical reason), eating grass, pacing, and many other behaviors can be a way for dogs to expend nervous energy or stimulate themselves.
Most grass eating does not occur in ill animals, and dogs do not have the cognitive ability to ingest grass in order to consciously induce vomiting or even soothe their stomachs.
If your dog or cat does ingest a toxic plant, contacting the ASPCA poison helpline (for a $65 dollar fee) can give you valuable information. The grass is generally not harmful to dogs, but some people theorize that dogs are driven to eat grass when they have an upset stomach. Yet, according to Cape Ann Veterinary Hospital, a study at the University of California-Davis's Center for Companion Animal Health examined 1,500 dogs that had consumed grass at least ten times over the course of a year to get more definitive answers. However, it still pays to watch for any change in a dog's general behavior and habits after he consumes that grass.
Of course, never let a dog eat or play on grass that has been treated with harmful chemicals to kill pests or weeds. You can also set up a kennel run and cover the grassy floor with flooring or outdoor carpeting. When ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed.
In fact, grass contains essential nutrients that a dog might crave, especially if it's on a commercial diet. However, watch out for a sudden increase in grass eating; it could be a sign of a more serious underlying illness that your dog is trying to self treat, and that requires immediate veterinary assistance. This will give your poor pooch an alternative to the outdoor grass and landscaping, the eating of which could lead to accidental ingestion of pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals that have been used to treat your (or your neighbor's) yard. Making sure your dog is getting enough exercise and daily engagement can help curb these types of behaviors.
Find out more about why dogs eat grass and if you should ask the veterinarian about your pet's habit.
Raw grass is not toxic to dogs unless it is treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The study found that less than nine percent were sick prior to eating the grass, and less than one in four vomited after consuming the grass.


If your dog becomes lethargic, has diarrhea, has problems defecating or urinating, or shows any other signs of illness right before or shortly after eating grass, you should ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet's health. For tens of thousands of years, these opportunistic scavengers have devoured anything and everything, as long as it fulfilled their basic dietary requirements. Most commonly the plant is grass -- since that is what is closest at hand—but wild canines are known to eat fruits, berries, and other vegetable matter, too. If you notice that your dog has been munching away on grass or houseplants, then you may want to introduce natural herbs or cooked vegetables into its diet. Just make sure the grass is not treated with any chemicals that could be harmful if your pet eats them. Food puzzles, structured, walks around the neighborhood, and teaching your dog tricks and commands are all ways to do this.
If ancient dogs had worms that made them feel sick, the instinctto eat grass to help pass the worms could have been linked to the feelings of sickness. The researchers determined that grass consumption is most likely a trait that modern dogs have inherited from their wolf ancestors which also ate grass occasionally.
While grass is unlikely the cause of any illness, any change in eating habits and behavior sometimes indicates a problem. Scientists believe wolves generally eat grass to help them purge internal parasites and prevent the parasites from building up in their systems. The plant material is thought to “scour” the GI tract and help the animal rid themselves of unwanted hitchhikers. In one survey of hundreds of owners with grass-grazing canines, most dogs (82-92%) did not regularly vomit after ingesting grass. The exact reason why dogs eat grass and why it makes some dogs throw up is still basically unknown.
Most dogs now are on monthly heartworm preventatives that also prevent common GI parasites.



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