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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. In 2008 a team of researchers from the University of California including Benjamin L Har, Drs Karen Sueda and Kelly Cliff conducted a series of surveys on pet owners including a web based survey targeting owners of plant-eating dogs.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said their dogs ingest plants on a daily or weekly basis.
Eight percent of the respondents reported that their dogs frequently show signs of illness before plant eating.
Of the plant-eating dog population, younger dogs ate plants more frequently than did older dogs and were less likely to appear ill beforehand or to vomit afterward. If dogs showed signs of illness before eating plants, they were more likely to vomit afterward than dogs that did not show signs of illness beforehand. In summary, the researchers found that grass eating is a common behaviour in normal dogs, is often unrelated to illness and dogs do not regularly vomit after consuming plant material. If you find your pet is eating grass and is unwell please speak with our veterinary healthcare team as other underlying problems may exist.
If you've ever caught your pup sneaking a bite from a blade of grass then you may have wondered why any dog would select such a strange snack. 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.

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.
One of the more common theories is that dogs, in particular, use grass for medicinal purposes to help them vomit.
As it turns out, eating grass is a common behavior in dogs and though many perceive this action to be a sign of illness or an unhealthy habit, it’s actually quite safe. 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. There are many reasons your pooch may consume this simple snack, ranging from health benefits to simple preference.To understand why dogs might seek out grass, it can help to understand their dietary habits and evolutionary background. 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.
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.
In one survey of hundreds of owners with grass-grazing canines, most dogs (82-92%) did not regularly vomit after ingesting grass.
This means that when eating an herbivore, these animals would also consume the grass and plants in its stomachIt’s also true that these ancestral canines may have naturally sought vegetation as part of their diet, as even wild canine relatives today seek out berries and other vegetation. 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. The same researchers that led the study, however, also proposed that dogs may eat fibrous grass to help prevent parasitic infestations.
When grass is consumed, it increases intestinal contractions and can wrap around intestinal parasites to help purge them from your pet's system.In the small fraction of dogs that do regularly vomit after consuming grass, there is a possibility that this behavior may be indicative of a more serious problem. Dogs that do consume grass before vomiting often exhibit different behavior than those that casually chomp on grass or that bite a blade while grazing. Many of these dogs gulp down large quantities of the plant at a surprisingly rapid pace.These dogs may be exhibiting signs of gastrointestinal distress.
Cereal grasses contain enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids and chlorophyll was once used for relieving pain, treating infections, ulcers, and skin diseases. In spite of these ingredients, however, grass is not digested well by dogs and therefore may not deliver these nutritional benefits effectively.The problem with eating whole grass is that each blade is covered with microscopic barbs that can cause stomach and throat irritation. It is thought to be these barbs that cause sickness in animals that have consumed excessive amounts grass and if grass did not contain the barbs, then the grass could likely be consumed in greater quantities without many adverse effects.If your pet enjoys the texture of grass and consumes it regularly, there are replacements for your pet to chew on that will not upset their stomach.
Certain types of grass grown specifically for pets may provide a safer alternative to wild grass that may have been treated with pesticides or herbicides that can cause harm to your dog if consumed.

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