Why Dogs and Cats Eat Grass

by VetDepot on March 19, 2014

dog eating grass 2 editedAs a loving and devoted pet owner, you probably take care in choosing nutritionally complete food and healthy pet treats. So, why do some pets feel the need to snack on grass? The answer isn’t the same for every animal.

Even if a pet’s diet is complete, cravings for certain things (like grass) can occur. If your pet is just taking a few nibbles of grass and no gastrointestinal upset is present, there is probably not much cause for concern (as long as your lawn isn’t treated with any harmful chemicals).

In other cases, pets have the behavioral drive to eat things that aren’t typically considered food. For some pets, this might be grass, but it can also be things like paper or plastic. Animals may do this simply because it feels good to chew on that item, or they may be suffering from a neurological disorder that is causing this behavior.

Lastly, if a pet is gulping down grass, this may be due to a natural instinct to induce vomiting because of an upset stomach. If your pet is eating a lot of grass, regularly experiencing stomach upset, or displaying changes in behavior, it’s time to contact a veterinarian.

Be prepared to answer a few questions when you visit the vet. Does your pet vomit after eating grass? Has your pet’s diet changed recently? Are there any patterns in your pet’s behavior?

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a vet might run a variety of tests including blood work, a fecal exam, x-rays, and an abdominal ultrasound. For many pets, eating grass is a symptom of a minor illness or nothing at all. However, more serious conditions are sometimes to blame.

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