Why does my dog eat grass?
Out walking our dogs the other day, a friend told her dog off for eating grass. Why I thought? It’s something my own dogs do at home much of the time. (Witness my Ava above)!
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, carried out the most exhaustive research ever on the subject. And before you ask, the answer is no. In the main, dogs do not eat grass to make themselves sick!
In the case of my own dogs, they are never in the garden unless I or my husband are with them. And I would suggest it’s probably been a couple of years since we saw either of them being sick after eating grass.
Neither does a healthy dog fed a fresh diet eat grass to because of a dietary deficiency which is another commonly held theory.
Want to know what I think is the answer to the question, why does my dog eat grass? Because they like it. Dogs instinctively know what’s good for them. They are far smarter than most folks give them credit for!
I’ve watched my dogs eat grass, Marco for nine years and Ava for over five, and here’s what I think:
- They eat grass more often in spring and early summer than any other time of year. This leads me to conclude that they are eating grass when the grass is at its most nutritious.
- When one of my dogs finds a nice patch of grass to chow down on, he or she is frequently joined by the other. Conclusion – my dogs know something I don’t!
- Not all grasses are equal. My dogs tend to prefer individually selected strands rather than huge clumps of grass. Couch grass is a favourite, as is wheatgrass and barleygrass when out on country walks.
- Couch grass has been used as a forage food for animals for centuries. Some companies even sell it as a wild herb. Both wheatgrass and barleygrass are now considered superfoods by many.
I rest my case. Dogs eat grass either because they like it or because they know it’s good for them. And by the way, if you want to know the next big thing in the health food market, it seems you could do a lot worse than asking my dogs!