why do dogs eat grass?

For most dogs eating grass is likely nothing to be concerned with as long as the grass has not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. Grass eating is common for dogs and it is not always related to illness or vomiting.

Grass eating most likely falls into one of three categories.

  • They enjoy it. (Vegetation is good and serves a biological purpose)
  • Gastrointestinal Issue
  • Illness

 Some dogs showing signs of illness before eating grass are more likely to vomit afterward.

My two dogs always loved to eat grass and we would say they just liked their salad and that it was normal. But after running a NutriScan food intolerance test on each of them and eliminating several foods from their diet their grass eating reduced about 95%. (after eating grass they were not throwing up).  Since food intolerance or sensitivity is more common than a food allergy I plan on running a NutriScan test on all my future dogs for food intolerances since it seems reasonable that problems can be subclinical for a length of time. Food intolerances/sensitivities can manifest in gastrointestinal issues, chronic itching, chronic gas, chronic skin, ear and foot infections.

If your dog does eat grass on occasion just be sure that it has not been treated with pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals because studies have linked canine cancers to lawn chemicals.

Research

Why do dogs and cats eat grass? Characterisation of plant eating in dogs

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?   Dr. Jean Dodds

Organic Weed Control

CANCER LINK TO LAWN CHEMICALS

Studies Link Canine Cancers to Lawn Chemicals

Detection of herbicides in the urine of pet dogs following home lawn chemical application.

Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Herbicide exposure and the risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers (Purdue University)

Distribution of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid in Floor Dust throughout Homes Following Homeowner and Commercial Lawn Applications:  Quantitative Effects of Children, Pets, and Shoes

Case-Control Study of Canine Malignant Lymphoma: Positive Association With Dog Owner's Use of 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid Herbicides