We all know that for sure: on a walk or in your own garden, the dog sniffs the grass and begins to eat it with relish. Some dogs – pixie included – like to graze for a few minutes and nibble on the grassy tips with relish.
When I share pictures or videos of Pixie on our Facebook page or Instagram, which shows her grazing, I get worried emails and comments on how unhealthy that is that Pixie eats grass. Why I do not stop this .. etc.
It is totally okay that dogs eat grass from time to time. It is an innate and often totally smart behavior, which they have even genetically “heard” of the wolves. In which cases it is worrisome, of course I also tell you.
I even set Pixie a grass box of wheatgrass on our patio, from which she often eats grass and in which she often lays in summer.
Therefore, we will cover this topic extensively in this article
So that I am on the safe side, I have on one of my recent visits the issue addressed to my veterinarian of trust and she has confirmed to me that at a “normal” grass consumption from time to time can not be faulted! On the contrary, it is definitely good!
What is “normal”, I’ll do it again.
Interestingly enough, there are many rumors and claims by dog owners with whom we want to tidy up.
In addition, at the very end of the article I copied a scientific survey from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, which tested this topic on 600 dogs.
These results are included in this article as well.
In any case, one thing has become clear from my research, this study and the questioning of my veterinarian: Let your dog eat grass if he likes to do it now and then.
Do not drag him further, but leave him alone for a few minutes. He knows exactly what he is doing there and in at least cases the behavior is worrisome. Maybe it just makes him happy (more about that right now) and we should not refuse him, right?
Why do dogs eat grass and when is this totally ok?
It tastes good to the dog:
Yes, it can be that easy! For example, Pixie picks a specific kind of grass. I’ve paid attention to it in recent months. It is always very meaty, thick at the tips and also the wheat grass on our terrace seems to taste very good. As you can see on the video, she closes her eyes while eating and looks totally happy about it. Obviously, she just likes it incredibly!
Because they like to do it and it makes them happy:
Yes you will laugh why it should make them happy right now, but it is not for nothing that many people chew gum during stress. The chewing of grass relaxes our dogs, because the movement of the jawbones releases endorphins – that is, happy hormones. I think it’s wonderful and you can only support that.😉
Because they are thirsty:
Of course, lush grass does not have much but enough water to make it worthwhile for the dogs to eat if they can not find another source of water. And dogs are not only thirsty in hot summer. If your dog is snooping or actively mantrailing or looking for tracks, then he needs more water than just “just tripping around”.
The nose work of the olfactory epithelium in the dog’s nose is exhausting and also dries out their mucous membranes. When water shortages get dogs – just like us – headaches and can concentrate more difficult. Even with stress, dogs are thirsty faster. So make sure that your dog eats some more grass out of thirst and take a water bottle with you when you go for a walk.
For what reasons do dogs eat grass, which leads to any health problems?
Because they are stressed:
The sweet taste of the grass – especially the pixies, which Pixie deliberately picks out by the way – is no coincidence. It contains sugary substances that some dogs consciously eat. Dogs always consciously choose “sweet grasses” or the “couchbats”. Funnily, I’ve found this historical illustration of grass grass, which is also called “dog grass” there.😉
So when a dog is stressed, his blood sugar level drops. So our dogs are clever and think to themselves: cool, grass is cute and I’ve learned that I feel better.
Because the sugar-like substances in the grass, the blood sugar level rises again and it is easier for them to cope with situations and concentrate. We then eat chocolate and ice and the dogs grass. Fascinating! We always underestimate our animals, do not you think?
If, for this reason, your dog is eating too much and a lot of grass, does not vomit and is also more restless and behavioral, then you should also consider that you somehow reduce the stress.
Because they are sick / want to vomit:
It is not so easy to recognize in dogs that they are bad. Some dogs then smack through excessive salivation (the increased production of alkaline saliva is said to neutralize the acidic stomach contents). Others yawn excessively, swallow “empty” or are restless and do not want to lie down.
And then it comes just to the excessive and very regular Graskonsum. What is excessive: of course it is (as always) to observe your own dog regularly. How much does he feed when he “just eats a bit of grass”? Then you will notice the change in behavior, if he starts to grow up like a hungry cow in tufts like a starving cow and can not be dissuaded from it anymore. Believe me, you should be aware of this change if you keep looking attentively at your dog.
Again very important:
Your dog does not do this to annoy or stop you, but because he likes it or it is actually for him the solution to his problem! If you drag him away from the grass, even punish him for it and do not go to the vet, then you make sure that he continues to feel bad and that he can not do anything about it.
So please respect it, if your dog shows this behavior and be attentive. You do not want to torment your dog.
Incidentally, the nausea is usually the first on an empty stomach in the morning – then real “grass food sessions” are very common here. Or at night.
If Pixie has gastrointestinal problems and is probably sick of them, she wakes me up at night so she can eat her grass from the terrace box. I stand next to her sleepwalked and wait until she’s done. Because after a few minutes it seems to be better, she trolls back to the bedroom and goes to sleep again.
Often, the dogs then throw up the grass again – completely packed in mucus. This may also be yellow from the bile. I know, it is disgusting but take a quick look into this “puke packet” if there is a foreign object or something out of the ordinary. See next point!🙄
The exception: When should you not let your dog eat there?
On very busy roads here in Hamburg, I lure Pixie for 1-2 blades of grass, because the grass there certainly loaded and in the long run is not the healthiest.
In addition, you should not let your dog graze in places where you are not sure if there is worked with insecticides or other sprays. Especially on some field edges, your dog can actually poison here. Then lure him on with a treat and let him graze where it’s okay.