Healthy Dog Blog

Dogs love grass, man…

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Yes, dogs eat grass then barf. That’s what most people notice and, disgusted think no more about it. But munching on grass blades is much more than barf inducing and rarely does eating grass mean that your dog is sick.

Animals are very adept at self medicating when given the chance. Most animals crave grass for many reasons, but our dogs need grass for basic intestinal maintenance.

The grasses our dogs choose to gnaw on are the wide furry blades (the kind you can whistle with if you hold it just so between your thumbs). The hairs on the grass help to comb out internal parasites. You will probably notice that if your dog doesn’t vomit the grass up, it shows up out the other end undigested. It made it all the way through scraping and gathering up detritus along the way. It’s actually a very efficient and simple and inexpensive system that we are best to leave intact.

Many people are averse to allowing their dogs to munch on grass because “it makes him barf”. The grass does indeed assist in the event, but the reason your dog ate the grass was to help an upset tummy. Trust his instincts. Let him eat the grass!

My dogs rarely vomit and they eat grass every day. It must be working, because for eight years, I have yet to worm my dogs.

Many people are aware of having fresh grass available for indoor cats, but many dogs do not have access to munching grass. If your dog is always walked on leash, or only has access to manicured lawns, it will be in her best interests to get some munching grass around.

Growing your own crops can be fun. There are kits available at pet stores, usually sold for cats, but it’s just as good for dogs. I used to find pastures with big clumps and dig one up, plop it in a bucket and leave it near the dog’s dining area. After about a week the grass was dying, so I would return it to its pit and dig another. Be aware of chemical fertilizers and don’t use grass from the side of the road. Grass found near boggy areas seems to be a favourite with my guys. I had a cat that used a potted bamboo for most of her grazing, a perfectly acceptable substitute.

So look around and make sure your dog can get some fresh grass everyday and let nature do her thing.