Why do some dogs and cats eat grass?
There are a variety of reasons why a dog or cat will eat grass. The most common one is simply because they like to. Cats especially like to eat greens and because of this, you can purchase containers of “cat grass” at a pet supply store that you can grow at home just for the cat to munch on. You can also grow the same grass for dogs who insist on eating grass and have been examined by a veterinarian and given a clean bill of health.
Dogs however, are as not as likely to eat grass as cats. If your dog occasionally nibbles on grass it could be just because he feels like doing it. Some dogs enjoy the act of chewing and like to chew on grass. If your dog does it more frequently, double check the quality of your dog food and treats. They should be the highest quality. (Typically supermarket brands are not top quality foods.)
However, if your dog constantly eats grass and throws up, it is time for a vet check. The dog could be suffering from a stomach or neurological issue. Your veterinarian may want to do a series of tests on your dog such as blood work, a fecal exam, x-rays or an ultrasound.
Before you take your dog to the veterinarian examine the type of grass your dog has access to. If you examine the different types of grass that the dog eats, you may find that some species of grass have a rough, abrasive surface which can cause the dog to throw up. Some grass can have sharp edges as well. Your veterinarian will want to know this information. Also determine if there has been any chemicals sprayed on the grass that your pet ate. This is important information since chemicals can make a pet very sick.
If your veterinarian rules out medical issues, then it could be a behavioral problem. The first thing to consider is if your pet gets enough exercise. Lack of exercise and boredom will cause some dogs to eat grass and other foreign objects.
If it seems that your dog is eating grass due to a behavioral issue you must contact a certified canine behavior consultant for help. This is not an issue for a dog trainer to deal with because the underlying problem can be complex. To find a good behavior consultant go to: www.iaabc.org