Eating grass is a common behavior in pet dogs. Some polls show that up to 80% of bosses note that your dog regularly snacks on the grass.
Eating grass is also not a new behavior, or only our new designer dog breeds do. Studies in Yellowstone National Park show that plant matter (mostly grass) is found up to 74% in wolf excrementsuggesting the behavior is likely inherited from when dogs were just wolves.
So why does my dog eat grass?
Many people think that dogs eat grass when they have an upset stomach, believing that grass makes them vomit. This is probably not the case; a study with 12 dogs that ate grass every day he found that there were few vomiting episodes and those that did occur came after the dog had eaten a meal.
And if a dog has mild gastrointestinal upset from something they’ve been fed, they’re actually less likely to eat grass than their usual food.
Other theories include that dogs eat grass because they want a laxative or that provides fiber in their diet.
As with vomiting, there is no scientific evidence for most of these theories. For example, in the above study of 12 dogs, all were dewormed and had no previous digestive problems. Yet tAll 12 of them still happily ate grass (709 volte).
Their main finding was that when the dog had not yet eaten its daily meal, it was more likely to eat grass. In short, the hungrier the dog is, the more likely it is to eat grass.
The answer to why your dog eats grass may simply be: because he likes it. Your dog may be bored and chewing grass is something to do.
Maybe your dog just likes to eat grass. Pulling grass out of the ground can be satisfying. The texture and flavor of the weed offers something different from what they usually eat. You may also notice that they prefer grass in certain seasons; perhaps fresh spring grass is a favorite delicacy.
Is there any reason why you shouldn’t let your dog eat grass?
Well, yes, there are several. First, you might not want your dog to eat your neighbor’s flawless Kikuyu lawn.
More importantly though, the grass is sometimes treated with herbicides. The grass in your local garden or park may have been treated or sprayed. Some use a non-hazardous dye to show where the herb has been sprayed with herbicidewhich is very useful.
Lawn chemicals are often detected in the lawn for up to 48 hours after application and have also been detected in the urine of dogs with access to grass treated this way.
Research has suggested that there may be a link between bladder cancer in dogs and herbicide exposure.
In fact, dogs can even serve as sentries; the same chemical exposures appear in the urine of dogs and people who they share the same environment.
If you are using herbicide on your grass, remove your dog, his toys, food and water bowls from the area before any application.
Make sure the pesticide has completely dried before allowing your dog back into the area, and be sure to check the packaging for the appropriate drying period.
This is especially important for granular pesticides or fertilizers that seep into the soil, as they can take up to 24 hours or more.
If you want to further reduce your risk, hand mowing could be it a better option.
In addition to grass, many common plant leaves, flowers and berries can be toxic to your dog. This includes plants such as oleander and arum lily; oregano and bay leaves can also cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
One of the best things you can do for your dog is take him for a walk. And if he eats some grass along the way, as long as it hasn’t been sprayed with herbicide, there’s nothing to worry about.
Don’t worry if he vomits occasionally. In the event of more severe vomiting or diarrhea, however, it is best to consult your vet.
(Susan Hazel – Associate Professor, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Adelaide -, Joshua Zoanetti – PhD candidate in Veterinary Bioscience, University of Adelaide -, su The Conversation del 01/06/2023)
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