Is grass safe for my dog to eat?
For the most part, it’s okay for a dog to eat grass, but there are a few things you should watch for. Among them:
• A nutritional deficiency. In the wild, the dog’s ancestors ate their entire prey, including the stomach contents of any animal that was plant-eating. So you may need to add a little more plant food to her diet or even switch to a higher nutrient dog food.
• Boredom. Sometimes dogs will do this is when they need more activity and attention. You know the solution, play more and maybe do a few minutes each day of some basic commands.
Dogs will often use grass as a natural remedy, because the blade tickles the throat and gives off a sensation that will make her vomit the offending object. This is totally normal.
On the other hand, though, watch to see if she’s eating more grass than usual; if it goes on for two weeks or more, it could indicate an illness that she’s trying to self-medicate—and really requires veterinary care. As an example, some pets will ingest extra grass if their digestive tract or pancreas is inflamed. In those cases, if the eating grass is accompanied by a decrease in energy, lower appetite, vomiting or other digestive upset, than a veterinary exam may be indicated to make sure there are no medical issues that need to be treated.
• Pesticides and other chemicals
You do need to watch for treated grass, because yours—or the neighbors’—might include something that could be accidentally ingested, and harmful. If you’re concerned about this, consider buying those little grass trays—and keep it just for her.
By the way, don’t be concerned if your dog vomits after eating grass; some dogs do this routinely and, although no one really knows why, but it’s really no reason for concern, especially if she seems playful, happy and fine after doing so.