You've probably seen a dog eat grass before. You must have thought: but why? In this article, we give you some explanations.
Even if a dog has 10 times less taste buds than humans, some dogs may crave a specific food: this is called “food craving“.
Food craving is thus characterized by the desire for a particular food. In humans, for example, it manifests itself by a sudden craving for chocolate, cheese or crisps.
For your dog, this may involve ingesting grass, vegetables or even fruit. So it's not as weird as it seems to see your canine friend eating something other than his kibbles or his meat portion.
A dog may need to eat grass mainly due to a digestive disorder. If your dog has difficulty digesting, he will try to vomit. Eating grass will cause irritation of the intestinal mucous membrane and regurgitation. Therefore, he will eliminate the disturbing contents of his stomach to feel better.
If this phenomenon occurs only once in a while, there's no need to worry. In the event that your dog adopts this reflex frequently, consult a veterinarian, as it could be sign of an illness.
We tend to think of the dog as a strictly carnivorous predator.
Also read this article: History and origins of the dog
Don't be mistaken, even though they are generally carnivorous, dogs can also eat plants, vegetables and fruit.
Have you ever heard of Pica syndrome? It is an eating behavioral disorder that causes dogs to ingest various non-nutritive substances such as sand, soil, plastic or paper.
Grass consumption and fecal matter ingestion (coprophagia) is considered to be a form of Pica syndrome.
Note that the symptoms of Pica Syndrome are not necessarily behavioral disorders. It can also be caused by other conditions such as pancreatic insufficiency or metabolic disorders. In this case, do not hesitate to consult a specialist.
In search of dietary fiber
If your dog is on a low-fiber diet, then sooner or later he will suffer a deficiency in his metabolism. If so, grass is consumed to compensate for the fiber deficiency. Some dogs even eat fresh vegetables to meet their fiber needs.
If this is the case, adjust his diet with foods high in fiber. With the advice and prescription of a veterinarian, you can also use specific products to reduce your dog's fiber deficiency.
Veterinarians have observed that if foods rich in dietary fiber are added to your four-legged friend's diet, consumption of grass (for dietary fiber) disappears over time. It's important to note here that food choice is critical if you own or plan to adopt a dog.
Also read this article: Our selection of the best kibbles for adult dogs
Even though it's normal for a dog to eat grass, always keep an eye on your dog and his actions. Remember to deworm your dog that eats grass on a regular basis (as advised by your vet), as ingested plants may contain parasite eggs.
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