Dominican Republic

Vet in Casa: Why do dogs eat grass?

Popularly, it is believed that dogs are purged or dewormed by the recurrent consumption of grass; this is completely false. 80% of dogs tend to eat tender shoots from time to time and this behavior can be due to several circumstances. The first, and least worrisome, is that they simply seek to supplement with additional fiber or minerals.

It is necessary to clarify that one of the common forms of parasitic transmission is the ingestion of grass contaminated with parasite eggs; additionally, it must be taken into account that at present it is common to apply chemical products on meadows, which can generate toxicity in an animal that consumes grass.

Why do dogs eat grass

There are several hypotheses why dogs consume grass:

• Bad nutrition: can generate consumption of abnormal substrates, seeking to supply the need for nutrients.

• Some patients may relate the consumption of grass with the process of vomiting. If at a time when the animal suffers with a gastrointestinal issues they eat grass to induce vomit, and so feel relief, there will be a tendency to repeat the behavior, since it is related to improvement.

• Behavioral (for pleasure).

Why dogs that eat grass vomit

This is precisely what some dogs tend to look for when they suddenly start eating grass compulsively. The reason is that some food or some object that they have swallowed is not making them feel good causing them a digestive discomfort. Therefore, and instinctively, they eat grass to irritate the walls of the stomach, increase the secretion of gastric acids and finally induce vomit that expels the element that has sat them down.

Since many dogs are true vacuum cleaners, it is normal that from time to time they show this behavior because they have eaten something that causes them discomfort. Now, if this compulsive intake – as opposed to when it is started in a more eventual way – is repeated often then its something we have to worry about it. It is possible that in this case our dog is suffering from a gastric problem that has gone unnoticed and that is in danger of becoming chronic.

Recommendations for dogs that eat grass

• Evaluate if the patient is being given the appropriate food according to their stage of life.

• Deworm regularly, with recommended products by the Veterinarian according to the age and weight of the patient.

• In this case, the habit has no greater problem than monitoring that the grass that our dog wonders around is known and in fact it has not been fumigated with toxic substances such as pesticides or herbicides that could cause intoxication.

• If grass consumption is considered a problem, it may be advisable to consult a veterinarian specialized in ethology.

Este artículo fue contribuido por Dmv. Roberto Nuñez Reyes, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine

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