Dogs are omnivorous animals, and have always been that way. They are known to eat all kinds of food ranging from meat, eggs, bones, marrow, right up to plants, vegetables, and even grass. It is not unnatural for them to eat plants or grass, and there are many reasons behind it.
Dogs eat a variety of flora including raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, leafy vegetables, herbs, and blades of grass. Veterinarians agree that the most common questions they are frequently asked are, "Why do dogs have a tendency to eat grass?" or "Is it normal for dogs to eat grass?". The plain truth is that it is absolutely normal once in a while. The reasons why dogs do this are listed below.
This is one of the most common reasons. It is a scientifically accepted fact that not only dogs, but most omnivorous animals benefit from eating grass and similar herbs. This is because, these plants lead to the release of certain stomach enzymes which aid the digestion process. This is the same reason why, in zoos and wildlife parks, even carnivorous animals like lions and tigers are given a vegetable diet once a week.
Sometimes, if a dog is not getting enough essential nutrients through the home-provided dog food, it may look at other food resources to satisfy its nutritional requirements. In such cases, dogs tend to eat grass and herbs as they contain a good number of nutrients and minerals. Changing the dog's diet after consulting the vet is recommended. Many times, it is the fiber that is lacking.
If a dog is sick or is suffering from an upset stomach, it will eat a lot of grass very fast in an effort to throw up. By doing this, it manages to get the sickness-causing germs out of its system. The gobbled grass tickles the throat and stomach, causing the dog to vomit. Even when they are healthy and normal, dogs eat lemon grass to cleanse their systems of toxic wastes and other undigested food material. Often, the speed at which a dog eats it is a good indication of its health. Dogs who are seen eating a few grass blades at a leisurely pace are fine, whereas those looking to gobble it down in a hurry are unwell, and are trying to throw up for the above-mentioned reasons.
Some dogs simply like the taste and smell of grass. Individual dogs even have preferences ranging from fresh leaves to dry ones. However, the only thing to be kept in mind is to not let your dog eat grass that has been treated with insecticides or pesticides. Consuming treated grass can be very harmful for your pet.
Some dogs can develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder regarding grass consumption. If the situation is not very serious, you can use a basket muzzle, or simply let your dog graze. However, if you think that it has gone beyond your control, consult a certified veterinarian immediately.
So if you happen to be a dog owner who provides his/her dog with the best of training, care, and food, and you still see your dog eating grass on your lawn, do not worry. He/she is doing so for the above reasons.