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Why Do Dogs and Cats Eat Grass?

Dogs and cats do some strange things that we don’t always understand. Ever notice that your dog will eat just about anything they can get their paws on? They’ll raid your shoe closet or the cat’s litter box just like you’ll raid the fridge for a late-night snack. It’s safe to say that pets are not picky eaters! Just like dogs, cats have an explorative nature that makes them open to eating weird things, and they’ll try just about anything once. But, some of these eating habits aren’t as weird as we think they are. One of those odd, but actually normal, habits our cats and dogs will partake in is eating grass. This is a pretty common habit for both animals and is not always a cause for concern, though it may seem to be if you don’t know why they’re doing it.
At Wapiti, we’ve dedicated years of research to understanding the behavior patterns of cats and dogs. We acquired this knowledge so that we could create custom-tailored supplements to improve every aspect of animal life. From digestion to mobility, we’ve spent years creating supplements to keep your pets happy and healthy.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

There are a lot of theories about why your dog might eat on grass from time to time. Some think it’s a natural habit that’s left over from when dogs were scavengers before they were domesticated. Along with this theory, it is suggested that dogs will use grass as a dietary supplement to fulfill the requirement of certain nutrients they’re not getting from their dog food. It’s also thought to be a way they try to remedy a gassy or upset stomach because it naturally clears out food from the digestive system. Unfortunately, we don’t have a clear answer yet. But, regardless of the reason your dog eats grass, it can seem a bit odd. Despite the strangeness of eating grass, it’s usually not dangerous to your pup. You should be concerned though if there is a serious increase in your dog’s grass eating habit or if your dog suffers adverse reactions after ingesting grass, as this can be an indication they are trying to self-medicate for a more serious problem.

Why Cats Eat Grass

The practice of eating grass tends to be less common in cats than it is in dogs, but it is still a normal habit they can take up. Especially if they are outdoor cats. It is often thought that cats eat grass because it helps eliminate indigestible food or other matter like bones, feathers, or fur from their digestive system. Because cats don’t possess the necessary enzymes to digest grass, they will often throw up after eating it. While this can seem concerning, it’s normally fine and will help with ridding their stomach of indigestible contents. However, if you’re concerned about the amount in which you pet is vomiting or if the vomit is an unusual color or odor, we recommend talking to your vet.

When Should You Be Concerned

Each pet is different and will either take up the habit of eating grass at a different time or will react differently to the actual act of consuming grass. If you’ve noticed a sharp and sudden increase in how often your dog or cat eats grass you might want to take them to the vet to make sure there aren’t any larger problems your pet is trying to fix with this practice. It can also be concerning if they are constantly throwing up after eating grass. If this is the case, you might want to consider alternative methods of easing their digestion process and preemptively eliminate their habit of snacking on your lawn. Ultimately, however, it is typically not considered dangerous to cats or dogs for them to eat grass as long as it isn’t covered in chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers. But when in doubt, call your veterinarian.

What Can You Do

To make this weird snack as safe as possible for your cat or dog, make sure you’re not using harsh lawn chemicals. Typically, it isn’t the grass that will hurt your pet, but products like pesticides or fertilizers can act as a poison if eaten by animals. If you know your neighbors use these kinds of products on their lawns, make sure not to let your pet wander too far from home and watch them carefully to be sure they’re not snacking on your neighbor’s yard.
You should also make it a practice to monitor how much and how often your dog or cat eats grass and take them to the vet if you notice a significant change overcome them. If you think they are using grass as a dietary supplement, try switching their food to one that encompasses more of the nutrients they need. This process should be performed slowly over the course of a few days to a week.

Finding Supplements for Your Pet’s G.I. Health at Wapiti

Though it’s normal for cats and dogs to eat grass, it can come off as a concerning habit. Especially if they are throwing up afterward. If you’re interested in adding a supplement to your pet’s life that will better round out their needs, we recommend our G.I. Tract supplements for both cats and dogs. You might also consider one of our elk antler dog chews if you think your dog just wants something to play with or chew on.

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