Many people get worried about their cats and dogs eating grass. Does your dog or cat eat grass? Don’t worry! I am going to tell you some reasons why do cats and dogs eat grass and whether it is good or not for them.
Scientists do not agree on a single and particular reason for dogs and cats eating grass. But several theories have been put forward to explain it. It may simply be the case that different animals eat grass for various reasons.
Reasons for eating grass
There can be different reasons for different animals to eat grass. Some of them are as follows:
To relieve an upset stomach
One of the reasons your cat and dog eat grass can be an upset stomach. A research showed that out of 47 dogs owner whose dogs eat grass frequently, 4 confirmed that their dogs showed signs of illness before the action, and 6 dogs had vomited after eating grass.
Most vets agree that eating grass probably soothes a pet’s upset stomach. An upset stomach is a sign that stomach acids are building up. Just as when acid builds up in our stomachs, we often take an antacid knowing that will feel better soon.
If your dog has an upset stomach, visit your veterinarian to analyze your pet’s diet and look for natural and nutritious options. Cold pressed diets for dogs have been shown to digest faster and lessen stomach upset and bloating.
Some scientists believe that cats and dogs eat grass when they lack fiber, minerals, or enzymes in their diet. Because plants contain fiber, cellulose, and certain enzymes that can be beneficial for pets, to help in the rapid digestion of food and improve gut health, they may resort to plant-eating.
To eliminate intestinal parasites
There is an ancestral history of cats and dogs eating plants. Plants remains have been found in 2%-74% of scats and stomach content samples of wild canids and felids. This may provide a biological purpose for eating grass. According to one theory cats and dogs eat plants to get rid of intestinal parasites. This can explain why younger dogs that are most susceptible to parasites tend to eat grass more often than older dogs.
If cats and dogs are full of energy but are not getting enough mental or physical stimulation to keep them active, they may refer to eating grass out of boredom. If this continues for a long, it may become a habitual action.
Most veterinarians concluded that in most cases, grass eating is a common behavior in most pets and it has nothing to do with illness. Moreover, most dogs do not appear to routinely vomit after eating grass. Cats are less likely to eat plants than dogs. Just like dogs most cats do not routinely show signs of illness prior to eating grass and do not regularly vomit after eating it.
Is it safe for cats and dogs to eat grass?
Although eating grass is a normal behavior for cats and dogs, it is important to ensure that they stay away from the grass that is treated with fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. These chemicals are highly toxic and when the pets eat such grass it can be potentially fatal for them. If you have to treat your yard for ticks, fleas, and other insects, consider using a natural alternative.
Dogs and cats may ingest parasites while feeding on grass. This can lead to a great deal of discomfort and can cause a number of serious health issues. Visit your veterinarian immediately if your pet displays symptoms of parasitic infection such as diarrhea, bloody urine or vomit, or weight loss.
How to stop your pet from eating grass?
As I earlier said that eating grass can have an adverse effect on the health of your pets. So here are some tips for how to stop your cats and dogs from eating grass.
You can train your pet to stop eating grass. Start by supervising your pet every time it’s outside. If they try to eat grass, then gently discourage them by a verbal command like “leave it”. Don’t be harsh with your pet. Praise your pets and them a treat each time they respond to your command.
Feed your pet healthy plants
Feed your pet fresh fruits and vegetables to make up for nutritional deficiencies in their diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also great sources of fiber, minerals, and enzymes. Foods like spinach, kale, blueberries, pumpkin, and coconut oil help in promoting overall health and support the digestive system of your pet.
Mental and physical stimulation
One of the best ways to discourage your pet from unwanted behaviors like grass eating is to engage them physically and mentally. Give your pet plenty of time and play with them regularly.