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Why Puppies Eat Grass

Dogs and Eating Grass

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Why Puppies Eat Grass

Puppies often enjoy munching grass or even sticks.

©Amy Shojai, CABC

When dogs eat grass owners are puzzled because they often vomit. But eating grass seems to be a natural behavior for many dogs and isn't as odd as some of the other strange stuff puppies eat. But if it tastes so good, then why do puppies eating grass later vomit?

Dogs need a balanced diet and are considered are omnivores, which means they can eat nearly anything, including vegetables or fruits. Puppies actually can safely eat many people foods. Wild canids like coyotes typically eat vegetable matter found in the stomach and intestines of prey animals. They also may eat roots, grasses and even fruit.

Your puppy probably also begs for and enjoys snacks of raw vegetables like lettuce, green beans and carrots, or even apples. These can help keep your puppy's breath fresh and teeth clean, too. Maybe he also likes the flavor of munching on grass, but that still doesn't explain why he gets sick.

Most pet dogs occasionally eat grass, which may be used as a natural emetic to stimulate vomiting when the dog feels unwell. When the puppy has a gassy tummy, gulping mouthfuls of long, tickling strands of grass prompt her to "whoops" out whatever upset her tummy.

However, grass eating does not always result in vomiting; some dogs may simply relish the flavor or texture. Some speculation exists that grass grazing may provide trace elements of vitamins.

Indoor dogs may indulge their urge to graze by nibbling houseplants which, depending on the plant, may be dangerous or even poisonous. Occasional grass eating isn't a cause for concern. You can even provide some healthy wheat grass for your dog to gnosh. Pet supply stores often have grass or herb growing kits available.

However, if grazing becomes a habit, and especially if grass eating prompts vomiting more than two days in a row, your pup should be examined by a veterinarian to rule out a health problem. An upset tummy that becomes chronic should be diagnosed to rule out intestinal parasites like roundworms or something more serious.

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