Q: Why Do Dogs and Cats Eat Grass?

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Dog eating grass picture

"Is it just me or has the grass has gone bad?" Photo: Kettukusu/Flickr

A: In a recent question to Paw Nation, a user asked me if dogs eat grass to settle their stomachs or, since her dog often throws up after eating the green stuff, if it's the grass that actually upsets their stomachs.

But first let's answer the question, why do dogs and cats eat grass?

Some dogs and cats inherited their taste for grass from their ancestors, others chomp it just to have something to do, and some do indeed munch on grass to settle an upset stomach or another gastrointestinal-related problem. Eating grass will often cause vomiting, sometimes because the grass itself upsets your dog's or cat's stomach, or simply because they ate too much.

If your dog or cat is eating grass and vomiting every morning, I would advise bringing it to a vet for an exam.

Grass has no nutritional value for dogs or cats, but it won't harm them if they like to eat it once in a while. Just be sure to watch your pet's behavior and keep your eye on the type of grass he eats. Grass that has been sprayed with pesticides could potentially be toxic. If a dog or cat consumes grass that has been treated with chemicals for a long period of time, there could easily be harmful effects.

Also keep in mind that, like humans, dogs and cats can have behavioral issues. Constant grass eating could be a sign that your pet is obsessive-compulsive.

Do you have a question for Dr. Cooper? Send it to pawnation@aol.com.

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