Why Do Dogs Eat Grass
All the advise that I have read says I need to write at least one blog post a week. As I had no ideas and would rather use the rare free time I have to do something else I dilly dallied through the first couple days of this week and then still without an idea today I used the power of Google. I entered "Why do dogs..." looked at the auto-fill results and picked one of the more popular ones.
It is cheating a bit in a way as the purpose of blogging is to help us show better in search results (hello fourth wall), but I figure it is a good way to find a topic that is relative to the interest of our target audience and much better than debating if the recording is saying Yanny or Laurel.
So why do dogs eat grass? Some theories I've heard is they do it because it helps them with an upset stomach while others think it is because they like the sweet flavor of the grass. Instead of theorizing on my own I followed the Google link and found what a few internet experts think.
First up with have PetMD that doesn't really offer any answers other than the interesting tidbit that it is a form of pica or the eating of objects that aren't food. They then suggest that dogs could be eating grass because of boredom or nutritional deficiencies. This latter part leads me to my own theory and a rejection of their saying to feed a dog a high fiber diet. Most of the fiber in modern dog food comes from grasses like rice and wheat so if grass is acknowledged as a non food in one part of the article it shouldn't be suggested as a food in another. My theory is dogs are lacking something related to grass in their diet but that isn't truly grass. Think about a natural dog's diet and what parts of an animal wild dogs prefer to eat. The first parts eaten are the organs. Mainly the organs used in digestion. Grass as it grows in your yard is a lot different than the grass that is going to be found broken down by the enzymes of an herbivore's digestive system. Your dog lacks the enzymes to break down grass on their own but that doesn't mean their aren't nutrients in the grass that their bodies can use and our modern dog food lacks all that good nutrition they get from the digestive organs they crave.
Second is an internet veterinarian that doesn't by into the study that PetMD referenced and does believe dogs eat grass to relieve an upset stomach. My thought on this is to lean towards the scientific study but I do also believe dogs are smart enough to figure out if something will give them relief. Remember learning is done by seeking out positive stimulus while avoiding negative. Stomach pain can be quite negative and if eating grass makes it feel better then a dog has learned eating grass helps stomach pain. I know I've seen our hound Riley do it when he has had issues going and other dogs we've walked have done similar things. Still this is what you call anecdotal evidence which isn't evidence at all and we should really go by what the scientific studies say.
And our third and final article from Psychology Today says I should never half wit a theory into a blog post that I could edit at anytime but won't because it's not my blogging style. It is here that we find our answer and it is that grass eating has nothing to do with an upset stomach or nutritional deficiency but it is in fact a way for dogs to purge parasites from their intestines. Thank you for taking the time to read this here blog post and to follow along with my train of thought and journey through the internet to one of the most asked questions about dog behavior. Why do dogs eat grass? At least now we know.