We regularly receive interesting questions in our mailbox, including the question from Anita Lejeune from Antwerp, Belgium. She noticed that her dog regularly eats grass and was concerned about whether it is harmful. We discussed this with veterinarian Anoek De Leeuw. Read the answer in this blog post!
"If your dog eats a lot of grass regularly, this could mean that your dog has an intestinal problem, but it could also simply be innocent because they like the taste of young grass," Anoek explains.
Help! My dog eats grass. And now?
It can sometimes be a bit scary, especially with a first dog in the house. Your dog eats grass, but why? "One breed may eat grass more often than another. Many veterinarians immediately say that it has to do with intestinal problems," explains veterinarian Anoek De Leeuw, "But there may be more reasons than these," she adds.
Eating grass can have different and multiple causes for every dog. A puppy may eat grass out of playfulness, while an adult dog may need it for various reasons. "Dogs often look for new things, especially puppies, who want to discover new things through their mouths and teeth. This is often the case for puppies, while in several cases for adult dogs it works as a vomiting reflex for intestinal problems," Anoek explains to us.
Picky about grass
As humans we may not pay attention to it, but a dog chooses its grass well. This has to do with the type of grass, thin blades of grass and a rougher type of grass, explains veterinarian Anoek De Leeuw.
"Dogs look for specific blades of grass to eat. Young grass are small blades and delicious as a dessert or aperitif. They are juicy and sweet, and dogs find this very tasty! When a dog looks for coarser blades or grass with hairs, then there is a good chance that the dog has a late stomach or is suffering from stomach acid, or in some cases has intestinal problems. These grass leaves have a rough side, which rubs against the stomach wall and induces an emetic reflex, causing the dog can get rid of the problem immediately."
Be careful when eating grass
"Pay close attention to what your dog eats in autumn, spring and summer," adds Anoek. "During these seasons, acorns also fall from trees and some dog breeds are crazy about this, but they can be bad for dogs and in serious cases can even be life-threatening. In addition, especially in the summer, some oak processionary caterpillars fall from trees when the dog does this. eat together with some grass, it can cause serious health problems."
Intestinal problems in a dog
Does your four-legged friend eat grass repeatedly or even daily? Eating grass once or occasionally is not serious, but if this happens more often there may be something wrong. If your dog has intestinal problems, your dog may suffer from this.
"If dogs regularly eat grass, they may have a condition, perhaps IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Desease, a chronic intestinal problem. I can only recommend a visit to the vet. This way an examination can be done and you can avoid any unexpected costs ", explains veterinarian Anoek De Leeuw to us.
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