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The Canine Nutritionist

Why does my dog eat grass?

It’s a question dog parents have asked themselves since time immemorial. And it’s a question so many people, even the experts, have differing opinions on. So why do dogs eat grass?

The sickness theory

Well for starters, it’s not always to make themselves ill. Yes, on rare occasions one of my dogs may do that. But then they eat grass most days and it’s a very rare thing for them to be sick afterwards. So let’s debunk that myth straight away. As American researchers at the University of California, Davis, concluded in the most exhaustive research carried out on the subject. In the main, dogs DO NOT eat grass to make themselves ill!

The dietary deficiency theory

And neither do dogs eat grass as a result of any kind of dietary deficiency as has often been suggested. My two dogs have the widest diet imaginable. They eat just about everything from asparagus to zucchini. But still they choose to eat grass most mornings. Particularly in spring and summer.

Because they like it

So why do dogs eat grass? In my view it’s because they like it. Whether because they like the taste or because they know it’s good for them, my two dogs deliberately choose to eat grass, and very often it’s a communal thing. When one dog finds a nice patch of grass to chow down on, the other will follow suit.

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Not all grasses are made equal

And it’s not just any old grass, either. My two are very fussy about what grass they’ll eat and what grass they’ll leave well alone. And, as a general rule, it’s specific strands rather than huge clumps that they’ll snack on.

Out on country walks in spring and early summer, it tends to be wheatgrass or barleygrass. Because they clearly like it so much, I add wheatgrass and barleygrass to their food for added goodness in the form of my Active Dog dog supplement powder for active and energetic dogs.

In their own garden, especially early morning, it tends to be couch grass they make a beeline for. Research tells us that couch grass has been used as a forage food for animals for centuries. In fact there are companies who sell couch grass as a wild herb. So as I’m very fond of saying, perhaps my dogs really do know more than we do.

In summary

So why do dogs eat grass? Because they enjoy it. Because they know it’s good for them. And in the final analysis, why could it not simply be as George Mallory famously replied when asked in 1923 why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Because it’s there!

Gerald Pepin

Gerald Pepin

Canine Nutritionist

Gerald Pepin is a qualified canine nutritionist, writer, speaker and homemade dog food advocate. Gerald believes that good nutrition can improve or cure most canine health problems and that the natural way is always the best way when it comes to healing man's best friend. A life-long lover of German Shepherds, Gerald and his wife The Dog Chef have two GSDs and live in rural Somerset.


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