What to Do If Your Pet Eats Grass

Image of a cat eating potted grass.

Does your pet regard your lawn as the perfect place to snack? Eating grass may not seem very appetizing to you, but your pet doesn't share your disdain. In fact, both dogs and cats enjoy eating a little grass from time to time. We'll explore why pets eat grass and explain what you should do if you notice that your furry friend loves the green stuff.

Why Does My Pet Eat Grass?

Pets eat grass for a variety of reasons. Some simply like the taste and find that chewing on a little grass enhances their usual diet of dog or cat food. Hunger is another possible reason. If your furry friend is hungry, grass may look awfully tempting. Although some pets never seem to be full, eating grass due to hunger may mean that your pet isn't receiving the nutrients needed for good health.

If you've recently decreased the amount of food your pet receives due to concerns about weight or have noticed that your pet always seems hungry, it's a good idea to schedule a visit with the veterinarian. Your pet's vet can provide advice about the best types of food products and tell you how much food your pet really requires. In some cases, constant hunger may be a sign of a disease, such as diabetes or a tumor.

Does Eating Grass Mean My Pet Has an Upset Stomach?

Grass eating may be a natural way to handle minor digestive problems in dogs and cats, according to one theory. If your pet has an upset stomach, eating grass may trigger vomiting and relieve your pet's nausea. It may also act as a natural laxative if your dog or pet is constipated. Although some people assume that eating grass always leads to vomiting, only a small percentage of pets actually vomit after ingesting grass.

Is Eating Grass Dangerous?

Eating grass usually won't harm your pet, unless your lawn has been treated with pesticides. Researchers discovered that dogs exposed to pesticides in lawn care products had a 70 percent higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma. The study was published in the January 2012 issue of Environmental Research.

What Should I Do If My Pet Enjoys Grazing on My Lawn?

There's no need to discourage the habit if your pet enjoys eating a little grass and doesn't experience any ill effects. If grass eating causes frequent vomiting, an examination by your pet's veterinarian can uncover the cause of the problem.

When grass is one of your pet's favorite snacks, it makes sense to avoid using lawn care products on your yard. If you do use the products, don't give your pet unsupervised access to your yard and your tasty grass. Because it's not known how long treated grass will retain the chemicals that harm pets, it's best to avoid ever letting your dog or cat eat treated grass. Instead, provide a small patch of untreated grass for your pet's snacking pleasure.

Unfortunately, you can't always tell if public parks or the laws you pass on your daily walks have been treated with pesticides. For your pet's health, assume that every blade of grass has been treated. If your pet tries to sample your neighbors' yards, gently pull him or her away from the lawn and offer a small treat instead.

If it's not convenient to establish a pesticide-free zone in your yard, consider growing grass inside your home. Planting grass in pots or containers is a simple way to ensure that your furry friend has a source of fresh, safe grass. Not sure what kind of grass to plant? Wheatgrass seeds, available online and in garden stores, offer a good source of protein, potassium, fiber, iron, zinc, copper and vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6.

Are you concerned about the effects of grass eating on your pet's health? Call us today to schedule a convenient appointment.

Sources:

Modern Dog: A Vet’s Take on Why Dogs Eat Grass

http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/vet-s-take-why-dogs-eat-grass/297

PetMD: Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

http://www.petmd.com/cat/wellness/evr_ct_eating_grass

Applied Animal Behavioural Science, 5/08

http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/article/S0168-1591(07)00182-7/abstract

National Institutes of Health: Environmental Research: Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, 1/12

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267855/

Sign up using the form below or call 704-523-3457 to make an appointment.

Office Hours

Monday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

7:30 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

  • "Keeping this short. Bottom line is that this is an excellent Animal care facility. They helped save my kitty's life last year, and always treat him very well. They are NOT cheap. But you get what you pay for. Excellent care, treatment and service."
    Paul C. / Charlotte, NC

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More
  • Managing Pet Allergies in Kids

    Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes. The Problem About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic ...

    Read More
  • Euthanasia: Saying Goodbye

    It's not easy to say goodbye to cherished pets, even those that have lived long, happy lives. Although you may hate the thought of life without your pet, euthanasia can be the kindest decision you can make when your friend is suffering. Making the Decision If your pet has been seriously injured in a ...

    Read More
  • Is a Wet Nose a Sign of a Healthy Pet?

    Have you ever heard that a wet nose is a sign that your pet is healthy? Although that's often the case, it's not always true. A moist nose can benefit your pet in several ways, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee good health. How Does a Wet Nose Help My Pet? Have you ever been woken at 5 a.m. by a cold, ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles