Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
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It's not because they're going vegan
In a recent IAMS poll of dog owners,* 69% said their dog eats grass. That’s quite a lot. Owners also have quite a lot of theories on why their dog is noshing on the lawn.
It’s not just modern-day canines that eat grass. It’s likely something that has been going on for thousands of dog years. According to
Opens a new windowDr. Tammie King, Applied Behavior Technical Leader at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, “It is actually normal canine behavior. It has to do with innate behavior from canine ancestors. Potentially a remnant behavior.”
Dr. King also shared this with us: “A lot of people think dogs eat grass when they’re feeling ill, but studies have shown that’s not necessarily true.”
But then why do dogs eat grass? To get to the (grass)root of this issue, we asked
Opens a new windowDr. Jo Gale, BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS Senior Manager of Global Science Advocacy at Waltham Petcare Science Institute.
"There's no one reason. They just like the taste, texture and feel of the grass."
So it’s perfectly fine if your pooch decides to have an occasional grass snack. Who doesn’t crave a salad every now and then?
When to take notice of their grass-eating habit
If your dog is getting adequate nutrition, there’s no need to worry. But the experts we talked with asked dog owners to please keep in mind the following:
· Grass that’s been treated with weed killer or pesticides should be off the menu.
· If your dog is eating grass excessively or routinely vomiting from eating grass, consult your vet.
Looking for the perfect dog food to pair with their side of sod slaw? IAMS has the answer for that, too.
*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+
Sample Size: n=201
Fielded May 8 to May 10, 2020
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- adp_description_block439A Healthy Diet for Your Dog Can Mean Good Health for You
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As a veterinarian, I’ve found that pet owners take seriously the responsibility of ensuring their dogs live healthy, happy lives. They worry about making sure their dog gets enough exercise, receives regular wellness checks and receives balanced nutrition that gives them energy to run and play.
What some people don’t realize is that owning and caring a dog can improve the owner’s health as well. Spending quality time with your dog and providing them with quality nutrition is good for the dog and can help ease stress and anxiety levels for you. Studies have shown that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels1 — which is great news for your heart health.
In short, when your dog is getting the best care, proper exercise, nutrition and love, they can enjoy a long and healthy life. And that can ultimately make you healthier, too!
So what does that mean when it comes to feeding your dog?
Many owners see their dog as part of the family, and that sometimes means they will feed their dog like they feed themselves. For example, some people may choose low-carb or gluten-free diets for themselves and do the same for their pets. However, while this instinct comes from a place of love, many owners don’t realize that their dog’s dietary needs differ from their own.
Take grains for example. As a veterinarian, it’s important for me to note that grains are good for your dog. Yes, you read that right — they’re good!
A very small percentage of dogs may have a food sensitivity that requires a special grain-free diet or a dog food without a certain protein. However, this is not necessary for the vast majority of dogs. Most dogs benefit from a complete, balanced diet with healthy grains, high-quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals.
Here’s why: Grains are a good source of carbohydrates that provide healthy energy. Some grains, like rice and wheat, provide “quick” energy, while other grains, like barley and sorghum, take longer to convert to energy. A combination of these different grains can offer a time-released energy source that helps dogs sustain energy. The whole grains in IAMS dog food are a beneficial mix, as they supply steady energy.
In addition to the grains you’ll find in IAMS food, you’ll also find high-quality proteins, like chicken and lamb, as well as essential nutrients needed to help support heart health. Together, this combination will give your dog a steady source of energy to be active on walks, runs, hikes or play sessions around the house.
For your dog to be healthy and happy, be sure you feed them a well-balanced diet and allow them enough exercise time. In return, you’ll get unconditional love, plenty of sweet doggy snuggles and maybe even more exercise — just a few of the ways you and your dog are joined at the heart.
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