No one really knows why pets, especially dogs, eat grass. There are many theories including that they lack fibre in their diet, boredom, or that they eat grass when they feel sick which helps them vomit up what is “unhealthy” in their stomach.
Regardless of the cause, there are a number of reasons why letting your pet eat grass is not a good idea:
- Grass sprayed with pesticides or fertilizer can make your pet very sick. Some pets need to be hospitalized and treated for fertilizer or pesticide toxicity after eating grass.
- Large amounts of ingested grass can cause obstruction in the stomach and sometimes even bloat which can be deadly.
- Some pets have to have surgery to remove the grass they have ingested.
- Dry grass (like foxtails) can cause severe irritation of the throat or choking: dogs will start coughing and retching and show signs of discomfort after eating foxtails. The foxtails can become lodged at the back of the throat at the tonsils and create inflammation and infection, as well as a lot of discomfort. Pets often require general anesthetic and a throat scope for the grass awns to be removed, and 7 – 14 days of home care depending on severity.
If your pet becomes sick after ingesting grass be sure to call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 and have your pet seen by a doctor.
If you are concerned your pet may not be getting enough fibre in their diet, ask the team at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic about foods with more fibre that you can feed your pet.
If you suspect boredom may be the source of your pets grass eating activities, try to make the backyard more exciting with hidden toys or treats, or go out into the yard with them and have some fun!
Should you have any questions call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573