It’s not uncommon for cats or dogs to eat grass every once in a while, but why exactly do they do it, and is it a sign of a larger medical condition? You can rest assured that eating grass doesn’t necessarily mean that they have some sort of health issue but the answer as to why they do it might be more complicated than you may have initially expected.
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
There is no definitive answer to why dogs eat grass, but there are many psychological and physical hypotheses that could all be true. One widespread idea that explains why dogs eat grass is that they eat it as a way to clean their upset stomach, given that, sometimes, just after consuming grass very hastily, they vomit. Sadly for this possible solution, there is no way to know for sure if the dog vomited because of the grass he ate or because he wanted to remove the true culprit in his stomach.
Another theory on dogs eating grass is that dogs may use it as a source of fiber. The roughage helps the digestive process, so dogs may consume it as a way to fulfill their diet and digest their food without problems.
On the psychological side of things, many believe that dogs consume grass as a way to help them with their boredom and anxiety when their pet owner isn’t around. They also attribute the action to them trying to get their human’s attention. VCA Animal Hospitals mentions that grass eating in dogs increases as time with their owner decreases.
What Is Good Dog Nutrition?
Good dog nutrition ties in closely together to a well-balanced diet. The only way your dog will enjoy good nutrition is for you, the owner, to learn what your pet’s nutrition needs are and what foods can help you satisfy those needs. You can do exactly that by following the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines.
Whether it is dry food or canned wet food, most companies say their products aim to satisfy the nutritious need of an average dog, but how do you know if your dog fits in that category? After all, the last thing you want to do is not give your dog enough nutrients. If you follow the AFFCO guidelines, you should be able to figure out exactly what your dog needs. To do that, however, you will first need to see past the labels on dog food. A quick example is high protein-labeled products, which don’t really mean that your dog will be able to absorb all the protein in their meal. Fortunately, the AFFCO also has label requirements that you’ll need to learn how to read if you want to know what you are buying.
Why Do Cats Eat Grass?
Similarly to why dogs eat grass, there is no definite answer as to why cats eat grass. Some experts think that cats eat grass to help with bowel movements, given that grass can serve as a type of laxative. Some others think cats use grass to vomit on purpose to clean their stomach from different materials they eat and can’t process, but like with dogs, many cat owners point out that on most occasions, their cat wasn’t sick before or after eating grass.
It could also be possible that cats eat grass to gain vitamins like folic acid. The vitamin helps cats in producing hemoglobin which moves oxygen in the blood. Another reason for a grass diet is to help with sore throats. The last but not least likely reason why cats eat grass is that they just like the taste or texture of it.
What Is Good Cat Nutrition?
To avoid any nutritional deficiencies in your cat’s diet, it’s important to know what kind of diet is best for them. A cat’s diet must be a mix of meat and vegetables, there is no vegetarian cat, and there is no only meat diet.
According to The Healthy, a guideline for a good diet in cats is to give them foods containing high amounts of protein and moisture while keeping carbohydrates on the low end. Additionally, you will have to take your cat’s age into consideration when shopping for their food. As with humans, different stages in their life mean different daily activities and different growth speeds. Try to shop for stage-specific cat food over the all stages option.
Keep Your Pet Healthy With Us
If you notice your pet is showing some unusual behavior after a meal or a session of grass eating. Don’t be afraid to contact us here at the Birghtcare Veterinary Group. Not only will we make sure your beloved pet is safe and sound, but we will also help you with diet recommendations for them if you need any.