Eating grass is a common behaviour in our dogs, and many dogs do it simply because they think it tastes good. But can it also be a sign of illness and if so, how can you tell the difference?
Is it normal for the dog to eat grass?
Eating grass is completely normal dog behaviour. Some dogs just seem to like it, and eat grass now and then simply because they think it tastes good, especially the fresh spring grass. Grass-eating behaviour in a dog that is otherwise healthy, has a good appetite, keeps its weight and is normal in its stools does not indicate disease.
It is not dangerous for the dog to eat grass, but as with everything, it should be kept within reasonable limits - the dog chewing on a few straws of grass here and there is not dangerous, but if it is in very large quantities, there may be a risk of it congestion in the stomach or intestine.
Can grass-eating indicate illness?
If the dog often eats grass and then vomits, it may be a sign of illness. Generally, it is not the grass-eating itself that is the problem, but the dog eats grass to alleviate stomach problems or nausea, which has another underlying cause. It's normal to eat grass - but it's not normal to vomit often.
Vomiting can be caused by various diseases in the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis, infections or allergies. If the dog eats grass and vomits or has other symptoms such as reduced appetite, weight loss or abnormal stools, or other signs that make you suspect illness, this should always be investigated by a veterinarian.
If the dog is otherwise fine but eats grass and vomits after a long time since it last ate, you can try dividing the meals into smaller portions and feed more often so that the dog does not go on an empty stomach for too long, or feed with a complete food which is gentle on the stomach.
How do foods for sensitive stomachs differ from others?
There are feeds that are designed specifically for dogs with different types of diseases or sensitivities in the gastrointestinal tract. These feeds are usually easily digestible, and sometimes contain ingredients to support the intestinal flora. If your dog has major problems or a disease in the gastrointestinal tract, you should always consult your veterinarian for guidance on treatment or food choice.
In our dog food, we have chosen to use ingredients that contribute to good intestinal health; prebiotics and dietary fibers. Recently, more and more research has shown how important the intestinal bacterial flora is for gut health.
Including ingredients that nourish the good gut bacteria, i.e. prebiotics, and contribute to intestinal motility, i.e. dietary fiber, promotes a healthy gastrointestinal system. Dietary fiber also contributes to a feeling of satiety and a normal passage time of the feed.
We have also chosen to include natural ingredients that contribute with B vitamins; seaweed and brewer's yeast. B vitamins fulfill many important functions in the body, not least for the digestive system where they are important factors in metabolism and enzyme activity, and can support normal bowel function.