3 myths about dogs eating grass in Toronto, ON

Grass eating is a common practice in dogs. Oftentimes, it’s because dogs are omnivores and just enjoy the way the grass looks, smells, and feels. However, because grass is indigestible for dogs, many myths have spawned around dogs eating grass. Here are some common myths about your dog eating grass.

Dogs eat grass to induce vomiting

This myth arose because dogs often vomit after consuming grass. Dog teeth don’t function well to break down grass. When a dog tries to swallow the unbroken blades of grass, it can trigger its gag reflex and cause them to regurgitate the grass. However, dogs just try to eat grass because they like the way it looks and smells, and there isn’t any evidence that they understand it can make them vomit.

Eating grass is a sign of pica in dogs

Pica is a condition that can arise in dogs characterized by compulsively eating non-food materials. However, dogs are also just naturally curious and often want to eat new items. If your dog only occasionally bites at or eats grass, this is not a problem. You may suspect pica if your dog turns down digestible food in favor of grass, or if your dog’s grass eating is so common that they’re regularly throwing up because of it. However, pica is very rare in dogs, so it’s generally more likely that there’s a different problem.

Eating grass indicates a problem with parasites or nutritional issues

This myth has to do with the idea that a dog who isn’t getting enough nutrition from their food, whether because their food isn’t tailored to their needs or because they have a parasitic infection, might eat grass to try and get nutrition from it. However, there’s no need to worry. There’s no indication that this is the case, and experts agree that dogs just eat grass because they enjoy it.

How to keep your dog safe when they’re eating grass

Grass eating is generally fine for dogs. However, there are a few steps you can take to make sure it’s safe. First, check that the grass they’re eating hasn’t been treated with pesticides. Pesticides and other chemicals can be dangerous, even if the grass itself isn’t.

It’s also a good idea to look out for any toxic plants that your dog might be eating instead of grass. In the Toronto area, some of the most common poisonous plants include lilies, castor bean, foxglove, milkweed, and many plants in the nightshade family. Keep them out of reach of your dog indoors and make sure you don’t take your dog to any parks where they’re present.

Double checking on your dog’s safety while eating grass

When you own a dog in Toronto, it is important to keep in mind any problems that may indicate health concerns. However, the good news is that it’s unlikely that eating grass is one of them. If you do have any concerns about your dog’s health, whether related to eating grass or not, contact a Toronto veterinarian to get more information. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry, and a veterinarian can inform you of any issues they’ve noticed or soothe your worries. 

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