Pets Eating Grass

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     Why do cats and dogs eat grass?

In taking my cat for a walk on his harness and leash, I noticed the first thing he usually does after rolling around on the cement driveway in the sun for a moment is go pick out a few tastey blades of grass to chew on. He meanders around the yard investigating the bushes and trees, and then finds more yummy grass on which to nibble.

So, why do cats and dogs eat grass? It is commonly observed that they will vomit after eating grass and that may play in roll in why they do this. We know that if a dog has an upset feeling stomach and grass is available, they will eat it and induce vomiting. There must be some innate or learned aspect to this behavior. It may help animals remove unwanted or even harmful contents from their stomachs such as hair, bones, bad food or toxins.

Eating grass isn't always accompanied by vomiting or an upset stomach though, so there must be more to this story. In watching shows like "Wild Kingdon" it is obvious that wild predators (which cats and dogs used to be before we domesticated them), they usually eat the intestines first. In there is the digested grasses and such that the herbavores that became the prey have ingested. There is also enzymes and other nutrients which the predators must need.

In a previous article I mentioned that in areas of Europe where cats are always allowed outside, there is no inflammatory bowel disease problems. this may be due to the fact that these cats have free access to grasses (and prey). ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs and Cats )

When we look at grass, it does have certain obviously nutritional qualities. Firstly, it is a great source of fiber which aids in digestion and the formation of stools. Fiber can also protect the gut from sharp objects (like bones from prey) by wrapping around it and then letting it pass or be vomited without damage to the gut or esophagus.

Grass contains certain vitamins and chlorophyll. The latter has been shown to have certain medicinal qualities such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant wound healing, anti-cancer, detoxification, and blood stimulating aspects. And of course, vitamins are essestial for certain body metabolism functions.

All of the above may play a part in why our pet friends like to feast on a grass salad once in awhile. There may be other reasons, even that they like the taste. Until we can speak to our pets and ask them, this may remain something of a mystery to us all though.

I hope this sheds some light on this curious behavior of our furry friends.

To supplement your pet's enzymes complement, check out our product here: RX Zyme for Pets

SUGGESTED ENTERTAINMENT: The movie "Tangled"-love the horse and cameleon in that show. Oh-and the human characters are great too.

On this Memorial Weekend here in the US, take a moment to remember those who helped give us our freedom and check out my page on handling grief if you run inot any of that-works for the loss of pets, people and more: Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

Until next time.

Dr. Jan

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