While studies aimed at determining the reason for dogs eating grass or plants are inconclusive, we do know that does are omnivores and are capable of benefitting from the phytonutrients and fiber found in plants and vegetables. We also know that in a survey conducted by U.C. Davis of over 3,000 pet owners, 68% of respondents related that their dogs ingest plants on a daily or weekly basis. Wild canids and felids in nature are known to eat grass and plants—plant material has been found in 2% to 74% of scats and stomach content samples of wolves and cougars. In other words, wild dogs diets include phytonutrition not normally found in conventional domesticated dog diets - especially ones that have been processed at high temperatures thereby destroying the large majority of nutrition that may have once been present.
So, should you let your dog eat grass? Definitely not if there's a chance the grass contains pesticide or fertilizer residue, as these contain chemicals highly toxic to dogs. A better, safer solution is green vegetables. Green vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can help support the health of your pup, boost immunity and assist in the digestive process.
Further information about dogs and vegetables may be found here.
- Contributing Editor M.G.