There’s an age-old question, which has been asked for centuries. It is also a mystery that has baffled scientists: why do dogs eat grass?
Based on studies, researchers have put together a few theories. While there is no one specific theory as to why dogs eat grass, researchers can agree on one thing: grass eating is pretty much a normal thing for dogs to do.
Here are the current top 5 theories.
The Nausea Theory
Research shows when symptoms like frantic surface, carpet, and air licking occur before eating grass, dogs are more likely to vomit afterward.
The Deficiency Theory
Composed of 70% water, grass can be made up of nitrogen, folic acid, phosphorus, chlorophyll, and digestive enzymes. With over 900 species of grasses, dogs may eat a selective type of grass, seeking out vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fibers, and enzymes missing in their diet.
The Camouflage Theory
Grass eating may have evolved to help conceal a dog’s scent from their prey. In the same way, rolling in foul offal is sometimes thought to do.
The Parasite Theory
Researchers hypothesize grass-eating helps remove intestinal parasites from the digestive system of animals. The plant material passes through the intestinal tract, wrapping around worms, thereby removing the tract of intestinal nematodes.
The Evolutionary Enjoyment Theory
It’s hypothesized that dogs retain the genetic association with grass from their ancestors who hunted mostly grass-eating animals, meaning they seek it out because they just simply enjoy the taste.
What About Cats?
Research shows wild felids in nature are also known to eat grass. Scientists believe that the same theories for why dogs eat grass can be applied to the cat as well. However, because most cats are kept indoors, they feast on toxic houseplants. So, do them a favor and only purchase cat-friendly plants, and remember never allow your pets to graze on treated lawns!