One of the least gras online kaufen understood habits of our canine and feline pets is the tendency to “graze”. The ingestion of grass by cats and dogs is a major area of concern for pet owners and has raised serious questions, probably since people started keeping dogs and cats. Unfortunately, when it comes to answering specific questions about this behavior, there are dozens of conflicting opinions. The good news is that applying a little bit of “horse” sense (pardon the equine expression) will help concerned pet owners decide how to deal with this issue.
If you’ve talked to your vet about why your pet eats grass or looked for answers online or in books, chances are you’ve found many different answers from different sources. Some sources warn of extreme danger, and some simply state that this is a natural thing, and you shouldn’t worry about it. So, what information do you trust? Well, the first step is to separate fact from theory or just plain fiction. That’s not as difficult as it may sound. Let’s look at the most asked question:
Why does my dog/cat eat grass? What we know about this is, frankly, that we don’t know. Until we learn to speak Cat or Dog, we can’t simply ask, “Why do you do that?” Go ahead, try it. I assure you, your pet will give you that look that says, “I can’t understand you. Why don’t you learn to speak?”
So, while there are many theories, the fact is that we don’t have a real answer. That may not be the answer you were looking for, but it is the absolute truth of the matter. We can’t really know if it tastes good to them or if they do it because they need to regurgitate, or simply because their ancestors did it. So, until we learn to better communicate with our four-legged friends, we’ll just have to focus on whether it’s a good or bad thing for our pets. Let the guys and girls in the lab coats worry about why.
See how easy that is? There’s nothing to this scientific stuff, right? Now, let’s take a few more of the questions and apply our newly-acquired problem solving skills:
Is grass an essential part of my pet’s diet?
What we know:
- Our pets need fiber as part of a balanced diet.
- Grass is mostly fiber.
- Cows graze. Horses graze. They don’t throw up when they eat grass. (Rumination doesn’t count.)
- Horses, cows, sheep and other regular grazers have special enzymes in their systems that help digest grass.
- Dogs and cats don’t have the above-mentioned enzymes in their systems.
- Dogs and cats are very likely to throw up after eating a quantity of grass.
- If ingested grass isn’t regurgitated by a cat or dog, it will be passed, undigested, in the stool.
- Feral cats and dogs, as well as wild canine and feline animals will graze occasionally and it seems to have the same effect on them.
- Dogs and cats that aren’t allowed to eat grass don’t suffer any directly related ill effects.
What we might conclude:
While grazing might be tasty or simply habitual for your dog or cat, it doesn’t appear to be necessary for good health. Fiber comes in many forms and if your pet is getting a well-balanced diet, it will include more suitable sources of fiber.
Will eating grass hurt my cat or dog?
What we know:
- Dogs and cats eat grass — apparently instinctively.
- Dogs and cats don’t die from eating grass unless said grass contains toxins.
- Many dogs and cats tend to throw up if they eat very much grass.
- Regurgitation/purging is a regular part of the digestive process for many animals.
- Some types of plant life, including some grasses, are toxic to both dogs and cats.
- Fertilizers and insecticides can be toxic to all kinds of animals.
- Some grasses bear seeds and barbs that can embed in pet hide, ears, nose or throat and cause health issues.
What we might conclude:
Grazing probably isn’t directly harmful to your cat or dog. The type of grass eaten or what the grass has been treated with can pose serious health risks, including possible poisoning.
Should I let my cat or dog eat grass?
The answer to this question can now be derived from the conclusions above and your pet’s environment and habits. If you are sure the grass your dog or cat is eating hasn’t been treated with toxins and isn’t a variety that will harm your pet, a little bit of grazing probably isn’t going to cause any issues. If you live in a rural area or farming community, you may want to be wary of what kind of grass your pet eats. If you have white carpet and don’t want to risk nasty green stains — well, you get the picture.
Finally, input from your veterinarian is still very important in regulating your pet’s diet and that includes grazing habits. Our dogs and cats are as much individuals as we are and it’s possible that your pet may have health issues or even breed characteristics that make a difference. As with your own doctor visits, a little knowledge of the subject before you discuss it will go a long way in helping you and your pet’s vet decide what’s best for your dog or cat. It’s also OK to ask the vet where his or her reasoning comes from. Most will be happy to share the information.