Why does my dog eat grass? Is it safe?
It's common for dogs to eat grass from time to time. Sometimes this may make your dog vomit. It can be concerning and difficult to understand why your dog wants to eat grass, especially if it makes them sick. In this short article, we discuss some of the reasons behind this common behavior.
Pica is the technical term for eating things that aren’t food. Some dogs think fresh spring grass tastes good! Many vets consider this to be normal dog behavior. Eating grass doesn't necessarily have to be a sign of nausea or stomach upset. However, if eating grass is linked to frequent vomiting, your vet may be more concerned.
Dogs can vomit for a variety of reasons. Common causes include infections in the gastrointestinal tract, food changes (especially those that are made too quickly), food sensitivity, dietary indiscretion (eating things they shouldn’t), and other more serious gastrointestinal diseases. Your veterinarian may need to perform some tests to rule out more concerning causes for vomiting.
Biliary Vomiting Syndrome (BVS)
You may notice that your dog frequently vomits bile in the mornings, or when they haven’t eaten for a long period between meals. This is likely caused by biliary vomiting syndrome (BVS). This occurs when the digestive fluids in the intestine overflow back into the stomach, resulting in irritation and subsequent vomiting.
BVS is often easily resolved by giving your dog smaller and more frequent meals during the day. Try feeding a small meal last thing at night, so that your dog will have something to digest in its stomach until breakfast or the next meal.
When to Contact Your Veterinarian
- Contact your vet if your dog has a fever (over 102.5°F), vomits blood or has blood in its feces.
- If the signs persist for several days, despite following our guidance on vomiting and diarrhea. (Please read our article about Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs)
- If your dog is known to eat unusual items, or could have swallowed a foreign body that could get stuck in the intestine
Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your dog eating grass or another condition?
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