Most owners will have experienced their cat or dog eating grass at some stage. The question is should we be worried or prevent this behaviour?
Why do cats like to nibble grass?
Cats are obligate carnivores and don’t usually eat fruit or vegetables however they do like to eat grass.
Eating grass is a normal behaviour in cats although it is not yet fully understood why. It is understood that it aids the movement of food or hairballs through the digestive tract (either up or down as grass eating often results in vomiting).
Eating grass may provide cats with essential trace elements in their diet, it is recommended that cats without access to grass outside are provided with a source indoors. You can buy a commercial pack of ‘cat grass’ or plant grass seeds or grass from the garden indoors.
Indoor cats without access to grass may chew other potted plants they would usually ignore or avoid and which may be poisonous (click here for information on cats and poisonous plants)
Why does my dog graze on grass?
Dogs love to munch away on grass, some even make it part of their daily routine. Most experts believe it isn’t something you should worry about.
Dogs, unlike their feline counterparts are not carnivores. For tens of thousands of years, dogs have been known to devour anything and everything, so long as it fulfills their basic dietary requirements.
Evolution and domestication has altered the dietary requirements of dogs today. Wolves and early day dogs would eat prey in its entirety, including the stomach contents. Dogs now may seek certain plants as alternative foods, the most common being grass.
Not all dogs eat grass to aid vomiting although a small percentage may. In essence, it is fine to allow your dog to eat grass as long as this is not excessive or in conjunction with other signs and symptoms of illness.