Pet Connection: It’s mostly OK for dogs to graze on grass

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 10:12 PM

A physical exam may bring to light the cause of an upset stomach, but sometimes we necessity further diagnostics. Blood work, a urinalysis and a stool sample to check for parasites can turn up problems that might relate to grass-eating.

Pet Connection: It’s mostly OK for dogs to graze on grass

Dogs who frequently eat a lot of grass and then toss it up may benefit from a veterinary visit. A physical exam may bring to light the cause of an upset stomach, but sometimes we necessity further diagnostics. Blood work, a urinalysis and a stool sample to check for parasites can turn up problems that might relate to grass-eating. Some dogs may eat grass because their body is seeking some nutrient that’s not available in their diet.

Dogs are individuals, so some may have nutritional needs that are met with a small serving of grass. Can grass be harmful? Well, pets can ingest parasite eggs when they eat it, but as long as you give your dog parasite preventive regularly, that shouldn’t be a problem.

And, naturally, your dog should never nibble on grass that's been treated with herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals. Ingesting those substances isn’t excellent for any dog, of course, but certain breeds – Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, beagles, W Highland white terriers and wirehaired fox terriers – have a higher incidence of invasive transitional cell carcinoma, the most common cancer of the urinary bladder in dogs. That type of cancer has been linked to exposure to lawns treated with pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.

Dogs eat grass for lots of reasons, and the truth is, we don’t always know why. In your dog’s case, she may simply appreciate a kind salad once in a while.

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