Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
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It's not because they're going vegan
In a recent IAMS poll of dog owners,* 69% said their dog eats grass. That’s quite a lot. Owners also have quite a lot of theories on why their dog is noshing on the lawn.
It’s not just modern-day canines that eat grass. It’s likely something that has been going on for thousands of dog years. According to
Opens a new windowDr. Tammie King, Applied Behavior Technical Leader at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, “It is actually normal canine behavior. It has to do with innate behavior from canine ancestors. Potentially a remnant behavior.”
Dr. King also shared this with us: “A lot of people think dogs eat grass when they’re feeling ill, but studies have shown that’s not necessarily true.”
But then why do dogs eat grass? To get to the (grass)root of this issue, we asked
Opens a new windowDr. Jo Gale, BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS Senior Manager of Global Science Advocacy at Waltham Petcare Science Institute.
'There's no one reason. They just like the taste, texture and feel of the grass.'
So it’s perfectly fine if your pooch decides to have an occasional grass snack. Who doesn’t crave a salad every now and then?
When to take notice of their grass-eating habit
If your dog is getting adequate nutrition, there’s no need to worry. But the experts we talked with asked dog owners to please keep in mind the following:
· Grass that’s been treated with weed killer or pesticides should be off the menu.
· If your dog is eating grass excessively or routinely vomiting from eating grass, consult your vet.
Looking for the perfect dog food to pair with their side of sod slaw? IAMS has the answer for that, too.
*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+
Sample Size: n=201
Fielded May 8 to May 10, 2020
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- adp_description_block377Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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