Dogs and Grass Identification

Flying Emu

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Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
New to forums ( L Plate needed)


All my dogs (nine) have eaten grass and nearly all of them had preference for a particular variety. None of them compare with my Springer Spaniel who has periods of eating allot of grass (not always).
We have to help him sometimes with his motions by gently and slowly pulling it from his rear end, can be a foot or more long, grass still intact. Because the grass has not been digested its hard to see any nutritional value. I will be keeping a close eye now to see for sure how many different grasses he eats.

I do believe they know what they are doing and it is most likely a way of clearing their digestive system. Possibly helping remove worms in the wild.
It would be interesting to find out for sure which variety of grass it is and if it is the same grasses for all dogs. I think it is. Get the grass or grasses analyzed for possible medication purposes? (Dogs/Human)


Would you be prepared to try and identify grasses that your dog eats and build a picture / survey in this thread ? Is it a different grass which makes them sick as to passing through digestive system ? Are some grasses digested ?


Most of my dogs have loved and do love raw cabbage hearts and leaf but not SPROUTS(unless soaked in gravy or well hidden). Is this universal or just my experience ?.

Watch out if your dog eats acorns ! Lost one our dogs through acorn poisoning !
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Location
Australia
Our Shepherd and Lab both eat grass, i noticed they like fescue grass and kikuyu, but prefer the fine fescue blades,luckely we don't have any Acorns growing arownd here.Our dogs havent tried cabbage hearts yet.
 

zoe9576

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Joined
May 24, 2012
But dog eat grass sometimes because they are sick, maybe you can get your dogs to your vet for help.
 

Flying Emu

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Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
I have just changed my profile picture to the grass which my dog has eaten recently.

We have had this dog for 3 years and has always been the same. He has periods of eating this grass and in the autumn he loves to eat hawthorn leaves. He was rescued, thought to have fended for himself for some time, very thin with all bones showing.
Perhaps you could elaborate on your knowledge of grass eating and illness in dogs. I am interested and It would be helpful to everyone.
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
Flying Emu, I'm so sorry you lost one of your dogs to acorn poisoning, thank for sharing that and warning others of the danger. I have a lot of pinecones in my yard, but no acorns.

I looked at your photo, and honestly, I have trouble indentifying one grass from another. My lawn consists of many grassed, fescues I think, and then there's other more weedy grasses like the one you showed, that my dog also eats. Feel free to post any grass photos in this thread, and identify if you can. If I come across any good photos of grasses and their description, I'll definitely post the information here.

Here's a short point of view about eating grass from a Vet...

A Vet’s Take On Why Dogs Eat Grass

By Michael Goldberg

Q: Why does my dog eat grass?

A: Ah... This is the $64,000 question. Grass eating among our canine friends has a number of theories as to origin. I get this question many times a year, and as yet cannot come up with a meaningful single reason. I can say that I've seen grass chewers on occasion get a good nasal cleanse, as the thick blade of grass occasionally gets on the wrong track and scurries out an unsuspecting nasal passage. It's highly unlikely the intent is to cleanse that particular orifice, however!

Dogs do not have the means to digest grass, as they lack the enzymes needed to break down the fibres. Thus, there is little nutritional value in it for them. One reason for eating grass may be due to a feeling of nausea. It is possible that dogs learn this is a temporary solution for stomach irritation.

On occasion, I have seen dogs lick at the air, often showing swallowing behaviour, then rush out to the great outdoors to seek out a thick patch of the green stuff and furiously chomp and chomp until the urge abates. Then promptly throw up. On following these dogs endoscopically, they often have an inflammatory condition in their stomachs or redness around the lower esophagus, which can indicate gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease.

The situation can be troubling for the owner as the dog is often quite restless before getting out to graze. If your dog looks as if he or she is irritated and extends the neck and begins repeated swallowing motions, it may be time to visit your veterinarian to check out what might be happening. These conditions are treatable with either homeopathic medical intervention or conventional therapies. Diet may also play a role in the condition. A thorough review is in order.
Some dogs can also develop a form of stereotypy behaviour (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and become fixated on grass chewing, but this is relatively rare.

Then there are the select few who search diligently for that particular luscious, thick, juicy blade and then gently savour it. Only the finest blades for me, thank you, and only of particular types. These dogs seem to enjoy their habit and do not suffer any of the previously-reported repercussions, such as vomiting. Grass does not seem to hurt them as long as it doesn't contain herbicides or other toxins.

For those with a scientific bent, an additional theory related to the grasseating behaviour of our four legged companions has to do with their evolutionary past. For ancestral dogs to have survived successfully, they would have needed good hunting abilities in order to feed and nourish their young and survive as a pack. Grass eating may have evolved to help conceal their scent from their prey in the same way that rolling in foul offal is sometimes thought to.

Another common theory is that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration. If you are preparing homemade food, be sure to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct.

Dogs are more omnivorous than cats, and many would also like to eat far more than they're fed. In the absence of a midday meal some may simply enjoy the process of eating. One can never rule out that for some, a nice patch of tasty clean crabgrass may simply give the momentary impression of an afternoon snack in the sun! ■ http://www.moderndogmagazine.com/articles/vet-s-take-why-dogs-eat-grass/297
 

Flying Emu

New member
Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
Wombat

Started this thread Knowing we had a book which contained details of some grasses. Moved house last year, can I find it ? not yet.
Had not thought of different countries and different grasses. Any chance of picture of fescue grass and Kikuyu ?

grasss mitch eats jpeg.jpgGrass my dog eats. Thick blades. It is rear for him to be sick after eating.
 

Flying Emu

New member
Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
Thanks for that Alpha1,

Interesting that nobody seems to have identified properly the grasses that dogs eat. Maybe they do eat all sorts of grass.


Our dog fits into obsessive behaviour. Thought to be connected to his period of starvation. Vet told us not long after we got him, we should keep close eye on him for any other signs of him being unwell. No other signs of illness materialized.

Can't see how you can be 100 percent sure that their diet is containing exactly what they need. My dogs are fed mainly on a low protein dried food (soaked) and leftovers. Canned dog food and mixer mixed in occasionally. So a possible contributing factor.

I once knew a blacksmith who went everywhere with his five dogs. He fed them on mince from the butchers and out of date bread from the local shop (bought cheap). Not sure if he included vegetables ? They seemed to thrive on that. I think you will find they use bread as a treat for the foxhound pack.

The dogs I rescue have normally had behaviour problems and low protein diet can take the edge off their excitability/ nervousness or aggressive behaviour. I must stress (not a cure).

Straying off the Grass track now.

$64,000 dollars would come in handy if we came up with an answer for your vet.
 

yuppypup

New member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
My dog tends to eat grass too.. I don't think he is sick, and I'm feeding him good quality (not filler) dog food.. perhaps it's just natural behavior?
 

chumm

New member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Location
Manchester, UK
Our dog tends to not eat grass too often, but more weeds. Maybe it's the flavor? Our dog is perfectly healthy and gets the right amount of food per day. The only time I ever catch him eating grass/weeds is when I'm outside in the garden and food is inside. Anyway, I'll try to snap some pictures this weekend.
 

Flying Emu

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May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
chumm, Do you feed your dog mainly dry food, soaked dry food, canned or a mix of ?

My dog is still eating the same grass but I noticed him stop eating grass when they had two days of canned food mixed in with their normal soaked dry food and mixer. This may be a one off so I will experiment.

If your dog is eating different weeds you should try identify them. Ragwort and Deadly Nightshade are poisonous and grow amongst other weeds. Could be eaten accidentally.

Pictures would be great.
 
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Flying Emu

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May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
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yuppyup,
Do you feed your dog mainly dry food, soaked dry food, canned or a mix of ?

My dog is still eating the same grass but I noticed him stop eating grass when they had two days of canned food mixed in with their normal soaked dry food and mixer. This may be a one off so I will experiment.
 

Flying Emu

New member
Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
wombat,
Kikuyu looks different from any grass my dogs have eaten. Have you photo of Fescue. I will google it.

Do you feed your dog mainly dry food, soaked dry food, canned or a mix of ?

My dog is still eating the same grass (not as much) but I noticed him stop eating grass when they had two days of canned food mixed in with their normal soaked dry food and mixer. This may be a one off so I will experiment over the coming weeks.
 

wombat

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Location
Australia
Our Shepherd is the one that eats grass the most, our Lab eats it occasionally, they both have a cup of dry food mixed with a cup of cooked chicken and veg caserole that I make them, mainly carrots peas beans a bit of sweet potato, pumpkin,and I put in a teaspoon of garlic granules and a teaspoon of raw ginger chopped up fine.I make a big stew pan full, and that lasts a couple of days I mostly buy the frozen mixed veg in the kilo pk the cheap brand with no onions in, and add the sweet potato and pumpkin myself, they get that for breakfast and lunch, and just dry for their last meal.That grass you put a pic in, Flying Emu, looks more like the grass they eat apart which I thought was Fescue but isn't.
 

Flying Emu

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May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
A lady in our village has around 20 dogs and does something similar. In the winter she adds pasta, especially for the outside dogs.
Your recipe is a bit more involved and we thought lunch at your house sounds quite appealing.

My dog has stopped eating the grass in the same quantity. Maybe at certain times of year the grass has a smell or taste.

When I looked up fescue it seems there are many different types so it could be.
 

Flying Emu

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Joined
May 16, 2012
Location
Norfolk, England
Original Poster
Found this while surfing on catforums.com. Thought it should be shared.


They ate a lily - please keep us in your thoughts
[HR][/HR] I got up this morning to find that Levi, in all his sweetness, had left me some flowers before leaving for work. He had left a branch of lilies on the kitchen counter, not knowing how toxic they are to cats. To my horror, the vase had been knocked over and several leaf tips had been chewed off.

Without knowing which cat ate it, we took all three to the clinic where the vet administered a drug to make them vomit. Both Monty and Cheddar had eaten the plant, and now they're spending the next 24-48 hrs at the emergency clinic for fluids and another blood & kidney test tomorrow. We didn't find any sign that Sadie had gotten into it, but we'll still be keeping a close eye on her. The vet said that since we had started treatment right away, the prognosis is good and that hopefully the IV fluids will prevent damage to their kidneys.
 


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