Why is my dog eating grass and vomiting?
Original Question: My dog is eating grass and regularly vomits. What should I do and what should I feed him? - Hema
Thanks for your question.
The most common reason why dogs will eat grass is because they feel like there is something in their digestive tract that needs to be pushed through. Their instinct is to eat something indigestible like grass so that it will push things through. So grass eating in dogs is an indication to look for any condition that can cause discomfort in the digestive tract.
Possible causes of digestive discomfort could be gastrointestinal parasites, a foreign body that was swallowed, colitis, bacterial gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, gastric ulceration, simple bacterial overgrowth from eating something unusual, among others. These can all be tested for with your veterinarian if the symptoms persist.
In the meantime, you could attempt to calm the digestive tract with a few strategies. A significant word of caution first. If we start using supportive treatments and there is something more serious occurring, then we could be losing time by delaying the proper treatment and a condition could advance to a more serious state while we waste time treating the wrong thing. The best course of action is to initiate diagnostics with your veterinarian. If you want to attempt a remedy with some simple non-specific strategies, you could look at eliminating food intake for 12-24 hours to give the gut a rest. Make sure you continue to offer water as we don’t want the hydration status to decline. You could pick up an over-the-counter probiotic which would seed the digestive tract with healthy bacteria and could reduce the reaction or counteract overgrowth of bacteria that are unhealthy and adding to the symptoms. You have to monitor your dog closely. If the vomiting persists, appetite wanes, dullness sets in, lethargy, diarrhea or other concerning symptoms develop, then you need to consider a visit to the veterinarian as things could be getting worse and more targeted therapy may be necessary.
I hope some of these thoughts help. Good luck.
Dr. Clayton Greenway
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