My dog is a grass-eater. I would like her to NOT be a grass eater. But am I being cruel by cutting her off from her favorite pasttime - grazing?
Thunderdog will eat wide-bladed grass (we call it crab grass here in MN) and, when she's had enough, she'll puke it all back up in a frothy yellow pillow of bile. Yummy! She doesn't seem to be bothered by the puking - she'll puke a few times and then be back to her normal old self. I asked my vet about the grass-binging and she said that it's not really good for the dog to puke grass. It's bad for their teeth, their throats, etc.
I recently went on vacation and Thunderdog stayed at Doggy Camp. They did not have access to grass at Doggy Camp (the yard is covered with pebbles) so I figured it was a good time to break her of the habit. No more grazing! We've been back home for a week and she's not had any grass cravings...until today.
People, she is absolutely jonesing for grass. Yanking on the leash, whining and yowling to get close to the grass, surreptitiously stuffing her mouth with grass when I'm not looking. It's not easy to avoid grass here, we live in a rural area and...well, it's pretty much all grass unless we're walking in the middle of the road or on the beach. We went to the beach today and she got all of her business taken care of (she will happily poo anywhere - grass, beach, sidewalk, whatever) and we came home.
Well, now she's still whiny and grumpy. I put my ear on her side and her stomach is churning and making all sorts of funny noises. I gave her a bowl of kibble and she wasn't interested, but she was thrilled to eat some treats (of course). Does she actually need to puke? I've had dogs before, but never one with this habit.
A bit about my dog: Thunderdog is a generally healthy (if a bit whiny) German Shepherd mix. She eats Orijen kibble with pumpkin in it for fiber. She usually will let the food sit out for a while before eating it, so her not jumping at the kibble today is not an unusual thing. She gets at the very least an hour of walks a day, and at the most many hours of hiking. She did test positive for Lyme Disease two years ago, went through Doxy, and now it's "inactive". Here's a link to a blog post
with some pictures of her being a goofball.
I guess my question is two (and a half)-fold.
1. Do dogs eat grass because they have to puke anyway
and it helps them puke, OR do dogs eat grass out of some weird compulsion and the grass
is what makes them puke?
2. Right now, should I take Thunderdog and her rumbly tummy back outside and lead her to the salad bar, where she will eat grass ravenously and then puke?
2.5 If it is okay to take her out to eat grass and puke, how often is it okay for her to indulge in this activity?