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Dogs eating grass

on 18th October 2022

Someone was walking her dog along the walking path by the road when the dog suddenly moved to the narrow grassy patch nearby. It then ate a few young leaves of lalang grass (Imperata cylindrica). This is a common aggressive weed of open ground. The leaf blades are relative hardy, slightly thorny along the edges and grow straight up to about 30cm high. I have previously seen cats eat grass but not dogs before.

The common belief is that they self-medicate when they are not feeling well. Or that they eat grass to sooth an upset stomach, especially when they vomit soon after eating grass. But then few dogs actually vomit after or even show signs of illness before eating grass. It has also been speculated that maybe they lack certain nutrients like vitamins and minerals or even fibres in their normal diet? Or maybe they eat grass to relieve boredom?

A patch of lalang grass.

 

YC Wee

18th October 2022

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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