Stage 1 of the “Grass Eating by Dogs” Trial is Complete…


dog worm count results from Irish Equine Research

We wanted to investigate why dogs eat grass so we rounded up 10 very keen grass eaters (85 applied, so lots are at it), 5 dry fed and 5 fresh fed dogs, to run a little trial.

The theories for grass eating include to induce vomit (only around 10-20% dogs do this after eating grass, it seems), for nutrition (they are very selective over which grass they eat, we will test this by sending 5 dogs some very good quality Irish kelp for dogs), for fibre (we will test this by sending 5 dogs StoolRite, a natural stool former for dogs) or to clear their guts of parasites.

To eliminate the parasite theory we collected poo samples from each trial dog and posted them into Irish Equine Research who were kind enough to help us out with our little investigation.

The results just came back. 9 dogs are completely worm free. 1 tested positive for the gut roundworm Ascaris.

picture of ascaris worm

I have alerted that dog owner. Contrary to the scary ads you might hear about, this is nothing to panic about. Like nits on your kids head, this sort of thing can happen. The advice at this point is this that they begin with some natural worm preventatives (some raw garlic, some ground up pumpkin seeds, or even an over the counter natural dewormer such as Holistic Hound’s Worms Away (as it contains potent anti-helminthics such as wormwood and black walnut leaf).

They should dose for 3 weeks and then get their poo sample tested again by the Irish Equine Centre (only €13! Collect a poo sample in a lunchbox and post it to the Irish Equine Centre, Johnstown, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland. Eircode: W91 RH93. Simple. If they have worms, you deal with it. If not, why would you give them noxious chemicals?!).

Irish Equine Research Centre logo

If the worm issue persists then you can think about going nuclear at which point you should talk to your vet.

Great article on worms in dogs here!

That aside, it seems that dogs are not eating grass because of an established worm issue although it may be that they are eating grass to help prevent such an occurrence. However, eating grass would be a poor way of doing that as dogs largely pick up worms largely from….grass!!!!

Next, we post out the trial dogs their free nutritional supplements and see if that curbs the grass eating. We’ll keep you posted how we get on there!

Science is fun.

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A photo of Dr. Conor Brady of Dogs First

Dr. Conor Brady

After a doctorate studying the effects of nutrition on the behaviour and gut morphology of animals, five years with Guide Dogs as a trainer and supervisor, some success on Dragons Den with the finest raw dog food company and the last few years both writing and speaking on canine nutrition and health, I can say with some confidence that the pet food and drug industry cares not a jot for the health of your pet.