Updated: Oct 21, 2018
Oh Look - Pet Grass!
Pet Grass? What is that?!
What does pet grass do?
Dogs 'eat' that?!
This is only a sample of the buzz that surrounded my Pet Grass stand at the #DCStateFair this past Sunday. I was surprised and excited to see so much enthusiasm but there were many questions surrounding the product. To answer those questions, and inspired by all the happy pups at the fair, I decided to do a little digging into the research.
The pet grass I sold at the #DCStateFair is an original blend I created containing barely, oats, rye, and wheatgrass. All of these grasses are non-toxic to cats and dogs and safe for consumption. (Hortiki Plants pet grass is also locally grown here in DC from 100% USDA certified organic seed with organic potting soil).
While there are many veterinarians and animal care professionals writing about the effects of pet grass on their blogs and websites, there appears to be limited published scientific research on this topic. I'll be on the hunt for more, but for now, I can share that all of the recent studies I have found conclude that grass eating by your pets is a normal and common behavior and should not be seen as a problematic.
The general consensus regarding why cats and dogs eat grass appears to be that it is evolutionary or instinctual behavior. Dogs are omnivores meaning they regularly eat both meat and plant material. Cats are carnivores, meaning they eat only meat. However, even in the wild, during the process of hunting and eating, cats ingest plant material. Plant material contains fiber that can aid in digestion, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and even some protein. Additionally, for pets today who spend most or even all of their time indoors, plants can help them relieve stress.
Perhaps our pets simply enjoy a little taste of the outdoors (pun intended). Pet grass is a safe way for them to indulge without the fear of them ingesting toxic material. If your pets try eating pet grass and vomit afterwards, don't be too alarmed. It may take several weeks for their systems to adapt and reap the digestive benefits.
Have your pets tried pet grass? Let me know how they liked it by commenting below and share your photos on Instagram @HortikiPlants.
Sending much plant love your way,
Dr. Victoria LeBeaux
Owner, Hortiki Plants
- Bjone, S. J., Brown, W. Y., & Price, I. R. (2007). Grass eating patterns in the domestic dog, Canis familiaris. Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition Australia, 16, 45-49.
- Kienzle, E., Meyer, H., & Schneider, R. (1991). Investigations on palatability, digestibility and tolerance of low digestible food components in cats. The Journal of nutrition, 121(11 Suppl), S56-S57.
- Sueda, K. L. C., Hart, B. L., & Cliff, K. D. (2008). Characterisation of plant eating in dogs. Applied animal behaviour science, 111(1), 120-132.