Have you ever asked why do dogs eat grass? It’s a common question – and chances are your dog has eaten grass at some point.
Although grass is a green plant that dogs have easy access to, it’s best used for decorating lawns, not as a food source.
Yet all dogs love to eat grass. Do they know that the chlorophyll in the grass has a multitude of important health benefits?
If they do … do you think they would open the fridge and pull out a bunch of broccoli or kale instead if they could?
It may seem silly but after we review the benefits of greens you just may be reaching for more greens yourself.
The Health Benefits Of Chlorophyll For Dogs
Your dog’s desire to eat grass isn’t as weird as you may think.
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in just about all plants and algae. It’s an extremely important compound in plant photosynthesis. It’s what allows plants to absorb energy from light.
What’s really neat is … the structure of chlorophyll is almost identical to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a component in your dog’s red blood cells. It helps carry oxygen to all your dog’s organs and cells.
The difference between hemoglobin and chlorophyll is just one atom. The central molecule in hemoglobin is iron. In chlorophyll the central molecule is magnesium.
So when your dog eats chlorophyll, he’s actually replenishing his red blood cells.
Chlorophyll also helps the body in other ways including:
- Cleansing the body’s cells
- Fighting infections
- Healing wounds
- Building the immune system
- Detoxing all systems … particularly the liver and the digestive system.
- Promoting digestive health … which is why many dogs with acute digestive problems go for the grass.
- Increasing oxygen utilization.
- Helping break down calcium oxalate stones in the bladder.
- Reducing the ability of carcinogens to bind with DNA in the liver and other organs.
Feeding chlorophyll foods is also a great way to treat and prevent bad breath in your dog. This is because chlorophyll is excellent at eliminating odors in the mouth … and with better digestion comes better breath too!
Parsley is a good green for breath freshening and more![Related: Parsley For Your Dog!]
Feed Greens To Fight Cell Damage And Cancer
We live in a pretty toxic world these days and this leads to more cell damage in your dog … and can cause premature aging.
The damage leaves your dog’s vital organs unable to repair themselves … so they don’t work as well as they used to. The good news is you can feed your dog fresh greens to help. In fact, a study found that chlorophyll blocks procarcinogens, such as aflatoxins, that damage DNA.
And the Linus Pauling Institute’s Cancer Chemoprotection Program is also studying chlorophyll. It’s now considered part of a complete nutrition plan to fight and prevent cancer.
One of the reasons it works so well to prevent cancer and disease is because it binds well to toxic heavy metals. They’re then eliminated through the kidneys befor they can cause organ damage.[Related: Heavy Metal Detox For Dogs: Why It’s Important!]
Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?
Most dogs who eat grass do it because they have no other source of fresh green plants.
Wild dogs and cats get their chlorophyll from the intestines of their prey. They also have a plethora of healthy wild plants to nibble on.
The trouble with most domestic dogs is that they can’t open the fridge and take out …
… And other foods rich in digestible chlorophyll.
So why do dogs eat grass? Well, they choose grass as a last resort. And usually it comes out looking just the way it looked when it went in. Chances are your dog vomits after eating grass and this is because he can’t really digest it well.
The good news is you can provide your dog with digestible, healthy chlorophyll.
One easy way to do this is to cut up some of the green vegetables listed below. You can also juice them (feed the pulp too) or sauté them lightly.
- Chinese cabbage
Then add the lightly sautéed or mulched greens directly to your dog’s meal. If your dog is a bit leary you can also mix them with other foods like …
- Apple pieces
… And place them in their dishes. You can also get sneaky with treat toys, or even ice cube trays for a yummy frozen treat.[Related: So Long Yeast, Hello Kefir!]
Don’t Forget The Other Colors In The Rainbow
So now you know that when your dog is grazing in your back yard, it’s time to add some greens to his meals.
But green isn’t the only plant material color that provides special health benefits for your dog. In fact, there’s a rainbow of colorful foods with an abundance of health benefits.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be an important addition to your dog’s diet. They’re chock full of healthy phytonutrients and chlorophyll.
When you feed your dog vegetables, you’re also getting the benefit of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are organic compounds in plants. They help to both prevent and relieve disease and illness.
The colors indicate the various phytonutrients they contain. They each work in different ways and have different functions.
To give your dog a wide range of different phytonutrients … you’ll want to add variety within the color groups.
Be careful with carrots as they are higher in sugars … and dogs don’t digest them well raw. I usually either grate or steam them.
It’s OK To Be Green
I hope you’re now a little more confident in your dog’s nutritional intuition … and why some dogs eat grass more than others.
Feeding greens and other fruits and veggies is a vital part of feeding your dog the best fresh diet you can.[Related: 11 Reasons To Feed Your Dog Fruits And Vegetables]