Are you concerned when your dog or cat eats grass, then throws up
afterwards? You'll probably feel relieved to know that pets eat grass
because their bodies need it.
Dogs and cats have been eating grass for a long time. In fact, grass
is so popular among dogs that one species, dog grass, is named after
them. Dog grass is also known as couch grass and quackweed, and it
grows in all but the southern-most states.
You can think of grass as an herbal medicine. It acts as an internal
cleanser, expelling excess mucus, bile, and other impurities. It also
cleanses the bowels and expels worms. Cereal grasses contain enzymes,
vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Grass also contains chlorophyll,
which was used for relieving pain, treating infections, ulcers, skin
diseases, and anemia prior to the use of antibiotics.
Some pet owners grow grass specifically to give to their pets to
prevent or treat diarrhea, anemia, cataracts, fleas, tumors excessive
shedding, and other pet health problems. Pets that are fed grass on a
regular basis are less likely to crave outdoor grass. So, if you
don't feel comfortable with your pet eating the grass in your lawn,
you may want to grow your own grass for them to eat.
Try growing rye or barley sprouts. These sprouts are preferred over
wheat grass because some animals are sensitive to wheat.
Follow these instructions to grow rye or barley grass. Soak one cup
organically grown grain in one quart water for 8 to 10 hours. Then
drain the container and leave it on its side in a warm place, away
from direct sunlight. A tiny white rootlet will sprout from each
grain within 24 to 48 hours. Caution: If you don't see these
rootlets, your grain isn't viable and should be thrown away.
Next, spread the sprouting grain on one inch of moist potting soil or
top soil in a plastic garden tray. For drainage create a one inch
channel around the soil.
For two days, cover the tray. Then uncover it, and water thoroughly.
Place the tray in direct sunlight or under grow lights. Keep the soil
moist by watering when needed.
When the grass is 6-8" tall, cut it with scissors or a sharp knife.
Place grasses in a ziploc bag, along with a damp paper towel. Be sure
to expel air from the bag before sealing. Then store the grass in the
When feeding the grass to your pet, cut or mince it into tiny pieces,
or place a small amount in a blender or food processor with other
foods. To be sure your cat or dog will accept the grass, begin
feeding just a fraction of a teaspoon. Increase the amount gradually
to approximately one tablespoon per 50 lbs. of body weight.
Once your pet is given the amount of grass his body needs, you
probably won't be seeing him eating the grass in your lawn. And you
can feel relieved knowing that you're feeding him something that he
craves and that his body needs.
Deena Caruso, author, teacher, & distributor of natural pet products
Helps pet owners create healthy, happy pets.
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