Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Grass-eating Dogs May Be Missing Nutrition

Recently Dr. Wendy Zimmerman, DVM, CVA, of Pet Food Direct, wrote an interesting blog titled, Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?¹ In it she discusses several theories among pet professionals as to why dogs might like to help you trim your lawn. Several possibilities pertain to a pet’s diet and are expanded upon in this post.


Heredity

“Dogs descended from wild canids (wolves/fox etc),” writes Dr. Zimmerman. “Wild wolves/fox will eat the entire “kill” when hunting for food and many of the animals they hunt are herbivores (plant-eating). As the stomach contents of the prey are consumed by the hunter, so is the grass and vegetation eaten by the prey animal. Some suggest that dogs enjoy grass so much because it is inherited from their lineage.”

This important characteristic of pets strongly influenced Nature’s Logic when the company formulation our dry, canned, and raw diets. In the wild, dogs and cats are carnivores, so our diets are high in protein. Because predators eat their entire prey, our foods also contain vegetation most likely to be consumed in the wild.

For example, our dry diets contain millet, a grass seed similar to one a carnivore in the wild might consume from eating the stomach of a bird or herbivore. Millet contains less natural sugar than other starches frequently used in pet foods. Further, It is much more likely to occur naturally in a wild dog or cat’s diet than chick peas or potato, so will be more familiar to their digestive systems.²

Lack of Greens

Dr. Zimmerman writes further, “Others suggest a lack of greens in typical canine diets as a reason for dogs eating grass. Many canine diets use meat or meat protein as their primary ingredient. Some experts suggest that dogs eating grass is a way for them to get the roughage or fiber that their food is lacking.”

Dog and cats do thrive on high protein, low carbohydrate diets, like they would get in the wild. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need their green veggies, too. Nature’s Logic foods contain kelp, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach parsley, artichoke, as well as other vegetables and fruits of all colors. In fact, our foods contain NO chemically-synthesized vitamins or minerals routinely added to other pet foods, even those marketed as “natural.³” Instead, all nutrients in our formulas come from whole foods and 100% natural ingredients, like green vegetables.

Nutritionally Inadequate

Dr. Zimmerman says that “nutritional deficiencies may also be a reason why your dog eats excess amounts of grass,” suggesting you might switch to a higher quality diet. Whole foods provide pets with an abundance of naturally occurring nutrients: Proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, probiotics, enzymes, antioxidants, co-factors, phytonutrients, and more. The natural synergies and increased bioavailability of these extra nutrients ensure the best possible nutrition for your pet.

Nature’s Logic uses these whole food ingredients to create truly natural pet foods substantiated for all the life stages of dogs and cats. Our formulas provide all the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals listed in the AAFCO* Nutrient Profile for Dogs and Cats, and do so without the addition of man-made synthetic nutrients. Pets of all ages will benefit from the superior nutrition and safety of Nature’s Logic foods. For more information, please visit www.natureslogic.com.

Not to Worry

Sometimes simple boredom is a reason dogs eat grass. Dr. Zimmerman concludes that grass-eating by dogs is common and usually not too concerning to pet owners or vets. If you are feeding a high-quality food, a little grass-eating is not a problem.

Is your dog or cat a grass-eater? Please leave a comment below and share your experiences with our readers. Thanks!

1. http://www.petfooddirect.com/blog/2011/03/why-do-dogs-eat-grass/
2. http://natureslogic.blogspot.com/2011/01/grain-free-pet-food-trend-are-we.html
3. http://natureslogic.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-are-added-synthetic-vitamin.html

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