Eating grass is common in dogs and cats, and there's no doubt that the occasional nibble is quite normal.
When this becomes habitual, compulsive or excessive however, there is usually an underlying reason which needs addressing if this is to be resolved.
In Vince The Vets experience, the two commonest causes of this, once digestive system disorders and medical conditions have been ruled out by the appropriate tests performed by a vet, are:
- A disturbed microbiome (gut flora population) and / or
- Lack of sufficient micronutrients
Healthy bowels are home to a dynamic array of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms, which assist in the breakdown of food and the assimilation of the nutrients present.
If this population (collectively called the gut microbiome) becomes damaged or disturbed (by antibiotics or additives in food, for example) digestion can be impaired to such a degree, that the nutrients in food are not made fully available to the body. If this persists for any length of time, a micronutrient deficiency can occur which triggers an instinctual drive to eat grass, as the body attempts to obtain the vitamins, minerals and trace elements it needs, but are lacking.
An unhealthy microbiome can also result in:
- fermentation of food in the gut
- intestinal inflammation
- excessive wind
- acid reflux
- regurgitation of bile
- abdominal discomfort and other signs
- And many pets affected like this, eat grass to gain relief in some way
Key when a disturbed microbiome is present, is to repopulate the bowels with beneficial bowel bacteria.
An effective way of doing this for many pets is to give Vince the Vet's DIGESTION (a clinically proven* VETERINARY FORMULA prebiotic) along with a good probiotic, the latter supplies a large number of friendly bacteria to the bowels, while DIGESTION provides food which supports their growth and the restoration of a healthy microbiome.
Modern day dogs and cats live in a highly polluted world. To cope successfully with daily exposure to countless environmental chemicals (in air, food, water and household products, for example) the body needs a rich supply of nutrients in the diet each day, to support the organs of detoxification and to aid tissue regeneration and repair.
And yet, at a time when the demand for nutrients by the body is greater than ever before, the food chain provides less, as a consequence of the mineral depleting effect of intensive farming on the land.
Where the amount of micronutrients supplied in the diet is not enough to satisfy a particular pet's nutritional needs, grass eating can arise, as the body seeks to gain extra minerals, trace elements and other nutrients from another source, to fill this gap.
Vince The Vet's Vitality is an exceptionally concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and many other vital micronutrients.
Adding this VETERINARY FORMULA Supplement to food each day, helps to ensure that these are present at high levels in a pet's diet.
NOTE: A single course of antibiotics can potentially have a detrimental effect on the gut flora population in a pet's bowels for life.
When implementing the steps described, it is important to persevere for at least 3 months therefore, to increase the likelihood of a long term positive impact on health in general and the microbiome in particular.
This blog was written by Vince The Vet.