WHY DOGS EAT GRASS, FRUITS, VEGGIES
Barbara J. Andrews, Journalist, AKC Master Breeder
Dogs are carnivores but think - in the wild they would get essential vitamins and enzymes from the stomach contents of their grass-eating prey.
(especially high-rise) dogs are deprived of fresh grass.
They finally developed little indoor gardens for house cats but for decades
I have written about how thoughtlessly we deprive our pets of fresh
raw foods, especially veggies and grass.
Get instant information about your pet's craving for live food ii Why Dogs Eat
and Need Grass BUT THINK... pesticides and fertilizers when you turn them out to graze on that lovely lawn you work so hard to maintain.
Your dog’s immune system, overall health and reproduction cycles
will improve when given fresh, wholesome, pesticide-free fruits and
What about grain? Did you ever see a wolf or
bear grazing in a corn field?
I’ve said this many times but not often enough for dog food
manufacturers! The first thing dog's
first cousin seeks after his long winter sleep is fruits and
veggies. That's right, in spring bears
go about the serious business of cleaning out their systems and
replenishing nutrients, not with meat, but with vegetation! All
wild ii Carnivores dig up roots, eat herbs and grasses, and relish fruit and
berries. Berries in particular are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants.
Okay, now you’re thinking you will share an apple with the dog.
But wait, there’s more you should know because it affects your
health as well. Like lawns, many of the “healthiest” foods are
contaminated with pesticides! Washing may remove some
sprays but chemicals taken up through the root system permeate the
Here’s some “food for thought.” We live in a contaminated and toxic
world. "Grow your own" is best but wash all fruits and veggies
in a mild solution of bleach or white vinegar and water, then rinse. If allowed to sample
fruits and vegetables and different grasses in his own little
garden, I guarantee your pets will thank you for providing what they
The Most Sprayed, Most Toxic Vegetables and Fruits
Strawberries can contain up to 65 different pesticides, fungicides, and
herbicides, one of which may be methyl bromide which causes
neurological damage. Organically grown strawberries have
much more flavor, important to you though less so for your dog
because he savors food through his scent glands.
Bell Pepper plants are
sprayed up to six times, plus fields are sprayed with methyl
bromide before planting to “sterilize” the soil. Cook or sauté
them for the dog stew.
Spinach is typically infected with aphids and mildew which require so
much spraying that over 50% of conventionally grown spinach
contain highly toxic pesticides. Although extremely high in
calcium, go a little easy on this, as with turnip
greens, collards, and kale they are high nutrient but must be
Cherries are wonderful treats. Birds and insects love them too!
They are also prone to fungus and viruses, meaning they get lots of
spraying. Best to shop for organic cherries and
even so, wash thoroughly. Yummy!
Peaches are not as easy to grow as you might think. In fact, they are
sprayed weekly from early spring through the last picking in
late summer. Enjoy them fresh from Georgia and South
Carolina orchards but peel your peach!
Nectarines, like all
stone centered fruits, are sprayed continuously and because they are
expensive even when canned, it’s better to buy fresh organic and
remove the skin.
Grapes are often imported from Chile. They are fumigated with methyl
bromide to kill bugs and fungi before entering the country. Wash
thoroughly, then toss them to your bait-catching dog. Prick the
skin so the scent is stronger. Roll them across the floor for
Raspberries are the product of synthetic fertilizers used to grow bigger
berries in addition to an array of pesticides and fungicides to kill bugs and to prevent mildew in the fruit's crevices. Skip them
Apples get something called apple scab disease, plus they get fungus. Thus
sprayed constantly! But even on first offering, dogs
love the tangy-sweet McIntosh, Pink Lady, or Gala apples.
Washing may not remove the poison so even though the skin
contains a variety of phytochemicals, including
quercetin, it may be best to peel the apple.
Pears are sprayed almost as much
as apples but with a wider mix, over 50
chemicals, because they are soft skinned and highly attractive to
insects including fruit flies. Pears are not as attractive to dogs.
Celery takes in a lot of ground-water which includes toxins already
there. Celery tests particularly high in pesticides, several of
which are known to be carcinogenic. Only use it in home cooked “dog
stew” because, well, only humans eat it raw.
instinctively relished by dogs. Do they somehow know it is rich in
allicin, a compound
often referred to as nature's antibiotic? Good for you too and a few bites
of apple after eating garlic will take away garlic-breath.
Potatoes Like Ireland, America loves them. Before planting, fields are
sterilized with fumigant which also kills friendly microbes that
till the soil in a healthy way. Then the eyes get sprayed with
insecticide to protect the tender green shoots that emerge.
Next they get a general herbicide to kill weeds, then synthetic
fertilizers every week to insure rapid growth and quick harvest
and an assortment of insecticides and fungicides as they grow.
Best advice when you consider how much we love this dietary
staple, buy organic! I included potatoes because you love them and I
wanted you to be aware of how they are grown. They are okay but
not part of a fresh food diet for dogs or cats.
foods are always safest. Reject canned or dried fruit which is laden with
sugar. Be aware that roadside stands may indeed be a source of locally grown produce but
in fact, a lot of “veggie stand” produce comes off the same truck that delivers
to your grocery store chain...
Most dogs relish cooked carrots, green beans, asparagus, snow peas, and broccoli. Think "out of the bag"! Watch a short video in VIDEO THEATER: Why Dogs Eat Grass by Dr. Karen Becker.
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