Can Dogs Eat Wheatgrass? Yay or Nay?

Introduction

Wheatgrass is a type of food that has seen an incredible increase in popularity over the past years, and that’s because it is packed in nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to antioxidants. But can dogs eat wheatgrass? Is it actually healthy for them?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions!

Is Wheatgrass Good for Dogs?

Like so many other crazes and trends when it comes to nutrition, wheatgrass is now considered a ‘superfood’. Some people go so far as to think that it can cure disease, and that is simply not true. 

So if you’re wondering whether you can use wheatgrass for dogs with cancer, we’ll tell you right off the bat that this green will not cure such a severe disease, whether benign or malignant. 

However, wheatgrass does have a number of nutrients that make it possible for it to be more or less beneficial for pets. 

Minerals

Wheatgrass contains a good number of minerals, but those that seem to stand out from the crowd are potassium, copper, manganese, selenium, and, more importantly, iron

All of these are necessary for your dog’s body to remain healthy. Many minerals are often involved in maintaining your dog’s blood flow and cell membranes in good shape. 

Vitamins

While wheatgrass contains several different types of vitamins, it is particularly rich in vitamins A, K, B6, E, and C. What’s interesting is that it contains both liposoluble and hydrosoluble vitamins, so it is a quite complex type of food. 

Dogs need vitamins to thrive, and deficiencies in these nutrients can lead to serious health complications. 

Low in calories

It goes without saying that one of the main reasons to feed wheatgrass to a dog, even a diabetic or obese one, is that it will not negatively influence their health because of its caloric content. 

Fiber 

Wheatgrass can be considered a fiber-rich food, and it can be used by both people and pets to regulate digestion. Senior animals can sometimes suffer from chronic constipation, so giving them wheatgrass now and then can improve the situation. 

Is Wheatgrass Bad for Dogs?

Wheatgrass should never make up a big portion of your dog’s diet. Although compared to cats, dogs can be considered omnivores, they need a diet mostly focused on protein and fats, not carbs. 

You don’t see dogs grazing on a pasture like a cow would and for a good reason, too — because they are not herbivores

Pesticides and weed killers

This is perhaps the most significant risk you are exposing your dog to when you give him/her wheatgrass. Unless you get the organic variety, there is no way of you knowing what toxic substances the wheatgrass might have come in contact with. 

Pesticides and weed killers have been studied for many years and have been proven to be linked with cancer. So unless you want your dog to end up with a tumor in his senior years, buy only organic wheatgrass. 

Digestive distress

Too much wheatgrass can actually cause digestive imbalances. There is quite a bit of fiber in this food, so your dog might end up suffering from diarrhea or bloating if he has it frequently. 

Parasite eggs

Last, but not least, wheatgrass or grass that you yourself have cut from a pasture near your home or from the park, for example, can contain parasite eggs or larvae

The eggs of these pesky critters are often small enough for you not to see them, and even if you wash the wheatgrass thoroughly, some of them might remain on it. 

How Much Wheatgrass Can My Dog Eat?

Wheatgrass should be an occasional snack. Sometimes, if dogs feel that something is wrong with their digestion, they will go outside in the yard and eat grass on their own. 

If you don’t want your dog to do this in the park, you can grow it in a pot in the comfort of your home. Dogs are supposed to have one to two tablespoons of wheatgrass per week or less. 

How to Prepare and Serve Wheatgrass to Your Dog

If your dog isn’t a keen aficionado of this type of food, you will have to go through a bit of trouble and cut it up and mix it with their canned food, for example. Small pieces of wheatgrass can also be sprinkled on top of kibble, but some pets might avoid them.

There is also the option of you juicing the wheatgrass and adding the result to your dog’s wet food. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat wheatgrass powder?

Yes. It’s not going to do a lot other than providing your pet with some vitamins and minerals, so it’s not going to cure diseases, but wheatgrass powder is indeed safe for dogs.

Can you give dogs wheatgrass every day?

If the question refers to fresh wheatgrass, we recommend against giving it to your dog every single day. The amount of fiber can lead to indigestion, with bad symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or other forms of digestive distress (including abdominal pain). 

Very small amounts of wheatgrass powder are safer so they can be given to dogs every day. 

Where to buy wheatgrass for dogs?

Finding pet grass for dogs to eat these days is very easy. You can order a variety online from a marketplace or get one from a health store the next time you go into a shop. 

However, we strongly suggest that before purchasing a variety, you carefully read the ingredients on the label and ask your vet whether it’s a good idea to give wheatgrass to your dog.

Summary

So, can dogs eat wheatgrass? Yes! This is probably one of the most harmless foods that dogs can have, provided that you always get the organic type or grow your own in a pot at home.

Sources

  1. Toxicology of newer pesticides for use in dogs and cats, Lynn R Hovda, Stephen B Hooser, 2002
  2. Adverse effects of herbicide MCPA on dogs in a 90 day toxicological study, Irina Sadlonova, Ruzena Hozova, Eva Flaskarova, 2006

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Cristina Vulpe

Cristina Vulpe

As a veterinarian and a cat guardian, Cristina Vulpe holds a Ph.D. in veterinary oncology. She loves writing about feline pathology, parasitology, and infectious diseases, but she also cares deeply about animal nutrition and welfare. When she isn't writing, you can always find her in the company of her cat and a good book.
Iasi, Romania