Can Dogs Eat Hay?

can dogs eat hay


Dog lovers always have to be aware of some important things, especially about the diet of dogs. One thing that frustrates many dog ​​lovers is when they see their pet rush to eat grass or hay even after eating healthy food.

You should surely be surprised if you keep a dog and see the same behavior in the case of your dog. Seeing them eat hay may raise questions in your mind that they are not cows or horses but still why they are eating it. Do you think they are so hungry or sick, or is it healthy for dogs to eat?

With all these questions in mind, we are going to start our article. Our article will give you a complete idea about can dogs eat hay or not? But first of all, let’s know what hay is and some of its common types. So, let’s get started with it.

What is Hay and Its Types

Hay is a type of grass that is dried and stored for animal feed. It is usually made from the stalks, leaves, and seeds of various plants. It contains a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to animals.

You will see different types of hay, but the most notable are:

  • Timothy Hay
  • Oat Hay
  • Orchard Grass
  • Triticale
  • Alfalfa

Each of these hays has a variety of nutrients. These are often used to feed animals and for various other purposes.

Why Dogs Keep Eating Hay?

A common question that arises in the minds of many people when they see any dogs eating hay every day is, can it eat hay?

According to most experts, dogs shouldn’t eat hay as it is harmful to them. However, there are some hays that dogs can eat, but only in very limited quantities.

But in most cases, you can see dogs continue to eat hay, why this happen? Surely there is a reason behind this, right? Many people think that there are many reasons behind dogs eating hay. One of the reasons is that when dogs feel sick, they want to vomit to feel better. And for this, they often choose to eat hay as the best alternative.

This may sound ridiculous to you, but many people prefer it. However, many ignore this reason as baseless. According to some experts, dogs eat hay to increase their digestive power, to treat intestinal worms, and to meet other nutritional needs of the body.

Is It Suitable for Dogs to Eat Hay or Not?

If we try to answer simply, it can be said that eating hay is not suitable for dogs. It is more harmful than beneficial for dogs as it acts as toxic for dogs.

Dogs can eat two types of hay which are Timothy hay and Alfalfa hay. These two types of hay have several nutrients that can meet the nutritional needs of the dog’s body. They also increase their digestive power.

However, it is important to remember that dogs should not eat too much of these in any way, as this can lead to adverse reactions.

Benefits of Alfalfa Hay for Dogs

Although Alfalfa hay is a type of grass, it can be used as an herb. It contains a variety of nutrients, most notably vitamins A, B12, C, D, E, k, and protein. This herb also includes various minerals. It is considered to be one of the best sources of antioxidant chlorophyll and can act as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory.

Alfalfa hay is a kind of medicine so you must seek the help of a veterinarian before feeding your dogs. According to his advice, you should feed your dog a moderate amount of it. You can never use an overdose of it as it will be harmful to your dog.

It is best to use in small doses. This herb contains phytoestrogens which are endocrine disruptors. If your dog has an endocrine problem, feeding them too much alfalfa can cause problems with thyroid function. So you must consider everything and feed your dog.

What to Do if You Always See Your Dog, Eating Hay?

If your dog eats hay regularly, it is never a good sign. Since we have already mentioned that eating too much hay is harmful to the body of dogs, you must be careful. Because you never want your pet to get sick or feel bad. For this, it is very important to keep them under monitoring.

Check your dog’s body condition as he becomes more interested in eating hay when he is sick. If you see that your dog is not in good condition, seek the vet’s attention immediately.

Also always monitor your dog when there are house plants in the vicinity, as certain breeds can be poisonous if chewed or eaten which will be harmful to your dog. Always keep them hydrated and avoid them from eating hay by feeding them healthy foods.

Final Thought

A dog lover always wants to take care of his dog. But sometimes, he can get frustrated when he sees his dog leaning towards eating hay even after eating healthy foods. Naturally then the question that comes to his mind is, “can dogs eat hay”. Simply to answer, “NO” but it is possible to feed them if you can maintain some important things.

In our article, we have tried to explain in detail is hay suitable for a dog to eat, how you can feed it to your dog, and how to take steps if you see your dog always try to eat hay. Hopefully, our small effort will be helpful for all of you to get an overall idea.

Written by Beatrix Nanai

Beatrix Nanai was born in Budapest, Hungary. She graduated from the University of Veterinary Sciences, Hungary in 1998. There she completed a surgical internship. After 2001 she relocated to the USA and after passing ECFVG for foreign graduates, She completed a surgical externship at South Carolina Surgical Referral Services. In 2014 she obtained her second specialty board certification and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Has several peer-reviewed publications and written articles for The Pet Grooming.

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