by Deena Caruso
Are you concerned when your dog or cat eats grass, then throws up afterwards? You'll probably feel relieved to know that pets eat grass because their bodies need it.
Dogs and cats have been eating grass for a long time. In fact, grass is so popular among dogs that one species, dog grass, is named after them. Dog grass is also known as couch grass and quackweed, and it grows in all but the southern-most states.
You can think of grass as an herbal medicine. It acts as an internal cleanser, expelling excess mucus, bile, and other impurities. It also cleanses the bowels and expels worms. Cereal grasses contain enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Grass also contains chlorophyll, which was used for relieving pain, treating infections, ulcers, skin diseases, and anemia prior to the use of antibiotics.
Some pet owners grow grass specifically to give to their pets to prevent or treat diarrhea, anemia, cataracts, fleas, tumors excessive shedding, and other pet health problems. Pets that are fed grass on a regular basis are less likely to crave outdoor grass. So, if you don't feel comfortable with your pet eating the grass in your lawn, you may want to grow your own grass for them to eat.
Try growing rye or barley sprouts. These sprouts are preferred over wheat grass because some animals are sensitive to wheat.
Follow these instructions to grow rye or barley grass. Soak one cup organically grown grain in one quart water for 8 to 10 hours. Then drain the container and leave it on its side in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. A tiny white rootlet will sprout from each grain within 24 to 48 hours. Caution: If you don't see these rootlets, your grain isn't viable and should be thrown away.
Next, spread the sprouting grain on one inch of moist potting soil or top soil in a plastic garden tray. For drainage create a one inch channel around the soil.
For two days, cover the tray. Then uncover it, and water thoroughly. Place the tray in direct sunlight or under grow lights. Keep the soil moist by watering when needed.
When the grass is 6-8" tall, cut it with scissors or a sharp knife. Place grasses in a ziploc bag, along with a damp paper towel. Be sure to expel air from the bag before sealing. Then store the grass in the refrigerator.
When feeding the grass to your pet, cut or mince it into tiny pieces, or place a small amount in a blender or food processor with other foods. To be sure your cat or dog will accept the grass, begin feeding just a fraction of a teaspoon. Increase the amount gradually to approximately one tablespoon per 50 lbs. of body weight.
Once your pet is given the amount of grass his body needs, you probably won't be seeing him eating the grass in your lawn. And you can feel relieved knowing that you're feeding him something that he craves and that his body needs.
Deena Caruso, author, teacher, & distributor of natural pet products Helps pet owners create healthy, happy pets. To receive FREE "Pet Pointers" Newsletter, go to: http://www.healthyfoodforpets.com