Dogs will normally attack their food bowl with all the enthusiasm of a blindfolded child hitting a piñata, but nonetheless, they will still seek out things they just shouldn't eat. Modern medicine provides a plethora of solutions for a canine tummy ache, but reducing the discomfort of the occasional doggy abdominal pain might be as simple as a dose of wheatgrass.
The benefits of wheatgrass hit the mainstream in the 1970s when holistic practitioner Ann Wigmore took a natural approach to self-treating her cancer. Although the medicinal benefits of wheatgrass fall under scrutiny to this day, it has been shown to be beneficial to humans and their canine companions. Wheatgrass powder, derived from wheatgrass, is a natural detoxifier, and since millions of the world's canines survive on store-bought kibble which may contain an occasional ingredient not necessarily beneficial to your hound, Herbie, wheatgrass can be helpful in ridding Herbie's body of the toxins it doesn't need.
All dogs have basic needs, and the opportunity to relieve themselves in a designated area is one of them. Wheatgrass is known to be helpful in digestion, and can also relieve constipation, which when prolonged can cause difficult or painful passing of feces. A small amount of powdered wheatgrass added to a dog's water bowl can help with hydration, and proper water consumption also reduces the possibility of constipation. Equally uncomfortable are issues of the bladder, which wheatgrass has also been shown to relieve.
Despite a lack of overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the medicinal use of wheatgrass, the fact that it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium and amino acids can make it beneficial to Herbie. All dogs need vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, and while these are normally contained within a well-balanced kibble, vitamin deficiency can occur, especially as your dog ages. Wheatgrass powder is also used for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid the geriatric dog with issues such as arthritis.
Many dog owners turn to natural medicines and supplements to treat their own ailments, and it may seem practical to do the same when it comes to treating Herbie. Despite its widespread availability and the healing properties it is believed to have, the addition of any supplement, including wheatgrass powder, to your dog's diet should always be discussed with his veterinarian first.
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images