Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
November 17, 2022
One of the most common questions we hear from dog owners is “why do dogs eat grass?” Have you ever seen your dog eat grass? Chances are, you probably have. Grass eating is a common behavior among dogs, but why? When a dog is nutritionally deficient, grass eating may be a symptom, but eating grass does not always mean a dog is lacking nutrition.
The answer to this question is not so simple because there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. There is little research on the topic, and the available research disproves the common belief that dogs are eating grass to make themselves throw up. Regardless, we will discuss some of the reasons why your dog may eat grass.
The Need For Fiber
Some dogs eat grass because they need more fiber in their diet. One study found that a dog that was lacking fiber in its diet stopped eating grass once a high-fiber diet had been introduced. The roughage that grass provides can make passing stool easier for your pup, so you may consider switching foods.
An Upset Stomach
One of the most common reasons people hear that dogs eat grass is because of an upset stomach. There is some evidence that dogs with an upset gastrointestinal system will eat grass, but there is also plenty of evidence that it is a behavior for normal, healthy dogs. So, there is no need to worry if your dog starts eating grass.
As a puppy, your dog explores the world via the mouth. Eating grass could simply be your dog exploring the world around them. Just as kids may eat dirt or puppies chew on things, it is merely part of learning.
Dating back to wolves, grass eating could be tied to your dog’s ancestral behaviors. Grazing is a natural activity that dogs do when they’re anxious, happy or bored. It is simply a soothing thing to do for them, so it’s not always an indication of an issue.
Things To Watch Out For
Overall, we know that eating grass is not unhealthy for dogs, but there are some things to watch out for if your pup is chowing down on grass. If your lawn has any herbicides or pesticides on it, you need to stop your dog from eating the grass immediately. Likewise, if there is any rodent or pest poison around, grass eating needs to be stopped.
To stop your dog from eating grass, just redirect their attention to something else, like a toy or food. Utilize positive reinforcement to discourage the behavior, and keep your dog safe. If your dog does ingest grass with poison or pesticides, take them to an emergency veterinarian immediately.
Talk To Your Veterinarian
When it comes down to it, you should always consult your veterinarian with any concerns about your dog’s behavior. Whether they’re eating grass, vomiting, or a host of other things, your veterinarian knows your pup’s health best. Rest assured, though, if your dog is otherwise happy and healthy, there is no reason to be concerned with occasional grass eating.Back to Blog