Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

Do you ever catch your dog eating grass? You may be walking together when your pup suddenly stops to graze.

While it may seem strange or worrying to see your dog with a mouth full of grass (especially if they’re sick as a result), this behaviour is pretty common for dogs and it’s not always a cause for alarm.

But why do dogs enjoy eating grass, and is eating too much grass bad for them? Keep reading as we explore these issues.

Reasons why dogs like eating grass

They like the taste of it

One reason dogs like eating grass is simply because they like the taste and texture of it! Dogs are natural scavengers and will take any opportunity to forage for food (we’re sure every dog pawrent can vouch for this).

Plus, dogs are omnivores, which means eating plants as well as meat comes naturally to them, and this behaviour has been observed in wild dogs too.

They’re eating it because they’re bored

If your dog isn’t getting enough mental or physical stimulation, they may chomp on grass or dig out of boredom.

One way to alleviate your dog’s boredom is by taking them for a walk or playing with them, especially games that involve their favourite dog toys! Puzzle toys and chew toys are great boredom-busters and will help deter your pooch from eating grass.

They’re trying to make themselves sick  

It’s widely believed that dogs who are feeling nauseous or unwell will eat grass in the hope that it’ll make them sick and feel better.

However, this largely remains a theory, especially as it’s quite rare for pups to ingest grass and vomit as a result. In fact, evidence suggests that less than 25% of dogs are sick from eating grass.

They are lacking fibre in their diet

Some veterinarians suggest that dogs may eat grass to make up for nutritional deficiencies in their diet. Grass contains fibre, which helps your dog digest their food, poop, and keep their GI system operating nicely. Adding more fibre to your dog’s diet may help and stop them from eating grass.

Is it normal for my dog to eat grass?

In short, yes! Most veterinarians consider dogs eating grass to be normal behaviour, and many dog owners will experience their dog eating grass at some point, as well as other plants.  

It is safe for my dog to eat grass?

While grass isn’t toxic to dogs, there may be harmful things on or within the grass that can make your pup ill. If your dog likes to occasionally chomp grass in your garden, make sure it’s not sprayed with anything that could be harmful to your dog, like pesticides or chemicals.

When walking your dog, keep an eye out for any dog poop in the grass too, as if ingested, it can make your furry friend very unwell.

It’s also important to know which plants are toxic to dogs, in case your curious canine has a nibble on them. Be sure to check out this list of common spring plants that are toxic to dogs for more information.

When should I contact my vet?

If you occasionally spot your pup eating grass, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, there are a few instances where you should contact your vet for advice about your dog eating grass, which include:  

  • They’re eating grass but not their food

  • They’re eating an excessive amount of grass

  • They keep eating grass and being sick over a few hours

  • They’ve been eating grass and seem unwell in themselves, or they have diarrhoea or are constipated

Should I stop my dog from eating grass?

You may be concerned to see your dog grazing, but eating grass is quite normal behaviour for dogs. While they’re unlikely to get much nutrition from it, if your dog is otherwise healthy and regularly wormed, eating grass every now and then shouldn’t be something to worry about.

However, it’s vital that your dog doesn't eat grass that’s been treated with herbicides, pesticides, or fertilisers. If slugs and snails have travelled over the grass, they could also infect your dog with lungworm.

If you’re worried that your dog is eating grass obsessively or they’re eating it a lot and being sick regularly, then you should speak to your vet.

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