Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

There is nothing more fun than spending time with our family and friends outside – this includes our loveable furry friends, like our dogs.

Likewise, our pets also love to spend time outside with us as well – whether it is sitting in the sun on the deck, a jaunty walk downtown, or venturing out to the dog park, being outside in the fresh air with your dog can be a fantastic way to spend the day. Whether it is a sunny, warm day, or a day that requires bundling up, dogs love to be outside with their people.

While out and about, your dog will certainly spend time checking out everything around them. The new sights, smells, and experiences are certainly exciting for your dog. Sometimes, you may notice your dog doing more than just smelling the roses.

Sometimes they start to eat the grass too! Although it may seem odd, grass-eating is fairly common with dogs – but if your dog does eat grass, it is important to pay attention to the why and when they eat grass. Let’s take a look at some reasons why dogs like to eat grass.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Although it is not typically a big deal if your dog eats grass once in a while, it is essential to keep an eye on our pets to ensure there isn’t a change in their normal behavior.

Dogs are fairly predictable in their behavior, and although sometimes they will eat things they should not – like that cheeseburger, they grabbed from the table – a dog that starts eating grass should be monitored to ensure that they are feeling okay.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass In The First Place?

Dog eating grass

As we all know, the dogs that live in our homes and become our best friends are noted to be descendants of wild animals.

Wolves, like dogs, eat and scavenge to maintain their nutritional status. Along with eating prey, they also eat dirt, bugs, and grass.

The speculation is that these animals use all of those items to balance their nutrition and possibly help settle their stomach if they have eaten something that has made them sick.

If we follow this train of thought, then maybe this more primitive behavior of the wolves explains why our pets eat grass.

Interestingly enough, some dogs, even those that receive a great, nutritious diet with everything they need, just like to eat grass. It may seem funny, but dogs sometimes graze just like cows or horses.

Whether they like the taste of grass (yuck) or if they like the feeling of chewing it up, sometimes they just want to eat your lawn. Funny, maybe a little weird, but this can be the reason that they do it!

If my dog is eating grass, does that mean they are sick?

There is a common theory that if your dog eats grass, then they are not feeling well. Eating grass seems to either stimulate a tickling/gag reflex and if the dog doesn’t feel good, they may be trying to make themselves throw up.

If that’s the case, then there really isn’t much to worry about other than making sure that eating the grass does not make your dog throw up over and over.

Dogs cannot tell you that they do not feel good, so when they feel sick, they will do what they think will help them to feel better. Eating grass is one way they may try to settle their stomach. An occasional lawn salad is not a problem for your dog in most cases.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Keeps Eating Grass?

If your dog eats grass occasionally and doesn’t seem to bother them, there is probably nothing to be concerned about. Some dogs just like to eat grass – the biggest thing you need to worry about is to be sure that your dog does not eat grass that has been treated by fertilizer or chemicals that could really make your dog sick.

If you are unsure why your dog is eating grass, they may add missing roughage into their diet. Dogs can feel in their system when they are missing nutrients, and by eating grass, they may be trying to replace what is missing.

Another factor may be that the roughage can help move their digestive system along, particularly if they have eaten something that makes them uncomfortable, such as a new type of treat or table food. It is helpful to know that eating grass is common and may not be an issue at all.

Now if you notice that your dog has started to eat grass all of a sudden, or they eat grass, throw up, and continue to eat grass and throw up, it may be time to contact your vet.

Although eating grass may not be abnormal, if your dog does not feel well and is constantly trying to make it better, a trip to the vet may be needed to figure out why they are having these new problems.

What should you do if you feel grass-eating is okay?

Shih Tzu sitting in grass

If you have decided that it is okay for your dog to keep eating grass, you have a few more things to think about.

Dogs that eat grass should be in a space that will make it safe for them to do so – this means thinking about what chemicals you put on your lawn.

Most lawn chemicals and fertilizers are toxic to dogs, so if you still want to use them on your lawn, find a spot that you feel you can eliminate the use of chemicals so the grass will be safe.

Although it may only be your dog on your lawn, it is also important to be sure that you clean up the area of any dog poop to be sure there is no transmission of parasites.

Although not likely, parasites are often carried in dog feces, so keeping the grass area clean is important. Ensuring that your dog area is clean can reduce the possible parasite contamination that could occur.

Bottom Line

Dogs sometimes like to eat grass – it is just something that they do! Dogs may want to eat grass for several reasons, and truly, it isn’t a big deal unless they aren’t feeling well. If it does not bother you, it probably will not bother your dog or their stomach. Just pay attention to when they do it and if it becomes more than you are comfortable with.

The times to be concerned are when you have any chemicals on the grass that they eat that could poison your dog or get sick every time they eat grass.

If you are worried at any time, your vet is a great person to connect with about why your dog may be eating grass. Otherwise, let it be, and your dog just may continue to act like a cow some days.

Lisabeth has been a content blog writer for almost 10 years. She had fostered many dogs in that time, including 11 Golden Retrievers. She recently adopted an Australian Shepard named Shadow.

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