Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

It’s almost Fall, and that means fresh new foliage, flowers, and maybe your pet’s favorite after-dinner snack – grass. Do you ever wonder why your dog just can’t seem to resist eating grass? Here are a few reasons your dog may think the grass is a gourmet treat.

Reasons Your Dog Might Eat Grass

  • Digestion

Some people believe the grass is a natural aid for your pup’s tummy troubles, although there is no scientific proof to back this theory up. Dogs may eat grass to naturally induce vomiting, which could relieve stomach upset due to gas, bloating, or overeating.

  • Instinct

Dogs are naturally opportunistic eaters. They eat what they can find when they can find it. This behavior is seen in wild dogs and wolves. Grass provides a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Even if your dog is eating a balanced diet, they still may try to add in their own snacks.

  • Treats

“Do I smell freshly grown snacks?!” – Your dog, probably. No surprise here, but your dog may be eating grass just because they like it. And let’s be honest, grass can’t be the weirdest or grossest thing you’ve seen your dog try to eat. Some dogs may just love the taste of grass. They’re just trying to get a little side salad snack during their outdoor playtime.

Should I Be Concerned About My Dog Eating Grass?

It may be natural for your dog to want to eat grass, but there are a few things you should be careful to watch for.

  • Behavioral concerns

Just like people, dogs can also eat their feelings. Your dog may eat grass as a way to cope with stress or anxiety. Be sure to monitor when your dog is consuming grass and if there is any apparent correlation with the amount of time and attention you are giving them.

  • Physical concerns

If your dog is showing signs of being physically ill (lethargic, diarrhea, weight loss, frequent vomiting), seek immediate help from a veterinarian. These are signs that there may be a serious ailment that needs medical attention. Pet insurance is a great tool to keep unforeseen vet costs down. Healthy Paws can help you save up to 90% on vet bills. Learn more and have Healthy Paws donate $25 to help homeless pets here.

  • Environmental concerns

The grass is not always greener on the other side, especially if there are no weeds. Chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides, can be toxic to animals. Be sure to prevent your dog from eating grass in other people’s yards if you are unsure about the use of chemicals in their yards. It is also important to keep an eye out for other potential hidden hazards in unfamiliar areas. This includes garbage, fecal matter from other animals, and foreign objects that may harm your dog.

How to Prevent Dogs from Eating Grass

If your dog gets sick from consuming grass, or you want to keep nosy noses out of unfamiliar areas, practice redirecting your dog’s attention and behaviors. This could include the use of treats, toys, or a “heel” command to redirect your dog’s focus. If your dog is an emotional eater, it may be helpful to seek out help from a pet care provider to introduce more exercise and quality time to your dog’s daily schedule.

Be sure to let your pet care provider or dog trainer know about any concerns about grass-eating habits, so they can help your dog practice behavior redirection to keep them safe and healthy. Consult with a veterinarian about any concerns about how grass may impact your dog’s health.

 

Melanie Haynes

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