Why do Dogs Eat Grass?

Learn everything you need to know about dogs eating grass.

No matter how tasty the meaty dog food you feed your canine friend is, it won’t stop dogs eating grass if they fancy it!

It’s a pretty common pastime. Quite often a dog is sick after eating grass.

So why do dogs eat grass? Experts can’t agree on the exact reason but there are a number of theories as to why dogs eat grass:

  1. The dog is already feeling sick so eats on grass with the blades tickling his throat to make themselves vomit. Dogs like people often feel less nauseous once they have been sick.
  2. The grass may make their digestive systems feel better, to ease wind problems or to relieve a tummy upset.
  3. Some dogs just enjoy the taste and texture of grass.
  4. To add some roughage or fibre to the dog’s diet, but this isn’t very likely if they’re on a good diet to start with.
  5. The dog has a deficiency of a particular nutrient that drives them to eat grass. Similarly, not likely if they have a nutritionally balanced diet.
  6. They are just bored and eat grass for something to do or to get attention. If this may be the case make sure the dog has plenty of toys to play with.
Is eating grass bad for dogs?

Don’t worry. It’s normal behaviour for a dog to eat grass, even when they are sick afterwards.

Eating grass doesn’t harm or hurt dogs. However keep them away from areas of grass that may have been treated with pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides and other chemicals.

If there are lots of snails and slugs in the grass keep dogs away as they could eat these by accident which may lead to lungworm. Also make sure it is just grass they are chewing on rather than any poisonous or toxic plants.

If your dog is eating lots of grass and always vomiting they may need a check up with the vet to see if they have an underlying illness they are trying to self-medicate.

How common is it for dogs to eat grass? 

Very common. A survey of 1,600 dog owners in America carried out by the University of California – Davis vet school found that 8 out of 10 healthy dogs had eaten grass or other plants.

6% said their dogs ate grass every week or even every day.

8% said their dogs seemed ill before eating the grass.

22% of dogs were actually sick after eating grass or plants.