Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass?

Every few months, my dog will go outside for his potty walk and start chewing on grass. I’ve heard dogs eat grass when their stomachs are upset, but I never thought much about it outside of that.

Photo: Pexels/Alina Skazka

As it turns out, there are a few reasons why dogs might eat grass!

According to the Berthoud Animal Hospital, some dogs eat grass simply because it tastes good. We don’t typically think of dogs as enjoying greens, but they certainly can.

VCA Animal Hospitals notes, “…We cannot overlook the simplest explanation of all…Dogs may simply enjoy the texture and taste of grass in their mouths. In fact, many dogs are grass connoisseurs that prefer to eat grass in the spring when it is newly emerging.”

Photo: Pexels/Laura Alessia

Berthoud Animal Hospital reports that dogs might also eat grass out of boredom. Just like humans who eat to cope with boredom, dogs can do the same thing!

Of course, the dog also might have an upset stomach. According to Family Vet Care, “Most vets agree that eating grass probably helps soothe a dog’s upset stomach. An ‘upset stomach’ usually means that stomach acids are building up. When acid builds up in our own stomachs, people often take an antacid, knowing they’ll feel better soon. In dogs, eating grass may have the same effect in acting as a ‘natural antacid.’ Most dogs appear to feel better after eating grass, but this relief is often temporary, as most dogs vomit afterwards.”

Photo: Pexels/Daniel Duarte

It could also be that grass serves as a dog’s source of fiber. If a dog isn’t getting enough fiber in their daily diet, they might turn to grass to fulfill that need. To ensure your dog gets enough fiber and doesn’t have to resort to eating grass, you can try to incorporate some whole foods into their diet, such as carrots, green beans, broccoli or oats. Of course, always consult a veterinarian before switching your pets’ diet.

So now that you know why dogs eat grass, you might be wondering….

Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?

While grass itself isn’t inherently harmful to dogs, there could be hidden dangers in the grass. VCA Animal Hospitals notes that if a dog is eating grass in a park, a neighbor’s yard or along the sidewalk, there’s a risk of herbicide and pesticides being on that grass. Those chemicals could be harmful to dogs.

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

According to Forbes, grass isn’t the problem so much as what could be in the grass, such as animal, human and environmental contaminants. Forbes also notes that some types of barbed grass can cause digestive distress for dogs or house harmful parasites.

Overall, if your dog is eating grass, it’s not a huge cause for concern. It’s a good idea to ensure their dietary needs are being met, and you should always consult with a veterinarian if you’re concerned.

Did you know puddles may be putting your dog at risk? Click here to learn more.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!