It might seem strange for a happy, healthy pup to stop his playtime or pottytime outside to gnaw on some grass, but it’s extremely common. It’s so common, in fact, it’s one of the most frequently asked questions to veterinarians.
But what’s really going on when a dog eats grass? Is it dangerous, and should you be concerned if your dog seems to really love eating your lawn like he’s a cow? Here are the most common reasons why dogs eat grass:
He Wants to Throw Up
We’re starting off with this reason because it’s one of the most pervasive myths about dog behaviors. Scientific studies have indicated that grass doesn’t cause most dogs to throw up, so it’s unlikely any dog would use grass to induce vomiting.
But, you’ve probably seen your dog eat grass and then immediately throw up, so it certainly seems right. What’s likely going on is that your dog is using the texture of the grass to sooth the lining of his throat when he’s got a gassy tummy. It’s not the grass that’s probably causing him to throw up, it’s likely he was going to throw up anyways.
He’s Missing Something in His Diet
It’s possible your dog is eating grass because he needs some fiber. Dogs are used to getting some grass in their diet because the prey their ancestors killed had digested grass in their stomachs. It’s not that dogs in the wild have grass as a staple in their diet, but their digested prey certainly do. Though wild dogs have been seen to munch on some grass blades, so this theory is just that – a theory.
Many dog owners have discovered that feeding their dogs food with a higher fiber count has reduced or even eliminated their desire to munch on the lawn. So, if your dog has a habit of eating grass, consider switching to a food with more plant-based nutrition and fiber.
He Likes It
More than likely, your dog is eating grass because he likes it. Maybe he likes the taste or the texture, and that might sound crazy, but our weird little four-legged buddies don’t have the most sophisticated palate. All pet parents have caught their dog chewing on something insane and thought to themselves, “Why would you even want to eat that?”
Is it Dangerous for Dogs to Eat Grass?
Grass in and of itself is not harmful to dogs at all. But the stuff that’s on grass is another story. Herbicides, pesticides, and even certain weeds and plants that are mixed in with the grass can be toxic and deadly.
If your dog loves your lawn, consider buying him some pup-friendly grass that’s guaranteed to be free of all the harmful toxic stuff. You can find it in most pet stores and even online.
Of course, if you are concerned about your dog’s grass eating behavior, the best thing you can do is speak with your vet. She knows your pup well and can make sure he’s not eating grass for any sort of medical reason.