Is the grass greener on the other side? Sometimes our dogs certainly think so, nibbling on it in the backyard or on walks. While it seems silly, grazing is something that even wolves will do. The act of eating grass might be a natural compulsion for some dogs, but for others, it could be the sign of a nutritional deficiency, an upset stomach, or even boredom. 

Three Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass 

A dog chewing on grass is a common sight. While some dogs might take nibbles here and there, others might go at it like it’s their last meal. But Why? There are several things that your dog might be trying to tell you if they are eating grass. 

1: They Have a Nutritional Deficiency

While many people think that dogs are carnivores, they are actually omnivores. As much as dogs crave meat, but the truth is they still need to consume some plant fiber. In the wild, wolves will eat plants if their prey is not fulfilling all their nutritional needs. Domestic dogs will also start eating grass if they’re not getting enough fiber in their diet. 

2: They Need to Vomit

Sometimes, dogs will eat grass because it helps them vomit. If your dog is not feeling well, they might eat some grass to help them vomit out whatever is bothering their stomach. If your dog didn’t get into the garbage, check to make sure that their treats and kibble are still in date, and that they are stored properly to prevent mold. 

3: Everything Is Boring

Entertainment is important for your dog’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Without it, they might start acting out and become destructive or irritable. Bored dogs might bark incessantly, or chew on things they shouldn’t. If you notice your dog is habitually eating grass, try increasing their play time or the length of their walks—they might just need more attention.

Is Grass Safe for Dogs to Eat? 

Most of the time, nibbling a little grass is completely harmless. However, there are still risks. You’ll need to keep your dog off of other people’s lawns, and stop them from eating mystery grasses in the park or on trails. 

Some grass is treated with toxic chemicals. 

Many weed killers, fertilizers, and insecticides are dangerous for pets. Ingesting grass that has been sprayed with chemicals can cause stomach aches, health problems, and even death. 

Grass can harbor harmful bacteria. 

Any grass that your dog can access during a walk or hike is also accessible to other animals. Eating grass that is contaminated with feces or a decomposing carcass can make them very sick. 

Grass can hide dangerous plants.

While some plants are safe for your dog’s consumption, many are not. Tall grass might be hiding a poisonous plant that your dog could eat accidentally.

Veterinary Care That Won’t Send You Looking for Greener Grass

Here at East Valley Animal Hospital, we give every pet the same loving care we give our own. As dog owners and dog lovers, we understand how important your pet’s safety and health are to you. If you ever have questions about dog care (or why dogs eat grass) we’re here to answer them for you. We build time into every yearly checkup to answer your questions and explain how to keep your pet happy and healthy. If you’re looking for a vet that truly cares, contact us today to make an appointment.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/27/24). Photo by Casey Calhoun on Unsplash.