If you’ve ever been outside with your dog and seen them grazing on grass, you’ve probably wondered, “Why do dogs eat grass?” While there’s no single answer to that question, there are multiple reasons why your dog may be munching on the lawn. Today, the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital are here to explain why your dog eats grass from time to time. 

So, Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

The reasons why dogs eat grass are actually a little more complex than you might think. Because there are multiple causes, observing your dog’s behavior will help determine the cause. Pay attention to when and where your dog eats grass so you can give as much detail as possible at your next veterinary checkup.

1. Upset Stomach

One of the most common reasons dogs munch grass is because they aren’t feeling well. However, studies have shown that the percentage of dogs who eat grass when sick is actually very small. 

If you notice that your dog typically wants to eat grass after a bout of vomiting or diarrhea, it’s possible they could be trying to settle their stomach. The grass, however, likely won’t do much to help, so consult your vet if the vomiting or diarrhea persists. 

2. Genetics

Nowadays we feed our dogs balanced diets of dog food made with both plant and animal ingredients. Previously, dogs fulfilled their dietary needs for fiber and vitamins by eating grass

If your dog is eating grass on a regular basis, it could be because their diet lacks an essential vitamin or something else they need. However, they could just be grazing because their instincts tell them to do so. 

3. Boredom

Oftentimes, dogs will eat grass purely out of boredom. Dogs left alone in backyards for long periods of time may develop certain habits to keep themselves entertained. These habits can include digging, chewing on inappropriate things, and even eating grass. 

Make sure to monitor your dog’s play when they’re outside, and ensure they are getting enough exercise and engagement throughout the day. Developing a daily  routine will also ensure that your dog doesn’t get bored, and that they get all the activity and attention they need. 

Is It Safe For Dogs to Eat Grass?

Yes and no, depending on the situation. Is the grass they are eating treated with herbicides or pesticides? Does your dog usually vomit after eating grass? Does your dog eat grass excessively? While grass eating isn’t usually something to worry about, if you know the grass was treated with chemicals, or if your dog gets sick after eating grass, you should try to prevent them from doing so. 

If your dog eats excessive amounts of grass, it could signify a dietary or stomach issue, so you should bring them to the vet for a checkup. Dogs can also contract parasites from eating grass, so always keep up to date with parasite prevention, especially if your dog has access to grass or other plants in the backyard.

Concerned About Your Dog Eating Grass?

If you have any questions about why your dog is eating grass, or if you have concerns about their health, the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital is here for you. Never hesitate to call us or schedule an appointment to speak in person. To schedule a visit, please call 480-568-2462 or contact us online.