Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

April 24th, 2015

You might have seen it before and wondered ‘why does my dog eat grass?’

Maybe your dog gobbles up patches of grass any chance he gets and then promptly throws it up. Or maybe your dog selects a few particular blades and they digest just fine. It’s a common behavior that takes many shapes and baffles most dog owners. So why do they do it?

There’s no one answer that’s true for all dogs, but here are several possible reasons why:

It’s tasty

homemade dog foodYou’ve seen your dog vacuum up everything out of his bowl, then look to your dinner plate, then beg for a treat, and need a rawhide before bed. Their appetites are voracious for as many flavors as possible. Dogs are natural scavengers, so it’s instinct to look for nutrition anywhere and everywhere. So your dog might think grass is delicious, or it could be filling a nutritional deficit, especially fiber. You can try switching to high-fiber dog food and see if that stops him from eating grass.

She’s bored

In the same way you might sit in front of the TV and eat a whole bag of chips, dogs might just eat grass to pass the time. Even though she might have a school yard or a back yard to stretch her legs in, there might not be much other stimulation. She could just be eating out of boredom. Try giving your dog regular exercise to tire out her body and her mind, and give her mental exercises or a complicated chew toy to keep her occupied.

Upset stomach

oakland dog clinicSome vets believe dogs eat grass instinctively to settle their stomach. When your pooch has the grumbles, he might turn to grass for relief, either to coat his stomach, or to induce vomiting. In some cases, the stomach distress can be a sign of something more serious, like gastric reflux or inflammatory bowel disease, so if you see this behavior occur often, call your veterinarian for advice.