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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? See the Big Mystery of This Behavior

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? See the Big Mystery of This Behavior | Premier Pups Blog
Published Friday, June 30, 2023 by Elena R.

If you're a dog owner, you've probably asked yourself, "Why do dogs eat grass?". This common canine behavior can seem strange to us humans. In this article, we'll delve into the reasons behind this peculiar dog habit and answer some related questions like, "Why do dogs eat grass and vomit?" and "Why do dogs eat grass when sick?"

Understanding Why Dogs Eat Grass

Firstly, it's essential to understand that dogs have different dietary needs and behaviors than humans. They are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plant-based foods. So, when your dog munches on your lawn, it's not necessarily a cause for alarm. 

Grass Eating: A Natural Instinct of Dogs

curious dog nibbling on fresh green grassOne of the main reasons why dogs eat grass is due to their natural instincts. Wild dogs often eat grass when they need to add more fiber to their diet or induce vomiting when they've eaten something that disagrees with them. 
 

Dietary Needs: Why Grass Might Be on Your Dog's Menu

close-up of a dog's mouth after they ate grass blades

Sometimes, dogs eat grass to supplement their diet. If your dog is on a strict meat diet, they might eat grass to get the nutrients they're missing out on. Grass contains essential nutrients like fiber, which aids digestion, and some dogs might eat it to fulfill this nutritional need. 


RELATED: Puppy Feeding 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Raising a Healthy Pup 
 

Boredom or Anxiety: Could These Be Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Grass?

small puppy on green grass on a summer day

Another reason why dogs eat grass is boredom or anxiety. Dogs, especially young ones, are curious and like to explore their environment. If they're left alone for long periods, they might start eating grass out of boredom or stress. 


RELATED: How to Treat Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety 
 

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass and Vomit? Understanding This Canine Behavior

Dogs lack the necessary enzymes to break down grass, so it's hard for their digestive system to handle. As a result, eating grass can lead to vomiting. This is often a way for dogs to cleanse their system if they've eaten something that's making them feel unwell. 
 

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass When Sick? 

small dog next to food bowl

When dogs feel nauseated or have eaten something harmful, they instinctively know they need to induce vomiting. Eating grass is a natural way for them to do this. However, if your dog is eating grass and vomiting frequently, it's a good idea to consult with a vet. 


RELATED: 11 Human Foods You Can Feed Your Dog 
 

Is Eating Grass Harmful to Dogs? 

Generally, eating grass is not harmful to dogs. However, if the grass is treated with pesticides or fertilizers, it can be toxic. If your dog is a frequent grass eater, make sure they only have access to grass that hasn't been chemically treated. 


Related: 10 Human Foods You Should Never Feed Your Dog 
 

When to Seek Veterinary Advice 

white dog looking nauseated after eating a patch of grass

If your dog is eating grass excessively or showing signs of illness like vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite, it's time to seek veterinary advice. These could be signs of a more serious underlying condition that needs medical attention. 

RELATED: How Often Should I Take My Dog To The Vet? 

 

Conclusion  

In conclusion, dogs eat grass for various reasons, from fulfilling dietary needs to relieving boredom or anxiety. While it's usually not a cause for concern, excessive grass eating, especially when accompanied by signs of illness, should prompt a visit to the vet. Understanding why dogs eat grass can help you better care for your furry friend and ensure they live a healthy, happy life. 

Scroll down to see FAQs about dogs eating grass!

Elena R.

About The Author

Elena is a leading expert in the field of dog behavior, care, and training, with over a decade of experience in writing about dogs. As a published writer and lifelong dog enthusiast, Elena currently shares her home with three beloved canine companions. She is dedicated to staying up to date on the latest advancements in dog care and training, ensuring that her articles provide readers with accurate and valuable insights. With her extensive knowledge and passion for all things canine, Elena's contributions to the Premier Pups community offer both expertise and authority on a wide range of dog-related topics.
Elena R. - Author Photo

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do dogs eat grass? Dogs eat grass for various reasons. It could be due to natural instincts, dietary needs, boredom, or anxiety. Some dogs eat grass to induce vomiting if they've eaten something that disagrees with them.

Is it normal for dogs to eat grass? Yes, it's quite common for dogs to eat grass. It's a behavior seen in wild canines as well, and it's generally not a cause for concern unless it's excessive or causing your dog to be sick.

Why do dogs eat grass and vomit? Dogs lack the necessary enzymes to break down grass, so it can be hard for their digestive system to handle. As a result, eating grass can lead to vomiting. This is often a way for dogs to cleanse their system if they've eaten something that's making them feel unwell.

Why do dogs eat grass when sick? When dogs feel nauseated or have eaten something harmful, they instinctively know they need to induce vomiting. Eating grass is a natural way for them to do this.

Is eating grass harmful to dogs? Generally, eating grass is not harmful to dogs. However, if the grass is treated with pesticides or fertilizers, it can be toxic.

What should I do if my dog is eating grass excessively? If your dog is eating grass excessively, it's a good idea to consult with a vet. This could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that needs medical attention.

Can I stop my dog from eating grass? While you can't completely stop your dog from eating grass, you can try to reduce the behavior by ensuring they have a balanced diet and plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Does eating grass mean my dog is lacking nutrients? Sometimes, dogs eat grass to supplement their diet, especially if they're on a strict meat diet. Grass contains essential nutrients like fiber, which aids digestion.

Should I let my puppy eat grass? Puppies are curious and like to explore their environment, which often includes tasting grass. As long as the grass hasn't been treated with harmful chemicals, it's generally safe for puppies to eat.

Can eating grass cause diarrhea in dogs? In some cases, eating grass can cause diarrhea in dogs. If your dog has diarrhea after eating grass, it's best to consult with a vet.

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