Staying Healthy

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

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Some dogs simply seem to enjoy munching away on grass. Some breeds even include it as part of their daily routine. And others tend to eat the green stuff when they aren’t feeling well.

Luckily, most experts believe that this is not something dog owners need to worry about. So why on earth do dogs gobble up the green stuff in our yards?

The Root of the Matter

grasseating21. Grumbling Tummies. Any pooch will seek out a natural relief for a gassy or upset stomach, and grass, apparently, does the trick. When ingested, the grass blades tickle the dog’s throat as well as his stomach lining. This sensation causes the pooch to throw up, especially when the grass has been gulped down instead of chewed on. A sick pooch will usually eat grass in big bites and then vomit.

Although dogs do not normally graze on large amounts of grass like cows, they may nibble on grass or chew on it for a while, and not vomit. While some dogs simply find the grass taste palatable, other breeds do it to add a little roughage to their usual diet.

2. Nutritional Needs. Whatever be the reason behind grass easting, most experts see no harm in letting a dog munch away. As a matter of fact, the grass contains some essential elements that a pooch may actually crave, especially if the pet has been on a commercial diet. Once you see him eating grass or any other houseplant, try introducing natural herbs or dog-safe veggies into his diet.

Watch out for any sudden increase in grass-munching as it could be a warning sign of a more serious underlying condition that your pup may be trying to self-treat. This of course will require immediate vet assistance.

If your dog is one that simply likes to graze, but is healthy and happy, just make sure the grass he’s eating hasn’t been treated with chemicals or pesticides which actually CAN be quite harmful for Fido.

34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Helen

    Jun 27, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Could it be related to the fact that wild K9s eat the stomach of herbivores which is full of pre-digested plant matter? It’s highly nutritious and missing from the diets of domestic K9s. In some places you can buy tripe cheaply (you could ask your local butcher too), have it cut into serving size pieces and keep it frozen. Dogs LOVE it. The best thing you can do for your pup.

  2. Wendy

    May 15, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I would like to take this opportunity to issue a wildflower related warning to pet owners whose dogs/cats eat plants. Almost two years ago I lost my beloved Bichon when she ate a yellow wildflower that had taken root in her kennel. I lived in the country at that time and my landlord hadn’t mowed for three years, what was basically a field…it certainly wasn’t a lawn. Over the course of those years, several varieties of wildflowers began to spread. One day, I happened to see her eat what I later found out was a toxic variety of buttercup–it’s actually named a false buttercup. One minute she was fine—half an hour later she was clearly dying. All I could do was watch, and be near her. I didn’t have a car and I was too far out of town to get her to a vet in time, even if I’d had a car. The man who picked up her body from me for cremation mentioned at the time that many of the pet losses in the country were related to some form of foliage, but at the time, I was too grief-stricken for this comment to really register. When my grief had subsided somewhat, his comment came back to me and I Googled “yellow Oregon wildflowers, toxic to pets.” Alas, there were many, three of which had spread to her kennel. If you want your fur babies to be around a while, Google, “wildflowers toxic to pets in (your state.)” They may be pretty but they may also be deadly. (And not necessarily just yellow.)

  3. Venessa

    Jun 19, 2014 at 1:36 am

    I have an 8 month old dachshund she has been vomiting clear not smelly fluids then about 1/4 – 1/2 cup size patch of grass. She is active and happy. But I’m still worried. Will she be ok. No diarrhea. Thanks. ♡

  4. phil

    Jun 17, 2014 at 5:20 am

    I have two Labs and for a while both of them ate copious amounts of grass. I realised they were missing out something in their diet (they were on a very good brand of kibble) and changes their morning feed to porridge oats. The grass-eating stopped in a couple of days.

  5. Sue-Alice George

    Jun 13, 2014 at 11:49 am

    My dog eats leaves rather than grass.
    I have always (8.5 years) fed her dry food as opposed to meat as she has a ‘delicate’ tummy and dog meat tends to go straight through her! 🙁

    Should I be concerned that she eats leaves, is she missing a veggie diet??

    • Rob

      Jun 13, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      I would suggest you stop feeding her dog meat. That may help 😉

      • Sue-Alice George

        Jun 14, 2014 at 4:37 am

        Hi Rob

        Thanks for your reply. 🙂

        I don’t feed her dog meat, I discovered that it upsets her tummy when I first got her at 5mths old.

        I only feed her dry food now, but a bit worried as to the leaf eating 🙁

  6. Julie

    Jun 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    My 6 year old Labradoodle just likes eating grass; but he’s quite a connoisseur about it, he only eats quack grass. lol

  7. Stephanie

    Jun 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    People should be aware that dogs don’t digest grass (hence why it may be adding roughage to their diet), so like anything else they don’t digest, eating too much of it can be dangerous. It can create a blockage. You don’t need to stop your dog from ever eating grass, but you shouldn’t be encouraging him to eat more!

  8. doombadger

    Jun 13, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Our Staffie Eric eats couch grass all the time. He loves it.

  9. ncurtis

    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve had a lot of dogs over the years … some who ate grass, some who didn’t. The ones who did, however always had upset tummies abd would throw up (or it came out the other end). What has always bothered me more is the ones who ate poop! Dogington Post, I’d sure like you to address that one to at some point! 😉

  10. Ronald

    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Please do not click on my link. I type in many.com for sites that were mine but I did not think it would link it in. This is a known Malware site. I am sorry but that’s the web, full of buttheads.

  11. Ronald

    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I heard read several sites on this and what they say may have some truth but most of it is like anything else that you read on the web. It’s one person’s opinion and for the most part it’s wrong. Dogs eat grass when they are constipated. Grass is a natural fiber for animals.

  12. Bren

    Aug 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Both of my Doxies like to eat grass, and will often eat the blades down to the soil and eat some of the soil, as well. My standard size Doxie seems to have tummy troubles occasionally, and will start to pull out carpet fibers furiously until I let him outside where he devours grass until he feels better. My cat loves grass, as well.

    • Deborah

      Jun 14, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      My 3 dachshunds eat grass, but they love to eat dirt! I try and stop them because it usually makes them sick.

  13. Rob

    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Tinkerbell has to sniff around for just the right grass and then she eats it and she doesn’t get sick. If your dog starts eating too much, try a couple blasts from a shotgun. This will divert their attention.

    • Laemille

      Aug 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      WTF, dude? I hope you are joking. That’s just mean. It makes me want to take your dog away from you.

    • ncurtis

      Aug 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Rob, I hope that was merely an attempt at humor on your part. If it was, you’re no comedian. If you were serous, you don’t deserve to own any kind of animal…. and I pray you haven’t attempted to procreate either.

  14. Shelby

    Aug 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I have a black lab puppy (7 or 8 months old) that eats grass all the time. Background story: he was at one of my fathers neighbors houses and the adults and children were beating him. I informed the neighbors they were to either give me the dog or I was going to call the police, they ended up surrendering the dog to me. When I got him he was SO malnourished and he would eat grass to make his tummy feel better. Now that I give him food and water more then once per day he’s developed a huge appetite. And he’s no longer sick looking. He still gnaws on grass occasionally but I feel it’s more of a habit at this point since he was doing that beforehand.

    • Gingy

      Aug 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Good for you! Taking the dog away.

      • Mary Beth

        Sep 2, 2013 at 12:55 am

        I am so happy to see a happy ending here! both of my dogs LOVE gras…and lettuce…anything green. they don’t seem to throw up after it consistently …I think they just like the fresh greens (we do give them salad scraps).
        but…happy to hear your dog is happy as well. good job!

  15. tara

    Aug 30, 2013 at 8:54 am

    my little shiba rescue mouws it down as fast as he can (and anything else green outside). assuming it was because he was in a cage for 6yrs, i allowed it last year. well, this year, as it turns out, after having him allergy testing because he was ripping himself apart from scratching, grass is his highest allergen, along with many other outside, and inside, things. why it wasn’t manifested last year, the vet feels he built up a small tolerance. but this year, his little southern body couldn’t handle it. he is allergic to everything new england….but he is receiving allergy sensitization shots and trusting this will do the trick. he, and his sister, get green beans every night since their homecoming, but he still prefers naturally grown outside greens (cause he can do it himself??!!). and with the rainy beginnings this spring, it is very difficult to keep up with the little growth that springs up overnight…but he finds them no problem!!!
    who needs money when one can have happy, healthy dogs??!!!

  16. Arlene

    Jun 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    My mini doxie loves eating grass. She doesn’t vomit either. But I also notice she loves lettuce. I give her it with olive oil. I eat a lot and shelooks at me when I have it.. now have noticed her fur is shiny and her bowel movements are better.

  17. BILL

    May 30, 2013 at 6:57 am

    My Maltese is always munching on grass,he loves the stuff,I put him in the back yard to graze,there is good fresh green grass there for him until real summer comes and the hot sun burns it all away.

  18. Carolyn

    May 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    While all my dogs love to eat (or nibble) a bit of grass, my Puggle also has an absolute passion for mustard plant roots. He gets soooo excited in the Spring when they start growing!! He will dig up the ones he can get too, then look at me with those buggy Puggle eyes to beg me to go dig up the mustard plants in the rest of the yard!!

  19. Janine Fontenot

    May 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    My Golden loved to graze on grass for hours…she lived to be 17 and did not have cancer.

  20. karen

    May 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I was wondering if you knew why my dog has always loved to eat bark and wood, sticks etc?/He’s a English bull terrier, it hasn’t killed him yet he’s going on 13 yrs old-lol Thanks pss I love the DogintonPost♥♥

    • ncurtis

      Aug 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      I see my dachshund does that too!!! He doesn’t touch the grass, but sometimes he comes in with dirt and mulch bark or leaves & sticks all over his face abd I know he’s been at it again. 😉

  21. Bird

    May 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    My lil dog always ate grass to help her tummy as she had colitus…however the grazing turned to eating daily and on every walk every day…turns out, the poor thing was trying to treat herself as she was diagnosed with lung cancer…she knew but the vets took 7 months and 15 visits to tell me…as in anything, if it becomes excessive, take Fido to the vet…

    • Carolyn

      May 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      so sorry your dog passed away, hoping your memories are good.

  22. Ms. V

    May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    All three of my dogs eat grass. Is there a certain type of grass I should try to plant? Right now my yard is half weeds and grass and I wouldn’t mind having more of a dog friendly grass.

    • susan

      Aug 30, 2013 at 10:22 am

      My two dogs prefer crab grass thou will eat all and any.

  23. Angela

    May 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    My dox does that too! Glad to know she isn’t as weird as I thought.

  24. Kathe

    May 24, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    My doxie likes to dig up the grass…roots, dirt, and all, and eat that. I’ve asked the vet about that, and he just laughs and says, “He’s a dog!”. He doesn’t throw up after eating it, but it just sounds so gross to eat the roots with the dirt on it. Could he be lacking something in his diet? He doesn’t do this all the time, but occasionally.

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