6 Reasons Why Your Dog Eats Grass

We’ve all seen it: a dog who is happily enjoying himself outdoors suddenly stops, eats some grass for a while, and then often throws it back up again shortly thereafter. But just because this is a common dog behavior, that doesn’t mean it’s very well understood.

Dog eats grass

Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

There are, however, a lot of possible reasons for this behavior. If you notice that your dog eats grass often, you may want to check out the list we’ve put together below to help you better understand just why he might be doing this.

Some common reasons why dogs eat grass include:

Dog Instinct

One of the most common schools of thought is that dogs eat grass because it’s in their instinct to do so. After all, dogs’ ancestors probably chewed on grass as part of their natural diets, or may have ingested it along with whatever else they ate in the wild.

Therefore, it may be deeply rooted within your dog to eat grass, even though he doesn’t need to now. This normal behavior isn’t usually a cause for concern at all.

Attention-Grabbing

Some dogs choose to eat grass because they know they’re going to get attention if they do it. If you’re the type of dog owner who tries to stop your dog every time he chews on grass, he may quickly associate eating grass with getting your attention—even if it’s negative attention!

If you think this might be why your dog is eating grass, try just letting him do it a few times. If he realizes you aren’t going to pay attention to him anymore, he may stop eating grass without you having to tell him at all.

Boredom or Anxiety

Sometimes, dogs get bored. If you leave your dog outdoors for too long without anything to stimulate his mind, he is probably going to start chewing on grass because it’s something to do. Be sure to give your dog plenty of toys or play with him actively while he’s outdoors to reduce this chance.

Additionally, dogs with anxiety problems may eat grass due to their nerves. If you know your dog is anxious and you see him eating grass often, you may want to speak to your veterinarian for more information about methods for treating your dog’s anxiety.

Fiber

Eating grass is a great way for your dog to get fiber in his diet. Although dogs may get some fiber from the kibble we feed them, there may be times when they realize they need more of it in their diets as well. If this happens, they are more likely to start eating grass to supplement their diets.

There’s no harm in letting your dog eat grass, even if he’s doing it because he needs fiber. However, you might want to take a moment to check out the ingredients in the food you’re giving him, and consider upgrading to a higher-fiber diet instead.

Mimicking

Some dogs may see other dogs or other family pets eating grass and may decide they should do the same thing. This mimicry is most common in puppies who pick up the behavior from older dogs around them. If you take a young dog to the dog park, he may come back home with a new grass eating habit!

Once again, there’s no real harm in this. However, grass can sometimes contain parasites, which can be much more harmful for puppies than they may be for adult dogs in some cases. Because of this, it’s a good idea to try to stop your puppy from eating grass if you can.

Curiosity or Fun

Finally, dogs may eat grass simply because they are curious about it or they think it’s fun to do so. It may just be an activity that is part of your dog’s regular behavior, simply because it’s there.

Some dogs may eat a little grass now and then, but then stop for a long time. This usually happens when a dog is just curious about the grass and wants to give it a try. Dogs who eat grass for fun, however, may do so almost every time they go outside!

Do I Need to Call a Vet if My Dog Eats Grass?

As you can see, there are several reasons why dogs might want to eat grass, but it’s hard to say for sure which one, if any, is true for your dog. For the most part, however, there’s no cause for alarm if your dog is eating grass, even if he throws it up later.

You should always take your dog to the vet if he throws up more than once or twice, though. Frequent or uncontrollable vomiting are very dangerous and are not related to grass eating, so pay attention to your dog’s symptoms closely. If you have any other questions about this behavior in your dog, or want to schedule an appointment because your dog has become sick from eating grass, contact any one of our locations today.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.

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About The Village Vets

The Village Vets is a network of three animal hospitals based in Atlanta, GA and the surrounding area. We offer honest, excellent service to our clients in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. To learn more about our locations and how we can better serve you and your pet, click the button below.