A dog eats grass.
The Airedaile Terrier dog eats the grass at the backyard

Since dogs explore the world around them through their nose and mouth, it makes sense that they try to taste as much as they can. Socks, table food, feces, and more round out the canine palette. Some of their choices are, well, less than “choice,” but as long as they aren’t harmed by their explorations, it’s usually okay (provided you can get beyond the gross factor). At the top of the list of brow-raising antics is eating plant matter. Dogs eat grass (and other green things) for many reasons, but does that mean it’s safe?

Cause And Effect

The canine behavior of grass-eating may not bother all dog owners, but chances are the effects are off-putting. By this, we mean the vomiting that typically comes with the territory of eating this fibrous plant. 

Despite the fact that this is a universally canine pattern, eating grass isn’t fully understood. That being said, however, we can definitely provide some insight into this curiously canine trait.

They Like It

We like eating our greens, why wouldn’t dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy the taste? Indeed, dogs are omnivorous eaters and they like a varied diet of meat, grains, and vegetables. Eating vegetation can extend to sticks and other chomp-tastic natural offerings, but dogs eat grass because they are instinctively drawn to the nutrients provided in the blades. 

If you suspect your dog would benefit from a fiber-rich diet, please let us know. Changing their diet abruptly can cause more problems in the long-run.

Just Because

Some dogs eat grass because it’s something to do. They might like tearing it up from the ground and the chewing can relieve boredom. Beefing up their physical exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce their fascination. 

Tummy Troubles

Sometimes dogs eat grass to relieve tummy troubles. This might seem counter-intuitive, but because grass can be a natural emetic, dogs feel better after they throw up the grass (and whatever else they need to purge). If your dog is otherwise appearing and acting normal and healthy, try not to jump to conclusions. However, if they are lethargic, show no interest in food or treats, and generally lack interest in the goings-on, it’s time to act quickly. 

Dogs Eat Grass

In and of itself, the act of eating grass shouldn’t raise too many alarm bells. If they are taking it too far (and vomiting more frequently) it could be a good idea to have them examined. Furthermore, training your dog not to eat grass may be a healthy alternative to the grass-eating/vomiting cycle.

As always, if you have additional questions about canine curiosities, behavior and wellness, our staff at Dupont Veterinary Clinic is happy to help.