Health

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

German Shepherd laying in Grass

If you own dogs and have a lawn, odds are you have seen your dogs eat grass.

You have also probably seen your dogs vomit promptly after eating the grass. This raises the obvious question if grass makes dogs throw up, why do they consume it?

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Dogs eat grass for two main reasons:

  1. To Purge
  2. Because they want to

grass

Occasionally a dog will consume a large amount of grass in a short amount of time in an attempt to make themselves throw up.

When our dogs have an upset stomach, gas, bloating, they’ve consumed something that they should not have or they’re dealing with a virus or bacteria and they just don’t feel well, vomiting is one way to get to get rid of something in their system that shouldn’t be there.

When dogs eat grass because they don’t feel well, their behavior may be frantic. They may whine or whimper at the door to go out. Once outside they are not selective, they just start to gorge on the nearest patch of grass until they vomit.

If your dog occasionally eats grass and vomits you should not be concerned. Trust your dog’s instincts. Trust your dog knows something they have digested is making them unwell and they want and need to get it out of their system.

white dog vomiting

Dog Eating Grass to Purge

If your dog is consistently consuming grass and vomiting, something is wrong.

The first thing to do is re-evaluate your dog’s diet. The food that you’re feeding may be a great quality that your dog has been on for years with no previous issues but it may be time to make a change.

Switch brands, switch flavors and switch protein sources. If you have been feeding commercial dry food you may want to research the health benefits of slowly moving your dog onto a freshly sourced diet (raw dog food).

Another recommendation is to consider adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to your dog’s food. Probiotics help to restore the beneficial good bacteria in your dog’s gut and can help your dog process their food.

Dog Eating Grass Because They Want To

A second grass eating scenario is one that is not frantic.

Your dog is outside in your yard and suddenly begins to sniff and seek out grass with intention. Specifically, tall grass that is overgrown.

Your dog is not frantic. Your dog consumes the tall grass and then moves along onto other yard business. This scenario boils down to your dog eating grass because they want to.

german shepherd dog eating grass

Is it possible that your dog is eating grass to add nutrients that are missing from their diet, or they eating grass as a matter of taste? Scientifically, there is no way to determine why dogs consume grass.

Is Eating Grass Normal Dog Behavior?

Wild dogs, wolves, and coyotes all consume grass and it’s considered completely normal behavior.

Grass is a living green food that is a source of fiber, contains phytonutrients, some chlorophyll, is high in potassium and is also a pretty good source of digestive enzymes.

Your dog could be selectively seeking out grass for nutritional components they’re not getting in their diet and this is nothing to be concerned about.

As long as your well-fed and well-cared for dog isn’t spending an inordinate amount of time throwing up, and your grass isn’t treated with toxins such as pesticides, herbicides or chemicals there is no need to worry or prevent your dog from eating grass.

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