Why Your Dog Is Eating Grass

Why do dogs eat grassYou may be surprised to find out that the reason dogs eat grass may not be coming from a physical problem, but a mental problem.

Concerned dog owners are often left scratching their heads wondering why their dogs seem to love eating grass. In fact, many dogs will eat grass, vomit, and then go right back to eating grass again.

You may think the obvious, their stomach is upset and they eat the grass to vomit it up. Maybe they ate something  poisonous, or is the dog self-treating some undiagnosed medical issue?

Some dogs do vomit after eating grass, however not all dogs vomit. In fact, the majority of dogs eat grass without showing symptoms of stomach upset either before or after eating grass. This seems to indicate that it’s unlikely that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting. So, why do they do it?

Physical Reasons for Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dogs are omnivores which means that good health relies on plant foods as well as high quality meat. Eating grass may be an easy, and seemingly tasty way for dogs to add roughage to their diet, helping to keep things flowing through their gastrointestinal tract (GI or digestive tract).

If your dog is eating grass and also also showing signs of stomach discomfort, there may be a medical problem. Dogs can suffer from a number of GI issues including gastric reflux, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is eating grass, and has other symptoms such as lack of appetite, decreased energy, diarrhea, or constipation, it’s time to see your vet.

Psychological Reasons for Why Dogs Eat Grass

If your dog is not showing any symptoms of digestive issues but munches relentlessly on grass, consider psychological reasons for their behavior. Maybe Fido is bored or feeling anxious for some reason.

Recently we moved to a different house. We have 2 dogs.  On our walks, I noticed both dogs were eating grass. It seemed odd since they had never done this before. Could it be that they are having anxiety from moving from the only house they had ever known? Perhaps they are suffering separation anxiety from the long paths we used to take and the many scents from their neighborhood buddies.

Since neither is showing any signs of stomach ailment, Dr. Whitworth thinks they are fine and the grass eating should subside after they become more acclimated with their new home. Dogs do have feelings!

Is Grass Safe For Dogs to Eat?

For dogs that are otherwise healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be safe.

To keep your grass grazing dog healthy, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers on the grass your dog nibbles.

For any other concerns or questions, call Whitworth Animal Clinic in Madison, AL 256-830-1503.