Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?20 June 2023
A lot of our dogs like to munch on a bit of grass when they're out for walks or playing in the garden, but the question is why do they do it and is it safe?
Why do dogs eat grass?
There are multiple reasons why your dog is eating grass which include:
- They have an upset stomach - Some of our pups choose to eat grass because their stomach just doesn't feel right. Their wolf cousins for example, are thought to often use grass eating to try and reduce the amount of worms in their stomachs. Some dogs will make themselves sick by eating grass but a recent study shows that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass.
- Something is missing from their diet - Although it's not that common, there is a possibility that dogs with diets low in nutrients or lacking fibre, might be using grass to make up for it. Make sure your dog is eating a quality, balanced diet.
- They're bored - Some dogs can have a try of some grass because they've got nothing else to do. Maybe they're lazing about in the garden and not playing with their toys and think they'll have a wee try. If it becomes an obsessive behaviour though it could be that they need more mental stimulation and support from a qualified canine behaviourist.
- They like the taste - Recent opinions are suggesting this is the most common reason that dogs eat grass. They simply like having a good munch on some fresh, lush green grass for no reason except they think it's yummy!
Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?
Yes, it is generally safe for dogs to eat grass but always make sure the grass has not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals that could harm your dog. Also make sure your dog is up to date on lungworm prevention treatment as well if they like a good chomp on the lawn, as slugs and snails might be accidentally eaten by your pooch or they can leave behind dangerous lungworm larvae in their snail trails as they slither over the grass.
When should I speak to my vet?
Any time you have worries about your canine companion you should give you vet a call. When it comes to grass, speak to your vet if your pooch will eat grass but not their normal meal, they are being sick regularly when eating grass, they are sick and bring up blood or anything else abnormal (see our vomit colours guide), if they are becoming obsessed with eating grass and you are concerned about their behaviour and if there is anything about their current health or behaviour that concerns you.
This article is for information only, and should never replace any advice, diagnosis or treatment from your veterinary surgeon. Always contact your local vet or out of hours vet without delay if you have any concerns about your dog.
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