Why do Dogs Eat Grass

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:25am

This is a very common question from dog owners.  It is often a concern that owners have that something is wrong with their pet.  There is not one specific response to the question, but we will review several below:

  1. A lot of veterinarians agree that dogs eat grass in order to relieve gastrointestinal (stomach) issues. These include stomach ulcers, gastroenteritis, internal parasites and possibly intestinal infections.
  2. Many others believe that dogs eat grass to increase the amount of fiber in their diet.
  3. Still others believe that there are micronutrients that are contained with the leaves of the grass.  This theory states that your dog is trying to gain some small amounts of these micronutrients that are missing in his/ her diet.
  4. Some simply answer the question by stating: "My dog eats grass because he likes it."
  5. Wild dogs often eat fruits, vegetables and other plant matter.  Some is subtle, coming in the form of the digestive contents of the animals that they eat.
  6. Dogs are scavengers, by nature.  In the wild they will look for anything and everything to eat.  This is often demonstrated when they scavenger underneath your dinner table following a meal.  
  7. Believe it or not, dogs can get bored too.  Some believe that they go out and eat grass simply for something to chew on.

Whatever the reason that dogs eat grass, there may be cause for concern.  Most of the time it is harmless, but it could be an indication of a bigger problem.  Always note if there is a new behavior in your dog.  If she is all of the sudden eating grass, watch to see what else is changing.  Is her appetite increase?  What about the amount of water he is drinking?  A sudden change in eating habits may be an indication of a GI problem, so watch him/ her as he/she defecates.  Is the stool normal?  Is it formed, runny or bloody?  

Click here to read and article about reasons to take your pet to the veterinarian.  (This article is forthcoming and not published at this time)