Why dogs eat grass?

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Mike Tanaka


Why is my dog eating grass? Often we catch our wonderful canine friends eating some peculiar things: from poop to dirt, it’s one of the most commonly asked questions that veterinarians get from dog owners.

First, it’s normal for dogs to munch on grass every now and then. In fact, more than 70% of dog owners have reported catching them in the act. There are a few theories floating around on this peculiar behavior so let’s explore what it could mean.

They might like the taste

One theory is that dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy the taste and texture.

They might find it refreshing and satisfying, almost like a little snack or change of pace from their regular diet.

They might be relieving upset stomach or nausea

Another interesting theory is that sometimes dogs eat grass to help soothe their stomachs. Dogs aren’t always the best at digesting certain foods or dealing with indigestion, and when they feel a bit off, they might turn to grass to induce vomit.

It’s common to see a pool of dog vomit filled with grass when you own a dog. However, whether they vomited because of the eating grass or if they ate it to induce vomit is up for debate. 

Our Golden Retriever eats grass and flowers

Max, our resident Golden, eats grass on occasion. I’ve seen him munching on it a handful of times. He seems to prefer newer longer blades of grass and does not vomit from it.

Another time, we were wondering why our flowers petals in the backyard kept disappearing until we caught him lapping them up!

Heat stroke experience

On the other hand, one summer Max and I were hiking in a hot day with sun blazing and although the trail had shade all around, I noticed Max start to eat up grass with surprising urgency.

This was the only time he vomited from grass, and I knew something was off. I took him straight to the vet and found out he was having early signs of heat stroke. 

From this experience, the theory that they are relieving some sort of unpleasantness could actually be true. 

Excessive grass eating

If you notice your dog eating an excessive amount of grass or showing signs of distress after eating it, it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian right away.

They can help determine if there’s an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

When you catch your dog occasionally eating a bit of grass and shows no ill effects, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you see them eating it in an abnormal manner, it could be them showing some kind of distress.

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