If you’re wondering what it means when a dog eats grass, rest assured, you were not sold a cow in disguise when getting your dog.
More than half of the dog population eats grass frequently when given the chance, while nearly all of them at one point in their life give it a go.
But, it is bad when a dog starts to eat grass?
Most people know that dogs are primarily carnivores; they’re only too happy to share a juicy steak with you.
But unlike their feline counterparts, dog ancestors had a habit of munching on wild berries, eggs, insects, and any other type of food they came across. Wolves still munch on grass, and their descendants display the same behavior.
Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
When They Feel Sick
Sometimes dogs will eat grass as a method of cleaning their stomach. If they’re feeling sick, they’ll munch away to fill the void and give themselves something to purge, so they can rid themselves of whatever sickness and feel better.
But this isn’t always the case. If your dog nibbles on grass without having to throw up afterward, this indicates that your pet has other reasons.
They Might Be Bored
Dogs that become bored might display a tendency to eat things that don’t really count as food.
When possible non-food items include things like plastic and toys, grass is certainly the least bad thing to start nibbling on.
If you think your dog might be bored, it’s a good idea to look into ways to entertain them before they switch to more unhealthy snacks.
A Need for Fiber
A lot of commercial dog food isn’t ‘one breed fits all.’
Even if the dog food you’re buying is advertized for your dog’s size, they might have different needs from the breed standard. If you find your dog to be a habitual grass eater, try switching to a dog food with higher fiber content.
Dealing with Stomach Parasites
In the wild, many animals consume grass because it helps deal with intestinal problems.
Even if your dog gets checked by the vet regularly, they might simple feel that it’s better to be safe than sorry and start munching away.
They Like Doing It
Some dogs just enjoy the occasional taste of grass, in the same way we enjoy having a quick snack in the sun.
Here’s a good video on why some dogs like to eat their greens:
Why Do Dogs Eat Grass When Sick?
Owners often notice that when their pooch gobbles up grass, it’s followed by throwing up.
It’s tempting to attribute this to them simply being unable to digest grass: after all, us humans don’t go around grazing in the field.
But when dogs eat grass, it’s often with good reason. Dogs and cats both realize that sometimes, the only way of getting rid of something bad in your body, is to throw up and be rid of it.
Your dog might have eaten something that doesn’t sit right, and instinctively knows that throwing up might be the most efficient way to get rid of it.
So when you see you dog eating a large amount of grass, or quickly swallowing several clumps, they’re trying to upset their stomach and cure themselves.
It’s not the most charming solution, but we’ve all had that moment when we just feel better after throwing up.
It is important to note that frequent throwing up, for any living creature, is a sign that there is something wrong. At the very least, your pet runs the risk of becoming dehydrated, so when you notice your dog throwing up frequently, it’s best to take a quick trip to the vet.
Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
Yes and no.
Ultimately, dogs hardly ever experience negative consequences from eating grass, or the occasional indoor houseplant if grass is unavailable, so that’s no reason to stop them.
They could, however, become sick through pesticides and the like sprayed on grass. We can wash our veggies before eating them, but dogs don’t have that luxury.
If you suspect the neighborhood green is often doused in chemicals, it’s worth it to consider providing separate greens for your dog. Check with your vet on what kind of vegetables might be a good idea.
If your dog stays mostly indoors, keep an eye on your houseplants. Some plants are poisonous to our pets, so it’s a good idea to keep those safely out of the way.
And, of course, if your dog is eating grass to throw up afterwards, then it’s always best to get them checked by the vet.
Usually, there is no immediate cause for concern if you see your dog gently nibbling on some grass. Many dogs prefer to sample the occasional blade or two, with no repercussions for dog or owner.
However, if you feel that they’re consuming grass in worrying amounts, or getting sick after eating grass, it pays to have them checked out. A vigilant dog owner can avoid a lot of future health problems, just by keeping an eye on the grazing.
What do you do when your dog eats grass?