We’ve all been there…You’re out for a stroll with your dog, maybe you look down at your phone for a second, and when you look back up, your pup is munching on a mouthful of grass. Later on, when you get home, your might find a little puddle of green vomit on your carpet. Delightful! So, why do dogs eat grass? Though it may seem strange, there are a number of practical reasons for your pooch to be snacking on a little bit of grass from time to time.
An Upset Stomach
One of the prevailing theories on why dogs eat grass is to cure themselves of an upset stomach. The idea is that if your dog feels sick, they will eat a little bit of grass, forcing them to throw up whatever is upsetting their tummy. Although this is considered common knowledge to most dog owners, some vets dismiss this as an old wives tale. They argue that less than ten percent of dogs who eat grass had symptoms of feeling unwell beforehand. Some doctors also argue that dogs are not smart enough to understand the correlation between eating something and vomiting. (Not very nice!)
This may sounds strange, but one very real reason your dog could be eating grass is just plain boredom. Dogs are naturally curious animals, and they love to use their senses of smell and taste to check things out. Especially if you have a puppy, they are going to have endless energy to explore, smell, and eat anything they may come across. In fact, your dog may be munching on grass simply because they like the taste!
Pica is a condition, common in dogs, where they will eat random things that have little to no nutritional value. Common examples include dirt, flowers, poop (yuck!), and grass. The most widely accepted cause of Pica is nutritional or dietary deficiencies. Basically, if your dog is eating random things, they may be lacking important vitamins or minerals in their diet. This will force them to subconsciously seek these nutrients elsewhere, even in something inedible. If your dog has a craving for things that they shouldn’t be eating, then it may be time to switch to a different type of dog food or even an entirely different diet for them.
Is Eating Grass Bad for Your Dog?
Alright, a lot of information to unpack here…You are probably sitting there wondering if eating grass can cause any actual harm for your pets. The answer is probably no, but there are a few factors to consider. In 99.99 percent of situations, the worst that will happen if your dog eats some grass is that they will vomit. While this may be an unwanted surprise on your brand new carpet, your pup will be completely fine.
In extremely rare cases, dogs will sometimes ingest parasites that live in the grass.
While this can be harmful, as long as you are in tune with your dog’s wellbeing, a quick appointment at the vet and some meds can cure them pretty quickly. The only real danger that eating grass presents is the risk of your pooch ingesting pesticides or herbicides. Always be aware if you hire somebody to work on your lawn if you have pets. Make sure to ask them if they are going to be spraying anything on your lawn and do your own research. Sometimes it can be as simple as keeping your dog off of the lawn for a period of a few hours. In summation, generally speaking, your dog will be totally fine if they eat a little grass.
For more information about your dog eating grass or other plants, check out our article on 7 Common Houseplants that are Dangerous for Dogs!