Why Do Dogs Eat Grass (and is it Safe)?

Beverly Hills MI dog eating grass

If you’re like most dog owners, you’ve probably noticed Fido snacking on grass from time to time. For many dogs, a bit of greenery is an occasional indulgence and doesn’t cause their owners much if any concern. Some pups, however, take it to the extreme by gulping down large amounts of grass whenever possible.

We get the question, “Why do dogs eat grass?” so often here at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates that we figured it was high time to educate our readers on this normal, yet perplexing, doggie behavior.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dogs eat all kinds of things (some more appetizing than others) for all kinds of reasons. Grass eating is common, and can be rooted in a variety of physical or psychological causes.

Instinct – Although modern dogs have adapted beautifully to life with humans, their ancestors were omnivorous hunters and scavengers who survived off of not just meat, but every part of the animal. Eating grass may be a way for some dogs to supplement their diet as their ancestors did.

Boredom/anxiety – Boredom and anxiety can produce all kinds of odd behaviors in dogs. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from one or both, increase their daily activity (longer walks, more playtime, and obedience training are good starting points).

Upset stomach – It’s a common belief that dogs eat grass to cure an upset stomach, but in reality this is the case only about 25% of the time.

Safety Concerns

Although grass-eating is usually perfectly safe, there are a few things to consider when it comes to keeping your dog healthy.

  • Eating grass has the potential to transmit parasites to your dog through the droppings of other animals, so be sure they are on a year-round parasite prevention protocol.
  • Pesticides and herbicides in grass can be toxic to your dog. Don’t allow your dog to eat grass unless you know the area has not been treated.
  • If your dog seems to be eating grass obsessively, or is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea, please give us a call.
  • Grass in general is safe, but there are many types of plants that are toxic to pets. If you think your dog has ingested something toxic, call us immediately or bring them to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about your dog. Our team is here for you!