PetMeds® Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dogs can eat grass because they are ill, lack nutrients in their diet, or just consume it to eat it Another common question presented by canine guardians is why does their dog eat grass?  This common behavior can have many potential causes.  Some dogs will graze on grass when their stomachs are upset. By ingesting chlorophyll and other purging nutrients in grass, this will often allow dogs to vomit, which makes them feel better. In other situations, dogs will graze on grass when their diet is deficient, although this is much less common. Always try and feed as natural a diet as possible, preferably one minimally processed with no byproducts and preserved naturally. If at all possible I would refer clients to books outlining how to make a proper homemade diet.

My clients that have made the transition over to proper homemade diets have seen amazing results in their animals in a wide variety of symptoms, including some pets no longer eating grass.  Many of these homemade recipes will include many green leafy veggies which contain very important phytonutrients and antioxidants that have wonderful health benefits.

And finally there are pets who simply are what I call “lawn mowers,” in that they just have a habit of eating grass. As long as the grass has not recently been treated with pesticides or contains toxic mushrooms, most dogs tolerate eating grass just fine. It is important to keep in mind that the diets of the prey of wild dogs do contain grasses and grains, which dogs will consume indirectly when killing and eating an animal in the wild.

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  1. My pit bull doesn’t eat grass on our lawn, or anywhere else EXCEPT at 4 or 5 specific locations, all which happen to be along the edge of wooded areas, on our most frequently-travelled paths when she’s on a leash and we walk her into town. It’s obvously a specific kind of grass. She goes absolutely bananas when we approach one of these ‘special grass spots,’ and she will drag us over to it. If you’ve ever owned a pit bull then you know how strong they are–she will put all her muscle into dragging us over to that Special Grass and she then gobbles it up as fast as she can. I swear, it’s as if she can’t eat it fast enough. We let her eat it for a bit because she loves it so much–but we also don’t want her throwing up big globs of green stuff onto our carpet.

    What IS this tasty kind of grass? Why does our dog crave it so much? Should I just let her eat it?

  2. PS: We live in southeastern PA, in New Hope PA. Our home is less than 1/4 mile from the Delaware River.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Different grasses can have different chemical makeups she may like. As long as grass has not been sprayed with pesticide than I dont think it is a problem.

  4. Hey, great post. I often wondered if it was because they needed a little “roughage” in their diets. Hey, I found a neat way to get vegetables in a dogs diet and save a little money on chewy toys.

    I don’t know if someone already figured it out yet, but I started giving my dogs raw carrot sticks instead of rawhide chewies- and they love them! Especially in the hot summers when they come in from outside. I shave the outsides off and snip each end of the carrot and size it for the 2 different dogs.
    It’s cold, has vitamins, water , good “crunch” to chew factor and I notice they don’t eat as much grass.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 19, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    That is a great idea and carrots are great for dogs being an excellent source of Vitamin A and antioxidants, as well as being excellent exercise for their teeth. Much healthier treats than milk bones!!!

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    You are very welcome. Please pass this information on to your family and friends.

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