Some of our dogs love to eat grass and there are numerous reasons why this happens. But you want to make sure that eating grass is normal and won’t harm your dog. Here are 5 of the main reasons why your dog munches on grass, plants, leaves, dirt, and weeds. Typically it’s no reason to sound the alarms and is generally considered safe. However, it’s always important to figure out why so if something is off you are able to detect that as quickly as possible. So with anything, consult your vet with any weird changes in their behavior to make sure it’s not something more serious.
1. Dogs eat grass out of boredom
You’re not boring your dog, are you? One of the simplest reasons could be that’s it’s just something to do. It’s like walking over to your refrigerator five times in ten minutes for no particular reason. It makes the time go by and it’s rewarding behavior. If your dog is under-stimulated, eating grass could just be something they are doing to feed this fuel of doing something. It is so important to not only spend time with our pups but interact with them as well. Go to the park and run around with them, play tug of war, do activities they love (and often!) with them. This may alleviate their desire because hanging with their dog mom is way cooler.
2. Your dog could have a nutritional deficiency
Just like humans have cravings, your dog knows when they are lacking in vitamins, minerals, or nutrients. Dogs will eat grass and weeds to try and fill this deficiency. For example, your pup may need more fiber so they try to intake all the grass. Make sure your pup has a well-balanced diet to help mitigate this reason. Talk to your veterinarian about any suspected possible nutritional deficiency that they may not be getting.
3. Grass eating could be motivated by stomach problems
Your poor pup may have stomach issues. Some dogs eat grass as a way to induce vomiting so they can throw up whatever isn’t settling in their tummy. Your dog could also have an underlying GI disease.
Eating grass helps flush out toxins and makes them feel better. Look out for any lip-licking, vomiting, upset stomach, lethargy as that’s a red flag to get to your vet.
4. Because grass is yummy
They just may enjoy the taste or texture. Freshly cut grass or spring grass may make their mouth water and be the stuff their dog dreams are made of. Don’t judge. Your pup could also be hungry so the grass could suffice for a snack. Notice the time of day when they are eating it the most. Before a meal? Maybe your pup is showing signs of hunger.
5. It goes way back to the dog’s ancestry
It’s innate. Dog’s natural instincts have shown to have grass-eating behavior. It’s in their genetic make-up and goes back to the days when they hunted their prey. This is a piece of their genetic make-up and ‘baby they were born this way’.
Any sudden changes where your dog is starving for grass should be evaluated by your vet. So while, no, it typically isn’t a reason to worry, there are always situations where it’s a sign of a bigger issue. And there are potential safety issues that may not be visible. You don’t know what has touched the grass. There could be parasites or the grass could contain herbicides and pesticides.