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Why do dogs eat grass?

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 24/04/2015   Category: Expert Advice

We have recently had an increase in phone calls and emails from worried dog owners about their dogs eating grass and about the consequences that come with it. First things first, relax; whilst there is not one solid reason as to why your dog will be doing this, vets will reassure you that it is just part of being a dog and their behaviour.

You could try to figure out why your dog does this and work out ways to prevent or at least decrease the amount of grass they are eating especially if it is making them ill.

Dogs love the outdoors and will always want to be in the garden however if this ends up with them eating your lawn until they vomit then you will most likely want to do something about it.

Firstly, dogs find grass tasty. Dogs are programmed to go and find the food that they need and whilst they may not be hungry they could be lacking in certain food groups such a fiber so they use grass as a substitute so you could try changing your dogs food to a high fibre kibble and see if this makes a change over a month. Always allow enough time to notice change as sometimes choices have turned into habits so ensure you wait at least 4 weeks before deciding it isn’t their diet. Also your dog could just really enjoy grass as a tasty snack between meals.

Secondly, keep a diary of when your dog is eating grass. When your dog is feeling ill, maybe they’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with them they can eat grass to self medicate and vomit up their food. If this happens quite often you should visit your vet as there could be an underlying problem with your dog that needs medical attention.

Some dogs eat grass simply because they are bored. Dogs need to be mentally stimulated each day and when they are bored they will find things to do such as eating grass. If you notice your dog eats grass when you are not with them then this could be the reason why they are doing it. Try buying your dog a new chew toy regularly or playing with them a little bit extra per day and see if this improves things.

If you are still unsure they please be assured that eating grass does not harm your dog at all. Ensure you do not use any fertilisers or toxic products on your grass. If you believe your dog has eaten grass that has had any treatments of toxic products on then call you vet immediately to check your dog is not in danger.