Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?

January 11, 2016 | Lawn Care, posted by Sasha

english bulldog puppy laying down eating the grass

Dogs eat grass because they like to eat grass.

At least, that’s the primary reason. Dogs descend from a line of canines that are omnivores. Canines eat meat, but they also eat plants. Because of their omnivorous status, they might go after your lawn simply because it tastes good.

A common theory is that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting or eliminate intestinal worms, though there’s not too much evidence to support this claim. Consuming grass can lead to vomiting, but this only happens to about 25% of dogs.

Also, eating grass may be a way that a dog tries to have a varied diet. If certain nutrients are missing in your dog’s diet, this may induce cravings. Their natural instincts may kick in, which causes them to start eating grass.

Grass is rich in nutrients such as:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Fiber

If a dog is deficient in one of these nutrients, then they may munch on some grass to replenish them.

Should I be concerned?

Most grass is harmless to your dogs. Unless your lawn has been sprayed with herbicides or other chemicals, your dog should be fine.

However, if your dog is gulping down grass on a regular basis, it may be time to take them to a veterinarian.

If you are concerned about your dog’s grass eating habits, ask yourself these questions:

  • How often is your dog eating grass?If it’s daily or potentially weekly, your dog is demonstrating abnormal behavior.
  • When is your dog eating grass?If it’s before eating a meal, this could be a sign that the dog is simply hungry. If it’s after, this could signal something else.

If there is abnormal eating of grass, your dog may be suffering from a medical disorder. For instance, diagnoses such as cancer or diabetes can make a dog extra hungry. This could lead to compulsive eating.

If your vet has not been able to pinpoint a medical reason, then the dog may simply just like to eat grass at an abnormally large rate. It is not uncommon for dogs to engage in pica, or the consumption of non-food items such as grass. If they do not seem to be in bad shape, and your vet has ruled that they are medically sound, then it’s perfectly okay. That said, you might be worried about more than your dog’s health!

How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Eating My Lawn?

If you are worried about the state of your lawn, you can pet-proof if to keep it safe. There are simple and easy techniques to prevent your dog from munching on the grass without harming them.

Since your dog’s grass-eating may be nutritionally caused, try switching to a healthier diet. Dog foods rich in fiber could curb their habits and end their reign of terror on your lawn.

Also, you could increase their physical activity. The grass eating might be due to a behavioral disorder, which you can solve by engaging the animal with exercise, toys, or other stimulating activity. For example, longer or more frequent walks may tire them out, which could curb the grass eating.

If you have more questions about your grass and your dog, talk to The Grass Outlet. We have dealt with many lawns that have fallen victim to hungry dogs. If you have more tips or more questions, send us an e-mail and we can help you.