In this post, our Waxhaw vets explain why dogs eat grass, and whether this habit is safe or good for them.
Why do dogs eat grass?
There are a couple of reasons your dog may be munching on grass. These include:
The primary reason that dogs eat grass is that they need more roughage in their diets — just like humans. Grass is a good and readily accessible source of fiber.
Also similar to humans, a diet lacking in roughage can result in your dog's ability to effectively digest food becoming hindered, which may make it more difficult to pass stool. Eating grass may be an effort to help their bodies function more smoothly.
That said, if your dog is showing signs of an upset stomach along with eating grass, something more serious may be going on. Book an appointment with your vet so they can test for any medical issues, or diagnose them and provide treatment.
Anxiety or boredom may trigger some dogs to eat grass. Though most dogs will have no problem finding activities to keep them occupied while outside, some will eventually grow bored when alone and nibble on grass to pass the time?
Dogs that are feeling anxious may eat grass as a kind of mindless comfort, much the same way some people bite their fingernails when stressed or anxious. Many pet parents notice that their dogs tend to eat more grass when they're feeling anxious, lonely or bored.
If you think your dog is eating grass for psychological reasons, you have a few potential options. For dogs experiencing separation anxiety, providing them with an old t-shirt or blanket with your familiar scent to cuddle up with may offer comfort while you're away.
For bored dogs, a puzzle toy may offer much-needed mental stimulation. If your dog is on the active side, strenuous play sessions and more frequent walks may benefit them. And for dogs that need other dogs to socialize with, doggie day care or time at the dog park may be a great remedy.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
Unless your dog is eating grass in excessive amounts or is showing signs of stomach upset, and as long as they are given parasite prevention medication consistently, eating grass is perfectly safe, and nothing you need to worry about.
A note of caution: Please ensure there are no herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers used on the grass that your dog is eating, as this can prove dangerous.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.