Does your dog consider an overgrown lawn a delicious salad bar? Why do some dogs seem to love “mowing” the grass with their teeth? And is it safe for dogs to eat grass? We’ve got the dirt on grass-eating dogs and what their behavior means.
The top reasons dogs eat grass
We’ve all heard that dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit, but that doesn’t appear to be the whole picture.
Dogs do occasionally eat grass and vomit afterward, but most of the time dogs seem to enjoy a nibble of the green stuff and move on.
Other possible causes for eating grass include a nutritional deficit in their diet or a lack of fiber.
For some dogs, the cause is curiosity, boredom, or habit. And heck, some dogs just plain love the taste.
In the wild, dogs consume their prey whole—including the stomach and its contents— like the partially-digested fiber and grains of their herbivorous prey.
Eating grass may be a way for domesticated dogs to get some of the fiber their ancestors did by hunting.
And yes, wild dogs have been observed enjoying the occasional blade of grass. It’s pretty natural behavior.
How to stop your dog from eating grass
You might consider adding some raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet. The added roughage could calm their grass cravings.
Dog-friendly fruits and veggies:
- Sweet potato
- Snap peas
- Green beans
- Apples (hold the seeds, please)
- Lettuce and cabbage ends
If your dog is eating grass from boredom, make sure she is getting enough daily exercise and interaction.
Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?
Eating grass is not dangerous or harmful in and of itself. However, do pay attention to the products you apply to your grass, including weed killers, pesticides, or fertilizers. Avoid hazardous toxins where possible.
Additionally, it’s smart to keep an eye on what your dog is eating besides grass, such as toxic weeds or flowers growing in your garden.
What to watch out for
While it’s perfectly normal for dogs to enjoy the occasional gourmet greens, there are warning signs to look out for. Most concerning is a sudden change in behavior, such as eating grass and then vomiting.
Be sure to consult your vet about any such changes.
More fun dog facts: 7 Dog Myths Debunked
Featured image: © Amonthep Inseesungwon | Dreamstime.com – Golden retriever dog