Have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass? This is a common behavior noticed by many dog owners, which leaves their heads in confusion. In this article, we will see why dogs engage in this unusual behavior. We will explore the possible reasons behind their grass-eating habits and explain how you can take their special care. One thing you must know is that dogs are not strictly meat eaters, they can eat anything to fulfill their dietary needs. However, usually, they eat what they hunted, which includes meat, bones, internal organs, and stomach. They fulfill their fiber needs from the grass and plants contained in their prey’s stomach.

Most of the dogs also eat grass during their walks or in the backyard. Additionally, sometimes they also eat grass out of boredom and to satisfy their natural instincts. Another possibility is that grass may act as a natural digestive aid to help the dogs to alleviate upset stomachs. But dog owners need to know that all grass is not safe for dogs. Some can be toxic and lead to discomfort and vomiting. Let’s first discuss the possible reasons for their grass-eating behavior.

Some Possible Reasons Why Your Dog is Eating Grass

Natural Instincts

Primarily, dogs are carnivorous. However, their natural instincts drive them to eat grass. Occasionally, their wild ancestors’ wolves also consume the vegetation as part of their diet. So, this behavior of dogs gave evolutionary roots. They ingest plants to obtain additional nutrients, and fiber, or to aid in digestion. Today, these natural instincts are also observed in domesticated dogs. However, the exact reason can vary from dog to dog. In fact, not all types of grass are safe for dogs. So, owners should take care that their dogs don’t have access to toxic grass.

Nutritional Needs

Sometimes dogs eat grass to fulfill their certain nutritional needs. As they are carnivores, so their diet can lack an adequate amount of fiber or specific vitamins and minerals. So, they start eating grass to get dietary fiber, which aids in their digestion and promotes their bowel movements. Additionally, grass also contains many other beneficial nutrients that are good for their overall health. Many veterinarians believe that it’s a natural way for dogs to supplement their diet. However, it’s important to understand that grass alone is not the best food for dogs. So, as a good way, you can consult with your veterinarian to know whether your dog is eating the grass due to nutritional deficiencies or due to any other reason. Make sure your furry companion is receiving the appropriate diet and supplementation.

Digestive Aid

The grass also acts as a digestive aid for dogs in certain critical situations, especially when they have an upset stomach. Your dog may also eat grass when experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort to induce vomiting. It helps them to eliminate something that is causing them discomfort. They expel the indigestible substances by eating more fiber content. It’s important to avoid the toxic varieties of grass and the grass that is treated with pesticides. But make sure to consult with your veterinarian if your dog certainly experiences digestive problems or shows signs of illness.

Behavior and Boredom

Many dogs do unexpected things when they get bored or distressed. These are curious creatures that start exploring with their mouths during boredom. You may find them nibbling on grass simply out of curiosity. Many bored dogs that are seeking mental stimulation eat grass as a form of entertainment. Chewing on grass offers them a different texture and taste. So, provide them with proper mental and physical stimulation if your dog is eating grass due to boredom and destructive behavior. You can engage them in activities such as regular exercise, and playtime, and offer them interactive toys to alleviate boredom. However, if you noticed your dog is consistently eating grass, provide them alternative forms of mental stimulation.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Sometimes dogs start eating grass due to gastrointestinal issues, especially when they experience stomach discomforts such as indigestion, excess gas, or bloating. They eat grass as a form of self-medication, which helps them to stimulate regurgitation or induce vomiting and they get temporary relief from upset stomachs. So, make sure to consult with your veterinarian as it’s not a long-term solution for gastrointestinal issues. He will surely guide you about the appropriate diet, medications, and other interventions for your dog.

Your Dog is Thirsty

Many individuals start eating grass when they are thirsty. Grass contains high water content and dogs eat it to get rid of their thirst. They primarily eat it due to thirst in the morning or late in the evening when the grass has dew on it. Sometimes they also eat grass when they nibble on it during the hot summer days. So, make your dog always has excess to fresh bowl of water.

Safety Concerns For Dogs That Eat Grass

Eating grass is a common behavior for dogs. So don’t panic if your dog is also eating grass. It’s always good to consult with the veterinarian, but if you don’t have time keep in mind the below safety concerns.

Pesticides and Chemicals

Make sure your dog is not eating grass that is treated with pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals. These substances can be harmful to dogs and cause them stomach issues. So, it’s important to ensure that the grass is free from potentially toxic substances.

Toxic Plants

Sometimes grass is also contaminated with toxic plants such as weeds, or poisonous vegetation. Dogs eat these plants as well when they eat grass, which leads them to various health issues. So, make sure to remove these plants from the areas your dog is regularly visiting such as the backyard, lawn, etc.

Fertilizers and Lawn Treatments

Using fertilizers and lawn treatment for the grass in residential areas is common thing. But these lawn care products can be harmful to dogs and other pet animals. These can cause stomach issues for dogs, especially when they eat the grass from the areas that have been recently treated. As an alternative, you can use organic and pet-safe lawn treatments.

Intestinal Obstruction

If your dog is swallowing the grass without proper chewing, it can lead to intestinal issues. The long and sharp grass blades can obstruct their digestive system. In this case, you can quickly consult with your veterinarian.

Allergic Reactions

Some dogs have allergic reactions, and eating grass can trigger their allergic reactions. In worst cases, they can face the symptoms like itching, skin irritation, or gastrointestinal upset. So, make sure to consult with your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms.

It’s advisable to supervise your dog’s grass-eating behavior to ensure their safety. You can keep them busy with different activities to minimize their unusual behavior. Provide them with safe chew toys, and maintain a non-toxic environment.

Normal vs. Excessive Behavior

Differentiating between the normal and excessive grass-eating behavior of your dog will help you to determine if there is a cause for concern. Below is the comparison between normal and excessive grass-eating behavior of dogs.

Normal Grass Eating Behavior

  • Your dog may occasionally nibble on grass blades, which is a part of their normal behavior.
  • Normally they ingest a small amount of grass.
  • The dogs that eat grass as a normal behavior don’t exhibit any signs of distress or discomfort after eating the grass.
  • Normally, grass-eating is not the primary focus for dogs. Sometimes they unintentionally eat grass.

Excessive Grass Eating Behavior

  • The dogs with excessive grass-eating behavior engage in this behavior frequently. They eat larger quantities of grass.
  • Excessive grass eaters consume grass even when other options are easily available.
  • Excessive grass-eating dogs show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive drooling.
  • They show an obsession with grass and display anxiety when it's not available. They love to eat grass over other activities.

Individual Differences

Just like humans, dogs also show individual differences in terms of their grass-eating behaviors. Below are some factors that play a role in their behavioral differences.


Different dog breeds have different tendencies toward grass-eating. Some show more interest in grazing on grass, while others display this behavior as frequently.

Personality and Temperament

Every dog has different personality traits, which influence its grass-eating behavior. Some are more curious than others, which leads them to experiment with grass consumption. In comparison, the less cautious dogs may be less inclined to eat grass.

Dietary Factors

Your dog's diet also plays an important role in their grass-eating behaviors. Dogs with dietary deficiencies may be more likely to eat grass as compared to other dogs. So, make sure your dog is getting a well-balanced diet to reduce their grass-eating behaviors.

Environmental Factors

The dog's living environment also impacts its grass-eating behaviors. The dogs that are surrounded by grass and spend more time outdoors may be more likely to engage in grass-eating. Additionally, exposure to other animals also can also influence the dog’s behavior.

Individual Preferences

Dogs also have their individual preferences like humans. Some may enjoy eating certain types of grass as compared to others.

In all these cases, it’s important to keep in mind that occasional grass eating is normal for dogs. However, it’s always good to consult with a veterinarian if you have any health concerns about your dog.

Responsible Dog Care

When you are caring for a dog that has the habit of grass-eating, you must take a responsible approach to ensure its well-being. Below are some guidelines for responsible dog care.

  • Monitor the Environment
  • Provide the Balanced Diet
  • Regular Veterinary Check-ups
  • Environmental Enrichment
  • Training and Behavioral Management
  • Regular Exercise and Play
  • Regular Grooming
  • Supervision and Limitations


The grass-eating behavior of dogs is a common and intriguing aspect of their nature. The exact reason behind their grass-eating behavior can vary, but generally, it is considered a normal and harmless behavior for most dogs. Some of the common reasons for dogs to grass eating behavior include natural instincts, nutritional needs, gastrointestinal issues, behavior, boredom, or simply out of curiosity. As a responsible owner, you should provide your dog with a balanced diet, and safe environment to minimize these types of issues. 

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