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Dogs Eating Grass: Why Do They Do It And Is It Safe?

Dogs Eating Grass: Why Do They Do It And Is It Safe?

If you've noticed your dog eats grass and thought it was odd, you're not alone! Our Blountville vets get asked about this issue quite often, and they are here to share some common reasons why dogs eat grass and when to be concerned.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass

Pet parents are often left confused wondering why their dog seems to enjoy eating grass. In fact, many dogs will eat grass, vomit, and then go right back to eating grass again.

Could this imply that your dog isn't feeling well and want to get something unpleasant out of their stomach? Have they gotten into something poisonous? Is your dog drawing attention to an undiagnosed medical condition? 

While some dogs do in fact vomit after eating grass, not all dogs do. The majority of dogs eat grass without exhibiting any stomach upset symptoms or signs. Thus, it seems unlikely that dogs would eat grass to make them throw up. Why do they do it, then?

Physical Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

To maintain a healthy digestive system, dogs must consume the right amount of fiber in their diet. Since dogs are omnivores, they require both high-quality plants and meat for good health. For your dog, eating grass could be a simple way to add roughage to their diet and keep things moving through their digestive system.

That said, if your dog is eating grass but also showing signs of stomach upset, there may be a medical problem. Dogs can suffer from a number of stomach and gastrointestinal issues including conditions such as pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is eating grass and has other symptoms such as lack of appetite, decreased energy, diarrhea, or constipation, it's a good idea to take your pup to the vet for an examination.

Psychological Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

In the same way that people who are anxious may bite their nails, boredom and anxiety may contribute to your dog's habit of eating grass. When your dog eats grass like there's no tomorrow despite showing no symptoms of digestive problems, psychological causes for the behavior should be taken into account.

If your dog could simply be suffering from boredom, increasing the length, distance or intensity of walks could help to reduce grass eating.

Separation anxiety could also be the reason that your dog is eating grass. Try leaving an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog when you leave the house. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring and help to curb their grass-eating habit. 

Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, your vet will be able to advise you on how to help your pooch reduce obsessive behaviors.

Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?

If your dog is otherwise healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be a safe behavior.

To help keep your grass nibbling pooch healthy, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog enjoys. 

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.

If you have concerns regarding your dog's grass-eating obsession or other behavioral abnormalities, contact our Blountville vets

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Airport Pet Emergency Clinic is open weekday evenings, overnight, weekends and holidays to provide your pet with urgent care when needed. Our experienced Blountville vets are passionate about caring for companion animals.

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