Eating grass is another one of those topics whose conclusion as to “why” is generally left to popular opinion. Occasional grass eating is a very common behavior in dogs and generally nothing to worry about. There are many theories as to why dogs eat grass. Let’s look at some of the most recognized reasons:
Your grandmother’s grandfather’s grandmother said that dogs eat grass when they need to vomit, and that is what most people believe. Is it true? Some vets believe that this theory is definitely plausible.* Most of us have even witnessed it. You have to wonder, though… Do dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit, or do they vomit because they ate grass? Hmmm…
Many believe that a dog eats grass to make up for some nutritional imbalance in their diet. The best scientific conclusion on record confirms that there is a link to diet. There was a poodle who ate grass and vomited every day for 7 years. When switched to high fiber diet, he never ate grass again!** That’s pretty dog-gone irrefutable, but more than likely, dogs eat grass for many reasons.
Believe it or not, some believe that dogs eat grass simply because they’re bored. “Chewing” is what they normally turn to when they’re bored, so why not grass? Have you noticed that he eats grass more often if you haven’t had time to play with him or take him on walks? Then boredom could be the culprit. If you think this might be your dog’s reason, give him plenty of safe chew toys and make sure he gets his daily walk and socializing time. May we suggest Camp Holiday Barn???
And MAYBE dogs just LIKE to eat grass! Maybe it’s like a fresh salad to us… crunchy, satisfying…
But is it safe?
The most important thing we need to know is whether or not eating grass is harmful to our dogs. While generally safe, be aware of lawn fertilizers and chemicals which could be toxic to your dog if ingested. Also, if you notice a sudden increase in grass eating, there could be an underlying issue that your dog is trying to self-treat. Likewise, if your grass-eating (or non-grass-eating, for that matter!) dog becomes lethargic, has diarrhea, or experiences weight loss, you should most certainly take him to the vet.