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August 30, 2012 at 3:56 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Top 4 Reasons Dogs Eat Grass

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Last weekend, I witnessed my parents’ dog grazing on grass. We were up north exploring in the woods, and Zip, the border collie, tagged along. During our hike, Zip would chomp on different blades of grass as he passed them.

An hour later, Zip was in obvious discomfort and began to dry heave. Sure enough, seconds later there was a pile of chewed grass and spittle on the ground next to him. But as soon as his vomit session was over, Zip was back to gnawing on a new grass patch he’d found.

This made me wonder… when grass makes dogs throw up time and time again: why do they continue to eat it?!

Dogs that chew grass are trying to tell you:

“My tummy hurts.” Dogs may chew and eat grass if their stomach is upsetting them. The act of eating is a soothing for them. Then, after they’ve thrown up, they’ve cleared out whatever was irritating their stomach

“I need more fiber.” Certain dogs may be craving a change in their diet. If a dog eats grass often enough, they may need more roughage to their food.

“I like the texture of grass.” Apparently grass has tiny hairs on each blade. They are said to tickle the tongue and esophagus while chewing. Some dogs just LOVE the feel of grass on their tongue.

“I just want a snack!” Dogs are naturally omnivores, so they do enjoy eating vegetables and greens. If they are getting a craving for a mid-afternoon snack, they may choose some grass to munch on! Unfortunately, they are unable to digest grass due to the lack of a certain enzyme.

Important to Know: Grass is not innately harmful to dogs. Pay special attention if your lawn is treated with pesticides or chemicals. If ingested, these could harm the dog. Also, certain landscaping plants are poisonous to dogs, so keep an eye out!


Modern Dog: A Vet's Take on Why Dogs Eat Grass

Vet LIVE: Why do dogs eat grass?

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