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How Does Eating Grass Help Your Dog?

 by danielle on 08 Jul 2014 |
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If your dog is eating grass don’t immediately assume they are feeling unwell. Many owners have watched their dog graze like miniature cows in the backyard – only to then throw up a pile of grass shortly after. Other times they will forage carefully for some time and show no ill affects afterwards at all.
Why do dogs display such a preference for grass when plants otherwise seldom capture their attention? Is it a sign of illness?
The truth is: we don’t know. However wild dogs have been shown to engage in the behavior, suggesting it is entirely natural and not necessarily a signifier for overall poor health. Dogs are after all omnivores, meaning they are adapted to survive on a diet of both meat and plant material. 


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Canine experts suggest grass eating is simply the dogs way of curing stomach aches and pains. By eating grass, the dog may be able to induce vomiting, making him or her feel better afterwards much like humans feeling nauseous can feel improved after throwing up. In cases where the dog does not vomit, ingestion of fibrous vegetation may help clear blockages in the gastrointestinal tract.
Certain dogs may simply enjoy the taste and treat it as a tasty snack. If a dog is bored, eating grass may move from snacking to compulsive chewing simply to pass the time. Watch your dog to see if their grass eating increases when you are away from home more frequently than normal or they miss out on walks.
Generally speaking, grass eating is nothing to worry about, though of course it is always best to consult your vet. However, do check that pesticides and other toxic garden treatments are not in use on grass your dog can reach as that may lead to lethal consequences. 


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