Why does my dog eat grass?

November 16th, 2017

Although it is surprisingly common for dogs to eat grass, owners are still baffled by it. There are many people throwing out their theories into the reasoning behind this strange behaviour; however, no one is truly certain why dogs eat grass. It is likely there is not one simple answer, but a number of answers that explain this strange behaviour. Let’s have a look at the possible reasons in order to understand why our pup may be eating grass.

Nauseous

One of the most commonly believed reasons behind dogs eating grass is it that they are doing so when they feel nauseous or has stomach distress. It is believed this is a self-medicating tactic by the dog to relieve their stomach pains or feelings of nausea. If you think this may be the case, a veterinary check is best as it can be something serious such as gastric reflux or bowel disease and therefore needs to be acted upon immediately.

Taste and satisfaction

As dogs are natural scavengers and will happily eat up any food you give them, what’s stopping them from just eating human food? It’s possible that dogs find the flavour or texture of grass tasty and therefore seek it out for a snack. There are other theories that grass may release dopamine, therefore rewarding the pup for snacking on grass.

If this is the case for your dog, seeking a vet’s advice is best as some may suggest putting them on a high fibre diet in order to keep them away from eating grass.

Boredom

As some pets can spend a lot of time outside by themselves, their boredom may lead them to eat grass as a way to pass the time. If you notice your dog eating grass, it may just mean you’re stimulating them enough either through exercise or mental challenges. Provide them with longer walks, extended play time or even a brand new toy that will keep them distracted for hours.

Generational

It is said that as dogs have progressed over the years from their wild ancestors, some of the traits are still with them. As wild dogs would have ingested prey with plant matter in their bowels back in the day, it might be possible that domesticated dogs now seek this plant matter due to genetics.

Even though there are a number of theories as to why dogs eat grass, no one is truly certain why they do it. Not to worry though, as many vets consider grass eating as normal behaviour that has no real harm to dogs (unless there are dangerous chemicals such as pesticides).  In saying this, keep an eye on your pet at all times as it is imperative to call a vet if they become sick when eating grass as there could be an underlying problem.

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