The facts about dogs eating grass

  • Many dog owners worry that their dog eating grass is a sign that they’re sick.
  • But dogs eating grass is actually quite common behaviour.
  • Dogs often eat grass simply because they like the taste.
  • In many cases it is not a cause for concern.
  • Make sure they don’t eat grass treated with pesticides
  • And ensure they are protected against lungworm, which is passed on by slugs and snails.
  • But if your dog is eating grass and being sick repeatedly, not eating their food or lethargic, contact your vet or your nearest emergency vet.
Dogs eating grass is a common concern among pet owners

Why do dogs eat grass?

Eating grass is common behaviour in dogs and in many cases a dog eating grass isn’t a major cause for concern. In truth, there is no single reason why dogs eat grass. Many dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy the interesting taste and texture of grass. Other theories include fulfilling their natural omnivore instinct and relieving boredom.

Some owners worry that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick and relieve stomach upset or to make up for nutrients missing in their diet, however, others dispute this based on the fact that many dogs don’t appear to be ill before eating grass and many do not vomit after eating it.

However, there are some cases where your dog eating grass could be a sign of an underlying health condition, for example, if they are vomiting repeatedly or they are off their own food. If you are concerned at all it’s best to contact your vet for advice.

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Can dogs eat grass?

While dogs eating a little grass from time to time might not be something to worry about, it’s not something that should be encouraged. Keep in mind that grass could be treated with pesticides which could be poisonous and slugs or snails in the grass could cause lungworm if your dog isn’t treated against it. Grass seeds can also cause your dog serious pain if they get stuck in their skin while they are grazing.

Why is my dog eating grass and being sick?

It can be worrying if your dog is sick after eating grass as it is a commonly-held belief that dogs eat grass to make themselves sick if they are ill. But, this isn’t necessarily the case. One small-scale survey of around 1500 dog owners found that only 8% of dogs showed signs of illness before eating grass and only 22% said their dogs vomited regularly after eating grass. This suggests that it’s just as possible that eating grass is what makes your dog sick to begin with.

However, if your dog is being sick repeatedly after eating grass you should consult a vet or find your nearest emergency vet.

Image of a golden labrador sniffing grass for Vets Now article on dog eating grass
Why do dogs eat grass is a common question among dog owners

My dog keeps eating grass, what should I do?

If your dog is desperately trying to eat grass or their habit becomes excessive it’s best to contact your vet in case it is a sign of an underlying health issue.

When should I be concerned about my dog eating grass?

Contact your vet if your dog is eating grass and:

You know your dog best and if you’re concerned about their health it’s always best to err on the side of caution and get advice from your vet.