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Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?

My dog often strolls outside into the back yard and starts chomping on blades of fresh green grass. He seems to enjoy it, and eats quite a few mouthfuls before he stops.

Sometimes he vomits it up and other times the grass passes right through his intestines without being digested.

Nobody really knows for sure why dogs eat grass. There are several theories but none have been proven.

1. Nausea?

It’s possible that your dog is grazing because he feels nauseous. He may have an upset tummy or have eaten something that doesn’t agree with him. Perhaps the food you are feeding isn’t the most suitable formula for him.

2. Side Effect of Domestication?

When wild canines such as wolves catch and eat their prey, they eat the whole animal including the stomach contents. Their prey animals are often herbivores, so their stomach contains grass and plant material.

Our domestic dogs don’t get the opportunity to eat partially digested plant material in this way because we feed them a commercially prepared kibble or canned food.

Some people believe that dogs eat grass as an alternative to the stomach contents of naturally killed prey.

3. Boredom?

Grass eating can be a boredom related behavior. If your dog spends a lot of time on his own, he may munch on grass just for something to do.

4. It's Delicious?

Your dog might just like the taste of grass, and eats it because he enjoys it.

There have also been suggestions that pollen which can be found on grass at certain times of the year are appealing to dogs, and will encourage them to graze more than usual.

If this is the case, then you’ll notice that your dog nibbles on grass more often at certain times of the year.

Excessive or Frequent Grass Eating? … Check the vet

If your dog is eating grass on a regular basis, with or without vomiting, you may want to have him checked by your veterinarian.

It’s important to rule out stomach ulcers or inflammation, or even pancreatitis. This may involve blood tests and possibly an endoscopy.

How to Stop to Your Dog From Eating Grass

When your dog has been given a clean bill of health from his doctor, there are some things you can try to stop him eating grass.

1. Add Some Greens to His Meals – You can grow some sprouts or some wheat grass at home, which may satisfy his craving for grass. If he’s getting the greens from his dinner bowl, he may be less likely to eat the greens from your lawn.

2. Add Some Pumpkin to the Mix – Increase the amount of fiber in his meals by mixing in some canned pumpkin. This can help to keep his food moving through his gastrointestinal tract.

3. Change the Frequency of His Meals – Instead of one large meal, give him two or three smaller meals. This may be easier on his stomach.

4. Go Hypoallergenic Diet – You can try a complete change of diet to a hypoallergenic kibble, just in case a food allergy is making him feel a little off color. Your vet can suggest a suitable food that you can try.

5. Ask Your vet About Trying a Treatment for Heartburn – If your dog has indigestion, he may not show any symptoms other than eating grass. It might be worth giving him an antacid just to see if it makes a difference. Don’t use any medications without checking with your vet first.

6. Use a Food Dispensing Toy – Feed him his kibble in a food dispensing toy such as a Buster Cube or Kong Wobbler. As he plays with the toy, it tosses pieces of kibble out one or two at a time. This not only helps reduce boredom but it lets your dog hunt and forage for his meal.

7. Use a Muzzle – You can put a basket muzzle on your dog when he is out in your yard unattended. This will help to reduce his grazing. When you are walking him, use a head halter so you can control his head and stop him reaching down for a mouthful of grass.

In the absence of any medical reason for your dog’s unusual eating habit, then it may just be normal behavior for him. Eating a blade or two every now and again isn’t likely to do him any harm but if you’re concerned at all, your vet will be able to reassure you.