Vet Vs The Net: Why do dogs eat grass?
Have you ever watched your dog eating grass and wondered why they are doing it? You’re not alone – this is Googled by more than 8,000 UK pet owners every month! Dave the vet explains why certain dogs like to eat grass…
So, why do dogs eat grass?
They like the taste! Just like humans, our canine friends like to supplement their diets with something green and meat-free. They enjoy the taste but grass can’t necessarily be characterised as ‘food’ for dogs. The act of eating something that isn’t food is known as Pica, and dogs, especially puppies or young dogs with lots of energy, might simply eat grass because they’re bored.
Is it bad for dogs to eat grass?
No. It’s completely fine. You’ll find that most of the time, they only eat a little bit at a time and not by the mouthful. Dogs eating grass is actually more common than you might think – wild dogs are even known to do it!
If you think your dog is eating grass on your lawn because they’re bored, a few of these techniques will help to keep their mind occupied:
- Puzzle feeders – especially useful for when you’re away and can’t spend time with your dog
- Longer walks – the more of their energy you use up while out walking, the more fulfilled and content your dog will feel once their back at home
- Play some games – if your dog eats grass while they’re out walking, you can get their attention by playing with them.
Certain plants are toxic to dogs, so take care to keep them out of your garden – especially if you curious pup does like to chew on your lawn.
Why does my dog eat lots of grass?
As Dave explains, the only time dogs eat grass by the mouthful is to make themselves sick. They will chew up lots of grass and the long stems will tickle their throat, causing them to vomit.
Although some research suggests that dogs aren’t intelligent enough to consider eating grass just to make themselves sick, it’s suggested by others that dogs eat grass to help with:
- Improving digestion
- Treating worms
- Providing extra nutrition, such as fibre
Am I feeding my dog the correct diet?
Dogs’ dietary requirements depend on lots of things, typically their age and breed. If you’d like to read more about choosing the right diet for your dog, click here.
Want to know more about your dog’s diet?
If you have concerns about any aspect of your dog’s diet, contact your vet. They will be able to answer your questions and can tailor their advice to match your specific dog: their age, breed and the condition of their health.
To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.