You may have seen your dog eating grass and only guessed at what is motivating this behavior. There are many theories, boredom, upset stomach, dietary needs. My name is Anai Fonte and with over 13 years in the canine world, I am going to help you understand this very common behavior.
In the article “Why Dogs Eat Grass” by Fetch, WebMD (https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/why-do-dogs-eat-grass#1) they state that dogs eating grass is an incredibly common behavior. A study conducted showed that 79% of dogs have eaten grass at some point. This behavior is even observed in wild dogs. Many people believe it’s to relieve an upset stomach, however this seems unlikely as very few dogs were reported as having gastrointestinal issues prior to eating grass. Most of the current data supports it being a dietary need such as not having enough fiber.
Lynn Buzhardt, DVM of VCA hospitals writes “Dogs need roughage in their diets and grass is a good source of fiber. A lack of roughage affects the dog’s ability to digest food and pass stool, so grass may actually help their bodily functions run more smoothly.” in her article “Why Do Dogs Eat Grass” (https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/why-do-dogs-eat-grass). Although most evidence supports the idea that this is a primal behavior meant to fill dietary needs there could also be other reasons like psychological needs to ease anxiety. It is important to note that some grass has pesticides and can be toxic to your pet so you may want to discourage this behavior if toxins are present in the grass.
So why is your dog eating grass?
- It’s unlikely that it’s to ease an upset stomach as little research shows dogs having gastrointestinal issues prior to eating grass.
- It could be to ease anxiety. Try and curb the behavior by giving your dogs toys to chew or chew treats.
- It is likely to be a dietary need or primal instinct. Consider fiber rich treats or food. Sweet Potato is a great high fiber treat. We recommend BRUTUS & BARNABY Sweet Potato Dog Treats – Grain Free, Cinnamon Pumpkin Crunchy Sticks are Great Tasting, Promote Positive Dog Gut Health with Natural Anti-Diarrhea Properties, no Preservatives Added as a pre-packed sweet potato treat your pup will love.
Now you know what this weird behavior is all about and that you are definitely not alone.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.