This guide will help you understand why dogs chew grass, when to worry about this behavior, and what to do if your dog eats grass voraciously and continuously.
Today, I will cover the following topics:
- The physical matrix causes why dogs chew grass,
- Behavioral causes of why dogs eat grass,
- What to do if your dog is eating grass all the time,
- When this behavior should cause concern,
- And many other helpful tips.
Let’s get started!
Why dogs chew grass?
If you have a dog, it will certainly have happened to you to observe your four-legged companion chewing some grass from the ground.
If you are a novice dog owner, this behavior will certainly have left you puzzled, and maybe you will have tried to dissuade your dog from doing it.
However, eating grass is nothing unusual for our furry friends, and behind this behavior, there are different motivations.
Like many other attitudes inherent to canine nature, we humans have tried to understand and explain it somehow, even if not always in a certain and infallible way.
Nowadays, however, there are different theories about why our dogs chew grass, some of them are safer than others, but all of them are valid enough to give 360 degrees meaning to this phenomenon.
A question could, however, flutter in your mind: should I worry about this behavior?
The answer is a definite no, and you should not be excessively alarmed if you surprise your dog eating grass.
Certainly, you will have to observe with some additional attention this behavior and investigate its causes; in any case, the most extreme gesture you could be forced to make would be to take your furry friend to the vet.
The circumstances under which dogs chew grass
As previously mentioned, many circumstances can push a dog to eat grass.
However, the motivations behind this practice are quite heterogeneous and can be divided into two different categories:
- Physical matrix
- Behavioral matrix
Let’s see together both macro-groups and all the specific explanations related to them.
1. Physical circumstances that lead dogs to chew grass
By physical circumstances, we mean all those situations in which the dog’s behavior, that is, eating grass, is dictated by physiological reasons related to the health of the animal.
In some of these eventualities, the best advice I can give you is always the same: avoid any doubt and contact your vet.
#1.1 Counterbalancing dietary or digestive deficiencies
It seems absurd if we think that we are in charge of our dog’s diet, but it is true!
If our four-legged friend feels that he is not completely full or that he is not taking enough nutrients of a certain type, it is easy that he does not disdain a rumination of grass when he has the chance.
Being a vegetable element, it is rich in fibers, nutrients that regularize and facilitate the digestion of the animal and reason why it could be encouraged to consume grass regularly.
#1.2 Stimulate vomiting
This theory has its supporters and its adversaries; however, it seems to find numerous confirmations.
Some dogs, in fact, maybe disturbed by strong nausea or by something ingested previously, could consume some grass to quickly stimulate the vomit and get rid of that gastric encumbrance.
It may seem strange, but it is enough to think that when this happens, the animal does not calmly gnaw the surface of the lawn as it usually could do; on the contrary, it tears and swallows without mastic huge quantities of long tufts of grass difficult to digest.
The frenzy of the procedure and the impossibility of digestion almost always, and rather quickly, cause the dog to vomit.
Although many experts question the correlation between this behavior and this purpose, it can certainly not be denied that, in many cases, this dynamic is repeated exactly in this way.
#1.3 Personal taste
Even if it is not so common and sometimes a bit trivial, it is also possible that dogs eat grass, very simply, because they like eating it!
It must be said that the taste and texture of grass are certainly not the favorites of these animals; however, exceptions in nature do exist.
If your puppy is part of this group of dogs who are “fans” of grass, let him do it as long as he does not overdo it.
Should this consumption cause vomiting or other gastrointestinal problems, it will be your duty to consult a veterinarian (or a dog trainer) to make him stop.
2. Behavioral circumstances that lead dogs to chew grass
By behavioral circumstances, I mean all those situations in which dogs chew grass for reasons related to their psychology and mental health.
If your dog consumes grass because of one of the following explanations, I strongly suggest you intervene in the education you give him, on the habits you made him adopt, and in general on his lifestyle.
#2.1 Hereditary behavior
In truth, the consumption of grass for behavioral reasons can also have its origin in the species’ roots.
The ancestors of the domestic dog, such as the very common wolves, adapted to eating fresh grass or digested by other hunted animals (therefore still present inside their stomachs) to ward off starvation and famine.
Although this fear has no basis for our beloved domestic animals, the primordial instinct could still be alive and express itself against the meadows of the house.
#2.2 Stress accumulation
Eating grass for a dog can also be a release valve like many others put into practice to relieve itself of constant stress and a quivering agitation (like nail-biting for us humans).
This situation can occur if the animal is hyperactive or is not properly stimulated by its owner, both physically and mentally.
Physical and mental exercise is fundamental for a dog’s psychological resilience. If one of these two elements is lacking, the animal’s outburst can manifest itself in a bizarre and compulsive way: just the case of eating grass.
Therefore, correcting your dog’s lifestyle becomes a priority for his health, especially because this habit (as you have been able to read previously) can cause damage to the digestive system.
#2.3 Attention seeking
Chewing grass for a dog can sometimes be experienced as simple spite against you as a way to attract your attention.
Also, in this case, the consumption of grass tends to occur in an agitated and compulsive way, waiting for your reaction to it.
This behavior can be a symptom of various discomforts for the dog, mainly the suffering of a lack of attention, care, or leisure moments with his owner.
Solutions if your dog eats grass continuously and voraciously
Let’s talk very briefly since there is no need to spend too many words about it and what you, as the owner, should do if your dog eats grass.
We can also, in this case, distinguish between three precise eventualities:
#1 The dog eats grass in a sporadic and quiet way, gnawing it from time to time and without any repercussions on his health:
In this case, my advice is to do nothing and leave it alone. Your dog is fine and is not doing anything that could harm him; it is not really worth creating problems for a small and harmless oddity.
#2 The dog eats grass quietly but assiduously, insisting on not giving it up:
In such a case, the reason for your animal’s behavior lies in some problem of a physical nature, inherent therefore to feeding and digestion. Don’t treat him harshly and don’t scold him for this practice; rather, ask your veterinarian and get advice on how to discourage and replace this practice.
#3 The dog eats grass assiduously and convulsively, sometimes rapidly and with consequent physical reactions (vomiting or diarrhea):
In these cases, contact your veterinarian and trainer immediately to understand the nature of the cause that drives the animal to behave in this way. Once you have the answer, work to change the dog’s lifestyle and induce him to stop eating grass.
Why do dogs eat grass and vomit?
A lot of pet owners think that their dogs eat grass because they have an upset stomach. This is probably because the behavior is closely linked with vomiting. Grass helps the dog’s stomach and intestines with digestion, but it’s not essential for the animal’s diet and can cause vomiting and gas if eaten too much.
What should I do if my dog eats grass?
If your dog eats grass occasionally and does not vomit, you should not worry or scold his behavior, although you do have to be alert to make sure that he does not ingest plants that are harmful to his health. Take extra precautions and avoid letting him eat grass that has been sprayed with pesticides.
Do dogs eat grass to settle their stomach?
Most vets agree that eating grass probably is a great way for dogs to soothe an upset stomach. An “upset stomach” usually means that the animal’s stomach acids are building up, which can cause an uncomfortable sensation.
Why is my dog eating grass all of a sudden?
There are many reasons why a dog might suddenly start eating grass. The most common causes of this are a nutritional deficiency like fiber, thirsty, or simply boredom. If your dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety or nausea, it is possible that the grass eating could be related to those issues.
Will eating grass make a dog sick?
Dogs will often eat things they find on the ground, like grass. This is a natural behavior and, in most cases, will not lead to your dog becoming sick. That being said, it is very important to supervise your dog and make sure he does not eat toxic or poisonous plants.
Is eating grass bad for dogs?
No, grass eating is considered safe! Usually dogs can eat grass without ill effects on their health. However, you have to make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog is nibbling on to keep them healthy.
We have reached the end of this article, and as usual, I thank you very much for your attention.
By this time, you should have a clear idea about the possible reasons why your dog eats grass, so get ready to observe this behavior with a little more attention and take the appropriate measures.
Anyway, it is not the case to be overly alarmed, but if you want to know more about educating your dog (and therefore avoid such dynamics), I recommend you read some articles on my blog.
Arrived at this point, I thank you again for your attention, I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you to enjoy tranquility and serenity in the company of your beloved dog.
See you soon!