Why do dogs eat grass?

Every dog at some point in their lives has had a good graze on a patch of long grass. As owners, we are often baffled as to why our meat-eating pets are chomping on the green stuff.

Dogs are what we call ‘opportunistic scavengers’, meaning they tend to eat whatever they find. Grass is found almost everywhere they go, therefore the temptation to have a snack occurs daily.

A potential reason why dogs seek out grass could be that they are feeling particularly gassy and/or sick. When swallowed, the grass tickles the throat and stomach lining which may cause the dog to vomit.

Puppies are often the worst culprits for grass eating; this can mainly be put down to the fact that at a young age everything in the environment is interesting. Tall, wriggly strands that are sweet smelling are far too exciting not to have a munch on, as puppies are similar to babies and tend to explore everything with their mouths. Instead, distract them with appropriate toys to play and chew on in the garden.

Dogs do not gain any nutritional value from eating grass, and it can be contaminated with other animal waste, fertilizers and sprays which can all be harmful. It is best to discourage regular grass eating, as it can often turn into a habit and become obsessive. Keep an eye out for any patterns of your dog’s grass-eating and talk to your vet if it often leads to vomiting. Other than seeming a bit strange to the average dog owner, it is in fact totally natural and not a cause for concern.

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