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Why do dogs eat grass?

Updated on March 20, 2009

“It’s going to rain, the dog is eating grass”. Have you heard this before? This is one of the beliefs concerning the dog’s behavior of eating grass. This belief is naturally baseless. Only a dog will know why it is grazing like a cow and why it has suddenly snubbed the doggie bowl filled with its crunchies, turned its eye on the green lawn and acted like a small lawn mower. Have you ever wondered why your furry friend eats grass?

Dogs and grass

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The acquired taste of grass

Wolves, the cousins of our domesticated dogs would mostly have herbivores as their prey. Wolves are voracious eaters and since food in the wild is scarce, the littlest bit of the prey is consumed. Thus the leaves and the grasses eaten by the herbivore are also eaten by the dogs. Overtime, these wild dogs have developed a taste for the “greens”. Leaves, roots, grasses and of course meat became the diet of the dog.

The insatiable appetite of the dog

Dogs are voracious eaters. This huge appetite often perplexed dog owners. The dog may have finished a huge meal of dry kibble but it would still raid the garbage can, filch the steak from the grill or turn to the poop of the cat. It is not surprising if the dog finds the green grasses on the lawn appetizing. Simply, dogs are not choosy eaters.

Dietary imbalance

Another theory to the grass eating habit of the dog is nutrient deficiency. Dog experts tell us that when the dog takes to eating grass, its diet is deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Dogs eat grass in an effort to fill up the dietary imbalance.

Self medication

Grass eating is attributed to the dog’s intention to self medicate. A dog with viral and bacterial infections eats grass in an attempt to cure itself. Dogs are not very discriminating in what they put in their mouth. Dogs will not pass up the chance to eat spoiled food from the trash can and the rotting carcass of an animal. It’s no wonder why these animals often have upset stomachs. The grass is used by the dog to induce vomiting. After a mouthful or two of grass, the dog would vomit and everything will be back to normal.

Should you stop the dog from eating grass?

The answer is yes and no! Grass eating is a life-long behavior of the dog. This habit should not concern dog owners. Being omnivores, dogs would eat anything. These are resilient and hardy animals. The grass would not harm the dog as long as the grass is not treated with toxic substances like fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. In such a case, the dog should definitely be stopped from eating grass.

3 dachshund dogs eating grass

Dog eating grass

Dog eats grass


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    • RalphGreene profile image

      RalphGreene 6 years ago

      Great information, I've learn something new here. Thanks for sharing.