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Why does my Dog Eat Grass?

Recently I decide to do some research and get to the bottom of a question which often crossed my mind, and I’m sure it will have often crossed your mind too - Why does my dog eat grass?

We have a family of four small dogs and one of our dogs in particular is always eating grass. Another one eats grass from time to time. I often wondered about this as all four of our dogs eat the same food.

What I found out from my research was that no one really seem to know the reason why dogs eat grass but there are many different observations made as to why they do. The first thing that I noted was that it’s an extremely common behaviour for our furry friends. The most common reason that popped up was a deficiency in their diet.

Deficiency in their Diet - This means that your dog’s daily food may not contain all of the dietary requirements that it should contain, and may be missing certain nutrients, vitamins or minerals. If you think that your dog’s food may be missing any of the above, it would be worth mentioning it to your vet. They can advise on whether you need to switch you dogs’ food.

Boredom - Boredom could also be a factor as to why your dog is eating grass. If you dog is in your back garden for a lot of the day on their own, it’s very possible that they may just be very bored. Regular exercise and positive rewarding training could be an option to break the cycle of eating grass.

Instinctive Behaviour – It appears that studies have shown that eating grass can be an instinctive behaviour, as dogs have evolved from their wolf ancestors. If your dog has a healthy balanced diet and all their dietary needs are met, then another reason as to why they eat grass is just instinctive. Research which has been done on wolves has shown that 2-10% of their stomach content has been made up of plant material.

A Need for Fibre -A need for fibre could be another reason why your dog is eating grass. Fibre helps digest their food which ensures that they do not have any problems when going to the toilet. If you think your dog is not getting enough fibre in their food you should as your vet to recommend a different brand of food, something with a higher fibre content.

In general, it appears that it’s quite a normal behaviour for our dogs to eat grass and, even plants. However, if you notice your dog eating excessive amounts of grass, you should inform your vet. Also keep and eye on their general health. Have you noticed them losing weight? Are they vomiting? Do they have frequent diarrhoea? Has their appetite decreased? Has your dog been eating grass that has been treated with pesticides? If so contact your vet, and they can advise as to what treatment may be needed. This is something to be mindful of.

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