Is your dog eating grass? Do not worry; they are not the only one. But why are they doing this? Dogs don’t usually eat grass, do they? But in fact, some studies show that around 80% of dogs have eaten grass in their lives.
There have been a few suggested reasons why this occurs.
The first is that it may be a psychological need; your dog may simply be bored or feeling anxious and neglected. This happens if they are not receiving much human interaction or enough stimulation to keep them occupied. The best way to solve this is to provide your dog with more attention. If that is not possible, perhaps leave one of your old t-shirts with them when you are not around. To help the boredom, maybe provide your dog with a new toy or some more challenging activity to keep them engaged – such as a kibble puzzle ball.
The second is they may have a nutritional deficiency and eat grass as a source of fibre so they can digest their food more easily and pass stools.
Third is they may be feeling nauseous and eat the grass to induce vomiting. However, it has been found that vomiting is not a common enough side effect for this to be the main reason behind the grass eating.
But maybe we are over-thinking about all of this, and the simple reason is – dogs like the taste of grass. They may enjoy the taste or maybe just the texture – maybe you have found that your dog is more likely to eat grass at certain times of the year, i.e. in spring when it is newly emerging as this will have a fresher taste.
Although eating grass is harmless any herbicides and pesticides and even parasites found on it are not and eating these can cause damage to your dog. So even though your dog may enjoy eating it, it is best to stop the behaviour. If your dog is treat-orientated then you may be able to train them to exchange grass for treats – meaning every time you see your dog going in for a grassy snack, distract it – either verbally or potentially by walking away – and offer them a treat after they comply.