Is It OK For My Dog to Eat Grass?

Posted by Jessica Roberts

It’s not uncommon to see your dog munching on grass. But is this something you should worry about? Learn what it means and what you should do if Fido is weeding your lawn.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Doesn’t look especially yummy. Photo by Iucas Favre on Unsplash

If your dog is eating grass, you may wonder whether it is because they are hungry or even sick. Rest assured that you’re not alone in your concern, especially if your dog is vomiting afterwards. Many people assume dogs eat grass to make themselves sick, but there are actually a number of reasons for this behavior. Sometimes, a dog will graze because they have an upset stomach, but eating grass on its own typically will not cause him to vomit. Your dog may also be struggling with a nutrient deficiency, most often a lack of sufficient fiber. It’s also not uncommon for pups, especially younger ones, to chow down simply because they are bored or they like the taste.

Is It Safe for My Dog to Eat Grass?

Smells very green out here! Photo by R Gray on Unsplash

The question most pet owners have is whether it is safe for a dog to eat grass. For dogs that are generally healthy, consume a well-balanced diet, and are on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be mostly safe. The digestive systems of our canine companions, including their dietary needs and cravings, have evolved to fit their lifestyle as domesticated pets, but munching on grass is a behavior that has been observed in wild dogs, too. The danger to our pups is not from the grass itself, but from chemicals that can be found on our lawns.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Eating Grass?

“This tastes much better than grass!” Photo by Petr Magera on Unsplash

While the behavior itself is not uncommon, if you notice that your pup is regularly chewing on grass it’s worth discussing with your veterinarian, especially if the grass-eating frequently culminates in vomiting. Likely, your dog’s veterinarian will want to rule out causes like intestinal parasites and underlying illnesses. Once these more concerning causes are ruled out, if Fido still wants to chew the lawn, give the following a try:

  • If your dog is a frequent grass grazer, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog nibbles.
  • Choose non-toxic plants for your home and garden, as he may be more likely to go after other plants in addition to grass.
  • Add nutrients, especially fiber, to your dog’s diet. These Zesty Paws Scoot Away Bites are soft chews that feature VitaFiber and Mineral Oil to support gut health and bowel function and work as a prebiotic.
  • Provide enrichment activities and toys to keep him occupied and entertained when in the yard. Be sure he always has access to fresh water while outside.
  • Make sure to keep your dog current on all heartworm and parasite prevention medications.
  • Feed Fido small amounts at a time, especially first thing in the morning. The stomach bile can be very irritating and uncomfortable on a dog’s empty stomach, and a small amount of food first thing in the morning may relieve that discomfort better than a mouthful of grass.
  • Always supervise your pup when away from home. Learn how to redirect your dog's behavior, and teach him the “leave it” command, as you can’t know what harmful chemicals might have been used on others’ lawns and in parks.

What advice do you have for pet parents whose dogs eat grass? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by Samuel Toh on Unsplash.