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5 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
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5 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass
Mar 13, 2024 - Antelopepets

There are quite a few theories about why dogs eat grass. Certain experts believe it’s a sign of an upset stomach, while others think it’s a cry for attention. Some dogs might just like the taste! If your dog is acting unusually and supplementing his diet with your backyard, one of these causes might be the culprit. 


Stomach Discomfort  


If your dog is suffering from an upset stomach or acid reflux, grass may help soothe the discomfort. Grass contains pectin, a type of fiber that treats acid reflux in humans, and can help with their digestion. Some experts believe that dogs eat grass to make themselves throw up, but a 2008 study showed that only 22% of dogs who ate grass ended up throwing up afterwards. So it might be more akin to popping a Tums than trying to toss their treats. 


Nutrient Deficiencies 


Some dogs may eat grass if they are lacking nutrients from their regular diets, since grass contains certain vitamins and trace elements. There is anecdotal evidence that dogs stop eating grass when their owners feed them a high fiber diet, but talk to your vet before making any changes. 


Thirst 


Most vegetation has a high water content, and grass is no exception. Grass has dew on it in the early mornings, providing extra hydration. So if your dog is nibbling on grass on a hot summer day, chances are they’re jonesing for water. 


Instinct


Theories indicate that dogs may eat grass based on natural cravings dating back to when they weren’t domesticated and hunted their own prey. While canines were primarily carnivorous, their prey’s diets consisted of various plants and vegetation. Dogs might associate the taste of “grass” with their prey, and eat it now based on instinct. Genetic makeup; it’s powerful stuff.


Pica 


The urge to eat substances other than food might point to a condition called pica. Pica poses concern for humans, but in dogs it’s nothing more than a sign of boredom. Eating grass is a way for your pup to make his day less “ho-hum” and explore an unknown substance. Also, he might just like how it tastes. 


Eating grass can be harmless, and may even have tangential health benefits for your dog. But if you notice your dog eating grass more frequently, be alert for consistent vomiting, diarrhea, severe weight loss, and other symptoms and talk to your vet to determine the specific cause.