Why dogs eat grass: Causes, prevention & when to worry
- by DR Roxanne Jones
Have you ever spotted your dog chomping on juicy green blades of grass? If so, you may also have noticed that after enthusiastically devouring it, your pooch has a great big vomit.
Is this normal? Should you be worried? The good news is that in most cases, you don’t need to worry: eating grass is perfectly normal for many canines.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs, unlike cats, are not obligate carnivores. While cats can subsist purely on meat, dogs are carnivores, meaning that their diets should contain both meat and plant material. Wild dogs will naturally supplement the meaty component of their diets with berries, grass, fruit and other plant-based substances, and your domesticated canine naturally has the same needs.
When it’s normal for domesticated dogs to eat grass…
This means that for your pup, eating grass may be completely normal behaviour. If your dog has always done it, and seems to be otherwise healthy, it’s not cause for concern, especially if he isn’t vomiting afterwards. Most dogs who enjoy eating grass will not vomit afterwards, as the grass simply passes through their digestive tracts and is expelled.
If your dog does vomit on the odd occasion after his grassy meal, again it’s not really cause for concern. Sometimes grass can tickle and irritate the lining of the stomach and induce vomiting. If this is uncommon in your dog and he’s otherwise fine, there’s no need to fret.
… and when it’s not
If your pooch’s grass-eating behaviour is new or out of character, pay attention. If you notice that he’s suddenly wolfing down tons of grass and/or sand, and then vomits excessively afterwards, it’s an indication that something is amiss.
A visit to the vet is critical if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Frequent or excessive vomiting
- Eating excessive amounts of grass or sand
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary
Fruit and veg that’s safe for your pooch to eat
Let your pup try any of the following to add a bit of variety to his diet:
- Beans and peas
- Sweet potato
Get busy experimenting! You may just be surprised to discover how many of these foods your pooch enjoys. They’re great for his skin, fur and overall health, so try to make his diet as colourful as yours.
You can also find more dog-friendly treats and food at our online vet shop, where you’ll save up to 15% if you sign up for regular deliveries to your door. Alternatively, read more dog health and wellness tips. Happy munching!