If you have a new dog, you may be spending quite a bit of time outdoors. From walks to playtime, chances are your furry friend may be no stranger to walking, laying, or playing in the grass. Naturally, you may even catch them snacking on grass every now and then. But, you may wonder “why do dogs eat grass?” We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about the popular activity and the importance of having a pet-friendly yard for your best friend.
Why do dogs eat grass?
Dogs and puppies like to eat things, and outdoor items are no exception. Naturally, your best friend likes to snack on various things, but why grass? Nold points out some reasons why your dog may eat grass.
“There are many theories of why dogs eat grass including boredom, a dietary deficiency, and to help ease an upset stomach by stimulation of vomiting. However, I think in most cases dogs eat grass just because they like it.”
Every dog is different and some may like grass more than others. Whether you have a puppy, adult dog, or senior, at one point during their life they may attempt to snack on the grass. Just make sure to monitor them when they’re outside.
Is it common for dogs to eat grass?
Puppies are curious. It’s not surprising for your new best friend to explore their new space, including what’s in their backyard. So, of course, they may want to try grass. In fact, “eating grass is a normal behavior for a dog,” says Nold.
Also, this was supported by a study from 2008 (Appl Anim Behav Sci. May 2008; 111(1-2):120-132) which found “68% of dogs were reported to eat plants on a daily or weekly basis with the remainder eating plants once a month or less. The grass was the most frequently eaten plant by 79% of dogs. Only 9% were reported to frequently appear ill before eating plants and only 22% were reported to frequently vomit afterward.”
Should you seek medical care?
Your dog may eat grass and that’s okay. But, you may also want to be mindful of what’s in their environment outside. For example, there may be other pet hazards that lurk outdoors like sago palm, lilies, mushrooms, and even dog waste. If you notice anything abnormal about your furry friend, please seek medical care with your veterinarian. They can help determine the next best steps for your pet. For more on pet hazards, check out this article.
The importance of keeping a dog-friendly yard
The backyard can help provide a great space for the family to interact and hang out with one another. You may want to take into consideration the plants, flowers, and lawn care you use for your yard to help keep your pets safe. After all, part of having a pet-friendly home includes what you put in your yard. For more on pet-safe gardening, read here.
Why do dogs eat grass? They may like eating it
All pets have their quirks, and your dog eating grass may be one of them. But by watching your pet’s environment, notating your pet’s behavior, and talking to your veterinarian, your pet can happily enjoy the outdoors with grass and all!