Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?
Most dog owners have at some point experienced their dog eating grass. It seems like a very strange behaviour but they do it for good reason. Don’t be too concerned if your dog eats grass, it’s actually quite a common behaviour for dogs. It has been observed in wild dogs, so it’s likely to be a very natural thing to do.
There are many different explanations as to exactly why dogs eat grass. Each dog is different and may have decided to eat fresh grass for a number of reasons. Sometimes grass eating can signal a specific health issue so in some cases you might want to take your dog to get checked over at the vet. There isn’t one simple answer as to why dogs eat grass, behaviourists, vets and scientists all have different opinions. Here are 10 potential reasons why dogs eat grass.
Some people believe that dogs eat grass to meet a specific nutritional need and that they just know that if they eat grass it will help them. For example, if they are lacking something in their diet such as fibre.
- To make themselves throw up
Many dogs appear to eat grass to try and make themselves throw up. After they vomit they tend to feel better, so the next time they feel sick they repeat the process. For dogs eating grass can be a way of self medicating.
- To get moisture
Grass often has dew on it so sometimes dogs might eat it or lick it when they are dehydrated or a little bit thirsty.
- To improve digestion
Lots of experts think dogs eat grass because it helps their digestion. So they may choose to eat it when they have an upset tummy.
- To treat intestinal worms
Dogs might also eat grass if they have intestinal worms. Make sure you keep up to date with their worming treatments and take them to your vet if you suspect they may have worms.
- They like the texture or flavour
Grass might just be tasty or have a really appealing texture to some dogs. They might simply enjoy the experience of eating grass (even though it looks really awkward!).
- Curiosity and boredom
Dogs sometimes just get bored and want to explore their environment. Some dogs may have discovered that attempting to eat grass is actually quite fun and it kills some time when they have nothing else to do.
- Compulsive behaviour
Dogs might eat grass initially for a specific reason such as self medication and then just get into the habit of doing it. They can display obsessive compulsive behaviour where they become fixated on it and find it difficult to stop doing it.
- To conceal their scent
Another theory based on wild wolves is related to their deep rooted hunting instincts. There is some suggestion that dogs in the wild would eat grass to conceal their scent from prey.
- They are simply hungry
Some dogs eat grass purely because they are hungry. They might not have been fed yet and want a little snack or they could just be a little bit underfed.