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Why Do Some Dogs Eat Grass?

why are my dogs always eating grass

Have you ever been watching your dog outside in the backyard and caught them eating grass?

Our beagle used to eat grass sometimes and every time he did, he would vomit.

My other dog, Sherman, used to eat graze in the backyard and when we were out for walks.

He never got sick after it.

Leroy used to only eat clumps of freshly cut grass and again, he never vomited afterward.

Why do dogs eat grass?

Years ago and even now, some people and veterinarians believe that when a dog is eating grass it’s a sign of a vitamin deficiency. 

does eating grass make a dog sick

There is something lacking in their diet such as fiber and so they seek out grass to help them pass gas, stool and to assist other bodily functions. 

However, a study performed by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, found that although eating grass was a common behavior seen in dogs, no relationship with clinical illness was identified. 

Some dogs were found to vomit after ingesting grass but they were found not to have any obvious signs of illness and these dogs did not have access to eating grass regularly. 

Further investigation revealed that dogs without regular access to grass were more likely to vomit after ingesting it.

It is now believed that grass can act as a stomach irritant in dogs that are unaccustomed to it.

It is possible some dogs may learn to associate grass-eating with vomiting and seek it out when they are feeling ill.

However, this study revealed that grass ingestion does not appear to be a form of self-medication in dogs with clinical illness.


Is Eating Grass Bad For Dogs?

For some dogs, eating grass can be a sign of an upset stomach and they are looking to relieve that discomfort by eating grass. 

However, since most dogs that eat grass do not vomit and are not feeling ill, it isn’t necessarily bad for them if they are in good health. 

It is important to keep in mind that not all grass is healthy for dogs.

It’s not so much the grass that can be harmful to dogs but what’s hidden in the grass such as toxic mushrooms which can accidentally be ingested when a dog is grazing.  

Grass that has been treated with chemicals such as fertilizers should also not be consumed by any pets.

And can also be home to certain parasites such as hookworms and roundworms that come from the feces of other dogs. 

So if you’re going to let your dog eat grass, make sure it’s safe grass.


Should you let your dog eat grass?

If you’re concerned about your dog’s health or their grass-eating habits you should always speak with your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions. 

Some dogs just really like to graze on grass and it’s perfectly fine for them. 

I would caution that if your dog likes to eat freshly cut grass that you don’t allow them to eat clumps of it which can cause an intestinal blockage. 

I always try to pick up the big clumps of grass left behind by the lawnmower, especially if they are wet. 

So is your dog a grass eater? A grazer? Do they ever vomit?

Contary to popular belief, when dogs eat grass it doesn't always mean that they are feeling sick. Many dogs will eat grass because they like the taste of it.



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Jan K

Monday 2nd of July 2018

This was so interesting, but University of CA seems to be the ones that got it right. We have definitely had dogs that sought out grass when they don't feel well, and if they did, it would make them vomit. But they always had access to it. However, Luke eats grass all the time, and very rarely vomits. It sometimes even seems like an obsessive behavior with him, or he just simply likes it. Now, you need to figure out why cats do it. Ours definitely seems to love it, but she never keeps it down!

My Golden Life

Sunday 10th of June 2018

Shadow doesnt usually eat grass unless she's hungry. And I can't remember the last time she vomited.

Ducky, OTH, will eat anything she can find in the yard EXCEPT grass. She will eat dirt, dead leaves, pieces of twigs, pieces of acorn shells, and just recently - are you ready? - birdseed!! Normally, though, it's only when she's eaten her breakfast or dinner too quickly and can't get it to go down properly so she gets obsessive about eating anything to make it all come back up. The obsessiveness was quite frequent when she was having the IBS episodes; but now that we have that mostly under control, it's only an occasional thing. And, luckily, most times I catch it before it gets too bad. Our vet suggested trying CatLax for her at those times. I've only known it to not work twice in the last year.

Dan Zurcher

Friday 8th of June 2018

Our last 2 Newfy's have been grass eaters. I think the younger one does just because the older one does. He eats the long grasses one blade at a time every day, never vomits. Neither one does. We had a Great Pyrenees a few years ago who would eat grass and vomit pretty regularly. The Newfs never do....

Thursday 7th of June 2018

Years ago vets used to say that dogs induce vomiting by eating long grass to tickle the back of the throat. I find it interesting that my dogs always eat from a very small patch of grass in the garden, I never see them eating from other areas. I think mine just like a little salad now and again!


Thursday 7th of June 2018

I'm pretty sure that's what our old vet use to say too. Sherman doesn't do it everyday but if he sees a long blade of a grass he goes for it. It's so funny because he's so gentle about it!

Tails Around the Ranch

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Some dogs (like Old English Sheepdogs) are genetically programmed to eat grass. When they worked the Highlands watching herds of sheep, it was the majority of their food. Thanks for sharing info on this interesting topic. It's a lot like the what came first, the chicken or the egg conundrum. ?


Thursday 7th of June 2018

That's pretty cool to know! Thanks for sharing!

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