Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Surprising Reasons

why do dogs eat grass

Chances are your dog’s eaten a salad’s worth of grass at some point in his life. So you might be wondering: why do dogs eat grass?

It’s a good question, especially since when a dog eats grass it comes out pretty much the same way it went in … at one end or another. He’ll throw it up or poop it out, looking just the way it went in.

So if they can’t digest it … why are they eating grass in the first place? Is there an underlying health issue that you should worry about?

So here are a few reasons your dog may be eating grass. Read on … or watch the video below (or both)!

Why Is My Dog Eating Grass?

Despite what you may think, your dog is probably not eating grass just to annoy you.

In fact, if your dog is eating grass on a regular basis, it’s more likely a signal of one of these things…

1. Your Dog Needs Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants and algae. Its structure is a lot like your dog’s hemoglobin, which is an important part of your dog’s red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout his body.

So when your dog eats chlorophyll, he helps replenish the red blood cells.

Chlorophyll also …

  • Protects cells from damage and may lower risk of cancer
  • Fights infections
  • Heals wounds
  • Builds the immune system
  • Breaks down calcium oxalate stones in his bladder
  • Heals the digestive tract (which we’ll talk about next)

Your dog can’t choose green veggies when he needs chlorophyll. And he doesn’t get chlorophyll from the belly of his prey as a wild dog would. So he eats whatever greens he can find … which leads to grass-eating.

Unfortunately grass isn’t a great source of chlorophyll because it’s hard to digest. But you can give your dog foods that supply the chlorophyl he needs

You can purée or steam organic vegetables like …

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Parsley
  • Spinach

Dogs’ digestive systems can’t break down raw veggies effectively, so puréeing or steaming them will hellp him digest the vegetables better so he can absorb the nutrients. 

Now, we hinted earlier that grass eating might be a sign of digestive upset.

And that brings us to reason number two …

2. Your Dog Needs Fiber

There’s a theory that dogs eat grass as a way to get more fiber in their diets. 

Dogs are omnivores, which means that they can eat both meat and plants. While their diets should be primarily made up of animal protein, they still need some fiber to keep their digestive systems running smoothly. 

Eating grass may be a way for dogs to supplement their fiber intake.

Feeding foods like cabbage, sweet potato, or the vegetables mentioned earlier can help up your dog’s fiber intake and perhaps make it less likely for him to eat grass. 

Best sources of fiber for dogs …

3. Boredom Or Anxiety

Some experts also believe that dogs eat grass simply because they’re bored or anxious. 

Dogs are highly social animals who need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. 

If he’s not getting enough of these things, your pup may resort to eating grass as a way to pass the time or relieve stress.

4. Eating Grass Is Natural For Your Dog

At the end of the day, grass eating is normal dog behavior. Wild dogs like wolves and coyotes do it too.

So if your dog gets enough greens in his diet and he looks like he’s feeling fine … he may just be in the mood to chew and bite. Grass satisfies that need. 

But here’s a word of caution …

Make sure the grass your dog eats isn’t sprayed with pesticides or chemicals

These toxic products are a common cause of bladder cancer in dogs. So you want to make sure he only eats grass that’s free of chemicals.

Also, if your dog’s just eating grass for something to do, chewing on a good bone will serve the same purpose … in a healthier way that’ll benefit his teeth and exercise his muscles. Click on the link below for some guidelines on recreational bones for dogs

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass And Throw Up?

You’ve probably noticed your dog tends to throw up after eating too much grass. Since dogs can’t digest grass, it will usually make your dog sick, and they’ll end up throwing it right back up because of an upset stomach.

But sometimes dogs who are already sick will also start eating grass … leading many people to wonder, why do dogs eat grass when sick?

The answer is that dogs sometimes eat grass to get rid of toxins in their stomachs. So your dog might be eating grass to induce vomit, so that he can naturally detox or get rid of bad food he’s eaten. 

If this is the case, and your dog’s eating grass because he’s not feeling well, you’ll often see other signs of sickness.

He might …

  • Lick his lips
  • Drool
  • Act lethargic

If this happens consistently, you might want to do a bit of detective work to figure out what’s wrong with him. He may have a health issue that needs some gut healing help. If you can’t get to the bottom of the cause, and it’s ongoing, you may want to talk to your holistic vet. 

RELATED: Types of dog vomit … plus home treatment …

Should I Stop My Dog From Grass Eating?

As dog owners, when we see our dog eat grass, it’s natural to wonder whether we should put a stop to it.

The answer depends on why your dog is eating grass. You want to make sure he’s not doing it out of nutritional deficiencies or boredom, as these can indicate other problems.

So if you think your dog’s grass-eating habits stem from boredom, make sure he’s getting ample physical activity and mental stimulation. Engage your dog with dynamic play sessions, such as fetching a ball or a tug-of-war game. You can also get some engaging chew toys to help keep him entertained.

If your dog’s eating grass because of dietary needs, switching to a superior, fiber-rich diet might be beneficial. This change can help satisfy fiber requirements and stop your dog from eating grass.

Finally, keep in mind that while eating grass isn’t detrimental, you’ll still want to be cautious about the environment in which your dog is grazing. Lawns treated with herbicides or pesticides can pose big risks if these things are ingested.

Many common garden plants can also be harmful if eaten. So make sure that any area accessible to your dog, including indoor plants, is free from toxic plants.

Bottom Line | Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Your dog eating grass excessively can be annoying. But the truth is that eating grass is natural behavior for dogs.

Dogs eating grass are often lacking in other greens. So to stop your dog eating grass, consider adding more fresh, real green veggies in his diet … this way, you’ll not only stop your dog from eating grass, but also meet his chlorophyll needs.

If after that, your dog’s desperately chowng down on grass and looks like he’s not feeling well … it might be time to connect with your holistic vet.

Otherwise, grass eating is just natural behavior for dogs, especially in the spring when the grass is lush and long. So don’t fret just because your dog ate grass. Instead, make sure your dog has access to other chlorophyll sources and is eating a complete and balanced diet.


Does a dog eating grass mean anything?

Yes, a dog eating grass can indicate a need for more fiber or chlorophyll in their diet, which helps with digestion and replenishes red blood cells. It can also be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or a natural instinct similar to their wild ancestors.

What is my dog lacking when it eats grass?

When dogs eat grass, they might be lacking in chlorophyll or fiber. Chlorophyll is beneficial for red blood cells and overall health, while fiber aids in digestion. Consider incorporating steamed or puréed green vegetables like kale, broccoli, or spinach into their diet.

Do dogs eat grass when they have worms?

Dogs may eat grass when they have worms, as grass eating is an instinctive attempt to remove intestinal parasites by inducing vomiting. However, grass is not an effective treatment for worms, and proper veterinary care is recommended.

Why is my dog throwing up foam and eating grass?

If your dog is throwing up foam and eating grass, they may be trying to soothe an upset stomach or expel harmful toxins. Dogs sometimes eat grass to induce vomiting naturally when they feel ill or have ingested something problematic.

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