Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Many dogs have this weird habit of binging on grass every time they come across the green spaces when they go for their daily walks. This brings in the following questions in the minds of many pet parents. Why do dogs start to eat grass suddenly? Is the food fed at home insufficient? Has somebody planted something very tasty beneath or within the ground? This article will not clear all these doubts but will also provide ways to overcome this behavior.

Are grasses toxic to dogs?

Dogs that often binge on grass experience an upset stomach, vomiting or spitting up yellow bile, or white foam later. This is a matter of concern for many pet parents. Even though they have so many health ailments this doesn’t stop the lovable pooches from eating grass and dried leaves again in no time post those purging episodes. While no research or expert is entirely sure why dogs eat grass, but pet intuitionalists say that this is normal canine behavior and is not a cause of concern.

What are the types of dog grazing?

There are mainly two types of grass eating in canines that include simple grazing and instinctive behavior.

Simple grazing

Here the dog happily tends to munch on grass and do not seem to suffer from any ill effects.

Instinctive behavior

This is a grass eating category where a dog deliberately eats some grass quickly even without chewing it and throws it up. The canines usually attempt this if it has swallowed something that makes it feel ill. Experts believe that long, unchewed pieces of grass tickle the pet pals throats to evoke the vomiting reaction.

Why do dogs eat grass?

Dogs binge on grasses due to the following possible reasons

  • Boredom
  • Stress
  • Instinctive behavior of chewing
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Digestion disorders
  • Anxiety

Boredom, stress, and anxiety

Many dogs tend to chew grass or dried leaves due to anxiety or boredom. Hence the pet parents need to spend ample time with the pets and keep them busy till they get tired by indulging them in many mental and physical games. This will not only divert their mind but will also prevent grazing behavior.

Nutrient deficiencies and gastrointestinal ailments

Dogs at times are not provided with a well-balanced diet. Hence, they tend to eat greens especially grass to overcome the deficient nutrient. In some cases, the pet pal binge on the grass to soothe the digestion discomforts that include stomach upset, gastrointestinal discomforts, and presence of worms. Vets usually recommend deworming the dogs during such occurrence to stop this behavior.

Note: Post grass eating and puking if the pooch seems normal then it is of no harm.  If the pooch keeps retching and is unable to throw up or continues eating grass and carries on vomiting, he or she should be taken to the vet without further delay.

Why do dogs eat grass even though a well-balanced diet is provided to them?

Vets suggest that dogs eat grass to make up for a nutritional deficiency.  Even though they are fed with a well-balanced diet some dogs tend to chew on grass. Experts link this type of grass eating to taste. Some dogs naturally love the taste of greens hence they tend to graze on the grass especially during the spring and summer when the grasses are greener and fresher.

What are the benefits of grass on the dog’s health?

The grass is usually a health neutral. But in addition to the fibrous qualities discussed above, the grass is also seen to build up a steady resistance to anything that could potentially harm the pooches by eating grass. Consuming pollen is seen to enhance the dog’s immunity in canines suffering from mild seasonal allergies.

What are the side effects of dogs grazing?

The following side effects are observed in some dogs that need immediate medical support.

1. Vomiting

Puking once or twice post eating grass is normal in many canines. But some pooches are allergic to grass hence they tend to fall sick. But some dogs binge on other stuff that on the grass which are seen to aggravate their stomach lining. This could include leftover foods, pollen, chicken bones, etc. Excessive vomiting requires immediate medical support.

2. Spitting

Some dogs take to spitting after binging on the grass and tend to release a white foam or yellow bile foam. This can be quite frightening if one fails to understand the origin of these discharges, especially if it is accompanied by retching sounds. This is another example of vomiting and a dog’s instinctive way of flushing an irritant out of their body.

White foam is commonly seen when dogs eat something that their bodies are not designed to digest that includes grass or dirt. Swallowing the grass or dirt faster than their digestive tract can cope also lead to this consequence.

Consult the vet without delay if the dog continually spits up white foam or yellow bile, as these are signals of an internal injury and also are the symptoms of a stomach inflammation that may need medical intervention.

3. Coughing

The sound of a dog coughing can be a little unnerving and disturbing especially when they seem to stop in its tracks and start to wheeze. Not all dog coughs stem from cold or flu symptoms. Many times, the pooches cough from eating something that has lodged in its throat. Grass, seeds, or dirt may get stuck into the hound’s throat and a dog coughs to desperately tries to clear its airways to breathe normally. But continuous coughing requires medical intervention.

4. Refusing to eat or drink.

Dogs refuse to eat or drink if they are sick with a sore throat or have eaten a sharp blade of grass that can cause a very small cut to the back of their throat. This phase will usually pass with time. However, a vet will administer an on-the-spot painkiller to ease the symptoms for a faster recovery.

How can one prevent grass eating in fidos?

Pet pals love to roll over in the garden hence it is not a fair idea to stop them from doing this. The following steps can help to stop them from binging on grasses or other stuff from the turf.

1. Mouth nozzle usage

Placing a mouth nozzle can stop this behavior. If one is going to place a muzzle over the dog’s mouth, ensure that the canine companion understands they are not being punished. Pop their favorite treats inside the muzzle to make the idea more palatable or smear a little peanut butter inside so that the dog can enjoy a regular snack throughout their walk.

2.  Distract the dogs

Dogs tend to get bored or stresses if their energy is not diminished and most likely begin to binge on grass or dirt. Hence pet parents need to find ways to overcome this by distracting them with mental as well as physical games like Fetch and throw with a frisbee or ball.

3. Reward the pooch

Once the dog starts to develop an interest in the green command it to stop doing it and treat it with a reward. Food can correct most of the bad behaviors in any pet pal. Practicing this will make them wait for this time during their strolls.  

What are the precautions one need to take during the daily strolls to a green region?

The following pointers need to be borne when taking a pet for its daily stroll.

1. Toxic plants

Refrain the dogs from binging on tomato plant leaves or green tomato. This is seen to be highly toxic to it. Keep a list of the toxic plants that the dogs should be refrained from.

2. Pesticides or fertilizer treated grass

Avoid the green turfs wherein the grasses are sprayed with harmful pesticides.

3.  Monitor the grass eating

If the dog binges on excessive grass consult a vet to check for its diet, psychological, or behavioral issues and rectify them at the earliest.

Final thoughts

Grazing is not a cause of concern in dogs if they do not exhibit any side effects. But a pet parent needs to continuously monitor its pals during walks and play times in the green region for an overall better pet health.


  1. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/behavior-appearance/why-do-dogs-eat-grass
  2. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/why-does-my-dog-eat-grass
  3. https://www.petcarrierverdict.com/dog-eating-grass/
  4. https://petazi.com/why-do-dogs-eat-grass

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Yeshwanthi Kamalraj
Yeshwanthi Kamalraj is a freelance copy editor, Pet sitter, and content writer who mainly focuses on scientific journals and health-related web pages. Before becoming a freelance content writer Yeshwanthi worked for Cenveo publishers as document analyst for various science journals published by Taylor and Francis Journals and later continued as a freelance copyeditor for the same publishers. Post marriage in 2009 Yeshwanthi developed a keen interest in pets after her husband and she brought a labrador puppy home. This interest helped her to explore a new niche of the pet sitting world whose journey is still on. Yeshwanthi is a dog lover who in her freetime enjoys listening to music, cooking, and meeting new people.


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