Excessive Grass Eating In Dogs

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionWhy does my dog eat grass all the time? (Serena Parker - United Kingdom)


There are many common opinions about why dogs eat grass, and unfortunately most of them are ill-founded. For example, most people think dogs eat grass to intentionally make themselves sick. In most cases when a dog eats grass, however, the dog is not sick, nor does he have any underlying symptoms that may lead you to think he would want to be sick. Some dog owners will witness a specific correlation between eating grass and being sick but unfortunately there just is not enough evidence for this as a primary, common reason.

Studies have been carried out to try and link grass easting with illness, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and lack of roughage in the diet, none of which found any significant evidence. In some cases, you see dogs only eating grass from specific areas, suggesting these might just taste better or have higher mineral deposits. Other ideas include that these are areas where other dogs have scented, or other animals have urinated.

In most cases, routinely eating small amounts of grass will do no harm, and is perfectly normal. The dangers exist where this consumption is excessive. Apart from not being easily digestible, there is a danger where vomiting occurs that pieces of grass are deposited in the nasal cavity, which can lead to infection.

In your case, if this excessive consumption has occurred suddenly, check his stools and urine for any changes. Also monitor his behavior. If you don't notice any other changes in his health or behavior, it is probably safe for you to wait and see if this is a temporary habit, or if it only happens in a specific place which you can avoid. However, if it continues, is affecting his consumption of his regular diet, or you notice any other minor health problems you should take him for a thorough medical examination.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Rhode Island
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Added on June 24th, 2011
my dog a bull mastiff french mastiff mix eats grass almost every time he is outside i think he may be part cow or he is jsut borde he never throws up he just eats it for fun i guess.
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Added on Aug 4th, 2010
Our chi-chi mix, a rescue, is very moody, plus, she eats grass every couple of weeks and always throws up afterward, usually under one of our beds. I know beforehand when she's going to do this because she won't eat her breakfast and doesn't want to be bothered. After I assure her that she's not in trouble, everything is fine...til the next time. She's coming along nicely with her other behavior problems so I'm hoping this will pass, unless it's intestinal related. My vet doesn't seem to be worried and we're going to change vets for other reasons...so maybe something can be done for her.
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Added on June 1st, 2010
When my little poodle eats grass, something is wrong. She usually has an upset stomach. She throws up and hides under the bed. Because of her size, I give her 1/4 of a Pepcid and sometimes limit her to very plain food. I do take her to the vet if it goes on too long. She is so small and I worry about dehydration.