There’s no doubt about it—dogs like to eat. In fact, you’ve probably watched your dog eat their treats and food and wondered “where do you put it all?!”
But treats and food aren’t the only things your dog is eating. Chances are, you’ve probably caught your dog acting like a cow and munching on grass at least once or twice. And, as a result, you’ve probably said to yourself: “They're not hungry—so why does my dog eat grass?”
So, what’s the deal here? Why do dogs eat grass? Is it a problem? And how can you get them to stop acting like a lawnmower and chowing down on the green stuff every time they walk across your yard?
Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?
First things first—you give your dog plenty to eat. So why do they feel the need to eat grass?
The answer? It could be a lot of things. There are multiple reasons your dog might eat grass, including:
They Like The Taste!
The most simple reason your dog might be eating grass? Because they like the way it tastes!
Dogs are opportunists. If they have access to something they think might taste good, they’re going to eat it. And if it tastes good, they’re going to continue to eat it!
Grass might not sound like your idea of a five-star dish, but dogs have a completely different sense of taste. And to them, the grass on your neighbor’s front yard might taste like the ultimate delicacy.
They Evolved To Crave Grass
Another potential reason your dog can’t stop eating the green stuff has to do with evolution. Many animal experts believe that undomesticated dogs were omnivores—meaning they ate both meat and plant matter. As those dogs evolved into domesticated pets, they kept their desire for plants—which is why your dog feels compelled to munch on grass whenever they have the opportunity.
They're Having Issues With Their Stomach
One major theory as to why dogs eat grass has to do with their stomach. Many canine experts theorize that dogs eat grass when they’re struggling with stomach discomfort or indigestion. The theory is your dog is eating grass as a way to make himself throw up—and therefore get rid of their stomach discomfort.
There’s not a ton of science to back up this claim, but if your dog is eating grass on a regular basis—and then throwing it right back up—it might be because their stomach feels unsettled.
Is Eating Grass Safe For Your Dog?
Clearly, there are plenty of reasons your dog may be eating grass. But the most important question is—is eating grass safe for your pup?
And the answer is yes, but make sure to keep an eye on them. While eating grass is a normal (and mostly harmless) dog behavior, you want to make sure your dog isn’t eating any grass that’s treated with potentially harmful chemicals.
You also want to keep an eye on how often your dog’s grass eating is making them sick. If your dog is regularly eating grass and vomiting, it could be the sign of gastrointestinal issues—and you’ll definitely want to get them checked out by your vet.
How To Get Your Dog To Stop Eating Grass
So, eating grass is, for the most part, harmless. But that doesn’t mean you want your dog to do it all the time!
If you want your dog to stop acting like a lawnmower, here are a few tricks to get them to stop eating grass:
- Train them. Just like you’d train your dog to sit or stay, you can train your dog to stop eating grass. Next time you go for a walk, keep a bag of training treats in your pocket. If your dog tries to eat grass, redirect them and reward them with a treat when they stop munching on the lawn.
- Play with them. Your dog might just be eating grass because he’s bored. If that’s the case, grab your fetch toys and play a game of fetch. If they're playing with you, they won’t be bored—and they won’t be tempted to eat the grass out of boredom.
- Keep yourself stocked with treats. One of the best ways to keep your dog from eating grass? Give them better tasting options! Having treats on hand is a great way to keep your dog’s tummy full—and keep them out of your grass. Want to make sure you always have a solid selection of treats on hand? Subscribe to BarkBox and get two bags of treats (plus toys and chews) delivered to your door each month!