Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

I am often asked why dogs eat grass and how can I stop my dog from eating grass?  Basically no one really knows the answer to this question but I can tell you about my dogs.

Sacajawea is an 18 month old puppy and like a lot of puppies she will eat just about everything or at least try it.  With the current rainy weather we will have lots of mushrooms popping up on our property and I will need to watch her because not all of them are safe.  The older dogs seem to know which ones to avoid but puppies have not learned that yet because as my dog teacher recently told me “puppies do not have brains yet”.

This morning when we went out for pit stops, the first thing Sacajawea did was run over to one of her favorite grass clumps ate a bunch.  That was a bit unusual for the time of day so I watched and within a few minutes she threw up the grass.  Heaved a couple more times with a few pieces of grass and foam and then she was fine, took off with Freezy and Ruger, who had been watching her.  I often see that too; if a dog is vomiting, the others will watch: curious, concerned, who knows.

When we came in Saca ate a full breakfast and then took a nice nap.  So it seems to me that something in her tummy was bothering her and she ate the grass to get it out.

I have also seen dogs with gassy tummies, which I can hear, eat a bunch of grass and may or may not vomit afterwards.

In the spring as soon as things start greening up, the dogs all search for grass and not just any grass.  They definitely have choices of what species of grass they eat (wish they would all eat the cheat grass but that does not seem to be a favorite!).  And each dog is different; Ruger will eat a little grass unless he is not feeling well and then will eat more and usually vomit it.  Freezy and Saca eat grass every day and each has her special patch.

I have been practicing many recalls with Saca and she has always come running,leaving deer pellets and pocket gopher holes, the other dogs, etc. behind.  But one evening this weekend I called and she would not respond, just kept eating at her favorite grass clump until I went to get her.  She looked at me like I was interrupting her gourmet treat!

I think the dogs like the taste of grass (no one seems to like lettuce), perhaps they like the minerals that are in grass and I think it is a good fiber, gut scrubber which they instinctively know when they need that and I will see pieces grass in their feces.

Here are several of my dogs grazing:




















So I say if your dog is eating grass let them UNLESS they are eating way too much at a time and that may be a sign of illness that a vet needs to check out.  Also, NEVER, EVER let your dogs eat grass that has been treated with any herbicide, pesticide, or insecticide; if it does not kill them, it will probably make them sick.


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