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Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

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  • Originally Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
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  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2014
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There is a lot of debate about why dogs eat grass, and ultimately no single answer seems all inclusive. Some animals act like mini lawnmowers, eating grass at every opportunity, and it may be that they simply like the taste or eat it for nutritional reasons. Others dogs eat grass only occasionally, subsequently throwing it up, and this may be a form of self-treatment for upset stomach. In the end, the majority of dogs demonstrate this behavior at one time or another and it is generally normal, though sudden changes in behavior can be a sign of a problem.

Stomach Issues

One of the most common reasons many people state for why dogs eat grass is to deal with an upset stomach. Many owners witness their pets eating grass in large bites, often not chewing it, and swallowing it whole. This seems to bother either the animal's throat or stomach, causing it to throw up afterward. Some people take this as a sign that the dog's stomach was unsettled in some way and that it purposefully made itself throw up to alleviate the distress. It is impossible to definitively know a dog's intentions, however, so this remains a likely but ultimately unproven theory.

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Enjoyment

Other people suggest that some dogs eat grass simply because they enjoy it. In many instances, owners see their pets sniffing about, chewing it carefully, and never becoming sick afterward. It may be that some canines simply like the taste of grass, since many dogs seem to enjoy fruit and vegetables along with meat. This may be supported by behavior in which they sometimes seem to look for specific types of grass to eat.

Dietary Imbalance

If dogs eat grass on a regular basis, this can indicate some type of dietary imbalance, though this may be difficult to determine. Anyone concerned about his or her pet's health and diet should talk to a veterinarian about the possibility of certain needs not being met. Some dog owners put their pet on a high-fiber diet or include cooked green vegetables with meals. In certain instances, this seems to diminish their taste for grass.

Possible Concerns

For the most part, eating grass is not an unusual or alarming behavior and most pet owners should not be concerned by it. Grass from manicured lawns can contain fertilizers and pesticides, however, which can be toxic to dogs. People who have pets that like to eat grass should avoid chemicals on their lawns that can be harmful to them, or keep them inside until such chemicals naturally wear off. Anyone with a grass-hungry pup should be careful when walking the pet near well-manicured lawns and prevent the dog from eating grass from them.

New Behavior

If someone sees their dogs eat grass as a new behavior, especially if it is accompanied by frequent vomiting, then he or she may want to check with a vet. Any type of sudden or dramatic change in behavior, including grass-eating, can be a sign of a health issue. Such changes can signify viral or bacterial infections, for example, that might require veterinary treatment.

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Discuss this Article

anon924051
Post 130

Because they have worms.

anon344628
Post 129

We think our mixed Golden Retriever at four years old seems to be losing her top and bottom teeth, although it looks like her gums might be growing over her teeth. Can anyone relate and give us some answers?

anon328017
Post 128

My dogs eat grass then they throw up, but not all the time and when they do it smells really bad like bad cheese. Then have to clean their cage and bathe them. Has this happened to anyone?

anon295154
Post 127

My dog eats grass, not a lot and only if he has to go to the bathroom. It's like a trigger for him. If he goes out and takes a nibble, I know no. 2 is on the way within a minute or two. No idea why, it's just his habit. Once he's gone to the bathroom, he's done and ready to get on with his day.

TerrierDaddy
Post 126

Our dog used to eat grass all the time. We were feeding him a grain-free dog food with too much protein and not much else, and when we switched him to a grain-free food with a more balanced amount of protein and nutrients like fruits and veggies in it called Alpha, he stopped eating the grass. The natural balance food clearly was a better formula for what his body needed.

anon278946
Post 125

My dog just had surgery for bladder stones. He had 30 of them. He could not pee pee at all. I was told that the stones were calcium based stones and that his grass eating could have caused it. He eats grass like there will be no more around to eat.

What upsets me about this is my vet told me him eating grass is O.K., but once he had the stones I was told that the grass could have caused it. So what is a person to do?

Raeganspets
Post 123

Well my dog eats grass and is fine.She never shows any signs that she has heartworms or anything else.S he used to have worms but she got cured and she hasn't had worms since. But it's like she eats it every day in the afternoon or in the morning. She doesn't vomit or anything. She just eats it. I think she just likes the taste, but I don't know why she does not vomit.

anon186513
Post 116

My dogs are always eating grass. It started with my oldest do but when we got a new puppy and he started to follow, they do not vomit after. Why is this and how can I stop it?

anon186337
Post 115

I have just begun puppy training my little one and he's forever eating grass. I was worried but thanks for putting my mind at ease.

anon181309
Post 114

I have owned dogs all of my life. I even owned an 80 percent wolf. When you are chopping veggies or fruit, give them a taste. They spit it out, clean it and note it.

My dogs and wolf loved a vast variety of fruit and veggies, and still eat grass. It should be in their diet. They are scavengers and what ever is around, they will eat if hungry.

As for the medical treatments by these vets, I have had a King Shepard live to be 14 years old and a wolf live to 13, until he was killed by a car hit. Offer your dogs every fruit and vegetable you eat. You will be amazed at what they like.

anon177146
Post 113

Eating grass isn't a symptom of a single condition, and it isn't a condition in itself.

As previously stated, dogs will do this to create equilibrium, and using that same person's example, you drink too much, you feel sick, and you stick your fingers down your throat to cause a gag action, and throw it back up. Whereas some dogs will do this simply because their diet lacks something. They will generally sniff around, and be far pickier than one who is sick, and find some grass (Or any leafy green for that matter) with the missing component of their diet.

I've found that if your dog is eating grass, it's not a bad thing (unless it's full of pesticides or something). It shows the dog feels something wrong inside, and they're doing their all to correct it. It's generally just an imbalance in their diet, or they've eaten something which simply "doesn't sit right" and they want to throw it back up. It's when they start not wanting to eat grass, and they're obviously sick that it becomes a problem. That's when you should bring them to see me.

I've owned dogs all my life now (I'm 45, but who's counting?) and I've been a vet for 10 now, I own my own veterinary practice and in all of my experiences, I've had perhaps one or two cases where the dog has had a serious problem and eating grass is the only symptom.

While it can't hurt to check, don't fret too much when your pooch starts. Also, I get a lot of puppies, or young adult dogs eating grass simply because they're bored. That pretty much sums it up. If your dog is eating grass for an extended period (for longer than about a week) then switch up his diet, and (off the record) name brand dog food is often just as bad as the no name brand.

I'm a vet and feed both of my dogs with the no name food, and they're both in perfect health (Maybe a little porky, but I'm not one to judge, haha). Good luck with the pooches. -Chris

anon172135
Post 111

My dog only eats grass when he has an upset stomach. He won't eat anything all day and I hear his stomach growl from another room. Only at that time will he eat grass. He never vomits afterward. It helps him, and hour or so later, he will finally eat.

anon161470
Post 107

Dogs eat grass because it's there.

anon159817
Post 106

Dogs eat grass because they lack sulphur in the diet. you don't find it in dog food..you can give them sulphur tabs. Dog food isn't all that it should be.

anon157589
Post 105

That might be because she is sick. Grass makes dogs puke if they eat enough. They're trying to get something in their stomach out. If they eat grass all the time change the food and make sure they don't eat too much. it can make them sick.

anon155754
Post 104

My dog is two years old. He eats very rarely but when I leave him alone on the chain or at or anywhere he goes nuts. If I punish him for doing his business in the house he does it again and won't listen to me. I put him outside on the leash yesterday. Then the next morning he pukes up a lot of unchewed grass and then blood.

anon143862
Post 103

Dogs may be different than us in many ways but that doesn't mean they can eat anything. They vomit like us, they go to the bathroom like us. They're similar to us in many more ways. You think they don't feel when someone steps on their tail and breaks their bone?

anon115312
Post 99

When my wife and I married, she brought to the family a dog who was a poop eater. My dog was a grass eater. Now we have two dogs that eat poop and grass all the time. No vomiting, healthy check ups. It's just something they taught each other I guess.

anon114099
Post 98

I strongly advice any dog parents to be watchful of any behavior that is not "the norm" for their dog, including eating grass. My husband and I just lost our beloved, wonderful Brody last week to liver cancer.

His numerous, vague symptoms were all thought to be associated with the chronic renal failure he'd had for the last four years, due to six bouts with Lyme disease (even with faithful Frontline use).

Even the vet thought all his symptoms to be caused by his kidney problem. For about the last year, he had also started wanting to eat grass whenever he went outside and that wasn't something he did before. He seemed obsessed with it, even though we always stopped him from eating it.

He only wanted the tall, wild grass near the woods by our house and we didn't want him eating anything we weren't sure of. It could have been sprayed with pesticides, or whatever. Our township has came and sprayed the wooded areas for ticks, etc. a few times since we've lived here.

I'm sure Brody's obsession with eating grass had something to do with his liver cancer. He was probably instinctively trying to correct an enzyme imbalance or a tummy upset. The vet, my husband and I all thought his tummy was queasy from his kidney problem, since that goes along with that.

anon106090
Post 96

My dog eats grass, and it is so annoying because I have to go and get her to stop her from eating grass. It drives me insane, but just to tell you I'm only eleven years old and my dog Piper is only three. She was three in july and yeah, when she eats grass she swallows it and then she coughs it back up and this disgusting thing comes up her throat. it's really disgusting.

Every time I go outside, Piper is eating grass up the top area or down the bottom area. It's just, just, just so annoying.

anon102184
Post 95

My Griffon Vendeen (eight years old) has started eating grass regularly this summer. At the same time, he started having diarrhea, usually toward the evening. I'm wondering if the accumulation of eating grass is causing this.

It has been unusually dry this summer, with hardly any rain, and I'm wondering if this dry grass could do this? Went to the vet and he's been checked over and they find nothing. He has his normal energy level and appetite. I have been feeding him Hills science RD for weight reduction. Any advice would be much appreciated.

anon98153
Post 93

My little dog got ahold of a double cheeseburger last night and this morning he has thrown up twice. I went to take him outside and he went straight to the grass (unusual for him) and wanted to eat quite a bit of it. Do you think part of the double cheeseburger has upset his stomach and he is just trying to feel better? Or is this something I should be concerned about?

anon91073
Post 91

Awesome answer! I found the information very detailed and helpful, confirming what I'd already thought and offering insight to other possibilities.

anon88239
Post 89

I will tell you that every time my dog is feeling dizzy from getting a sedative at the vet's office, he will eat as much of any plant that he can and tries to throw up, then will eat more grass, ferns, vines etc.

My guess is he's feeling the equivalent of "motion sickness" as my vet said, "He's moving his head around like that because he is dizzy, like when you drink too much."

When I drank too much in my college years I certainly wanted to puke to feel better. I used a finger, but I'm guessing dogs have a problem putting their finger down their throat, but my dog also eats a certain plant from time to time that he just simply seems to enjoy.

anon87493
Post 88

My dog is a boxer and he just got put on some kind of medication and started eating grass but didn't throw up he's just acting really weird. Like he's not being himself. What should I do?

anon86752
Post 87

Ladies and gentlemen, be very careful when your dog eats grass. Yes, they do it out of boredom and for many other reasons, but grass is loaded with gluten. Gluten irritates the stomach (causing vomiting), and gluten kills the "good bacteria" in the intestines, leaving the bad bacteria to take over causing a condition known as Celiac disease.

If your dog is eating grass and then vomiting afterward, chances are he's allergic to the gluten and has an undiagnosed case of Celiac Disease. How do you know? If your dog is vomiting up frothy or phlegm looking matter, this is the undigested gluten.

Also, his stool will have a sweetish smell (don't ask me how I know this). My dog is staying overnight at the vet's tonught so they can give him antibiotics, Pepcid, and liquids via IV. I thought my dog was just "being a puppy" eating grass. Turns out, it's a very, very bad thing for them to do. Research canine celiac disease.

anon86544
Post 86

Our dog eats grass with no harmful effects. We assume he needs more greens. We now feed him kale as a daily treat and he just loves it. He's totally healthy.

anon86327
Post 85

I was wondering about this. However, now that I've read a few internet articles on the subject, I see I have nothing to worry about as my dog eats a little grass once in awhile, and hasn't vomited yet. I guess her eating grass is like me eating greens, cabbage, broccoli, etc.

anon85052
Post 84

First off, chocolate in moderation is fine, depending on dog. I had a dog for 17 years and what was her evening treat? A chips ahoy cookie. Every day! Now my dog i have loves grass.

anon82246
Post 83

My dog is very healthy. I take him out three times a day for at least an hour and half each time, but these last couple of days he has been eating a lot of grass and not eating his food and he is very restless. Should I be worried?

anon82062
Post 82

My mom gave my dog spicy chicken and so she ate it. Later on she was eating grass like if it was the last grass on earth.

Melanie285
Post 81

To add: Don't get me wrong - I'm certain that they instinctively seek to induce vomiting when their tummies are upset/nauseous, but linking to what I mentioned below I also think they are more likely to vomit grass on an empty stomach (my aspirin theory, seeing as my dog seems to better tolerate grass when he already has food in his tummy) - especially dogs that have sensitive/weak stomachs to begin with.

If his stomach's empty - all it takes is just two or three blades of grass to get him puking! That's how sensitive he is to it when without food in his system. Very weak stomach he has. I also think they at times, eat it just for the hell of it.

Melanie285
Post 80

My dog has a history of frequent stomach problems ever since we got him as a pup. Every so often he will not eat his kibble in the morning right up well into the afternoon. On such days once I put a few kibbles into his mouth - he'll usually start eating it, otherwise he will seek out some grass outside and puke it up along with yellow (sometimes frothy) digestive juices.

Through years of observation I have found that he is guaranteed to vomit the grass if he eats it on an empty stomach - every time. When he has already has food in his stomach the grass doesn't seem to affect him. I think it's the same with humans taking an aspirin or some other meds that can be harsh on our stomachs if taken without food. This makes sense to me, as I've read it's the sharp blades of particular types of grass can be quite irritating on the stomach lining of dogs and cats, and that is what causes them vomit it.

I also believe that some dogs (like my own) have stomachs that are more sensitive to these irritants than others. These dogs that can eat grass without ever vomiting it, must have "cast-iron" stomachs and are thus able to tolerate those blades better.

anon80418
Post 78

OK, most of you really need to stop worrying. Dogs have eaten grass since being in the wild. All my dogs eat grass and have done for years, mainly when they have a stomach upset. I have just got a new pup and he eats it all the time. he's never sick so I'm not concerned. He still jumps around and enjoys life as do my older dogs.

anon79965
Post 77

I would be careful with letting your dog stick his/her nose in tall grass because one time my dog was noshing on some of the tall grass in our backyard, and when her head came up, I saw a large black dot on her snout. upon closer inspection, I realized it was a huge tick! Fortunately, it hadn't burrowed into her skin, so I just flicked it off.

anon78346
Post 76

Actually regular chocolate is not as toxic as people think. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are the worst for them to get into, however, small amounts of regular chocolate from time to time is not going to harm them.

Having worked in animal medicine for 19 years, we get lots of calls with owners in a panic that their dogs got into holiday chocolate etc.

Depending on the size of the pet, most of the time it just causes diarrhea and excitement. Obviously the smaller the dog, the less they can tolerate. Personally, my dog likes chocolate and once in a while she gets a bite. She's almost 11 years old now and in perfect health.

anon78315
Post 75

I got my boxer back two weeks ago. I'd been living away for a year and a family member had her during that time. She's now 18 months old and has been great up until now.

But she won't eat dog food - a few mouthfuls is all. She'll eat our scraps if we give them to her but not her own food. She's losing weight now. She does chew grass from time to time but hasn't been sick, still has heaps of energy and behaves exactly the same as always - very loving and sociable, lots of fun etc.

I'm going to call the vet on Monday morning but do any of you have any suggestions meantime? Thanks!

anon76879
Post 73

Number 55, i'm surprised your dog is still alive! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs! I thought everyone knew that.

anon75966
Post 72

To post #55 (anon43874)- You feed your dog hot chocolate and brownies? You know chocolate is like poison to dogs, right? Did no one else find that a bit odd?

anon72794
Post 70

My dog was eating grass this morning. She threw up a few minutes ago. We took her out for a walk and at every stop, she would smell the grass and then eat it.

anon71283
Post 68

Some dogs like the taste of grass. I have two that nibble on it everyday and never vomit. In the morning they like the dew down by the shoot.

anon71274
Post 67

Well my two dogs like to eat dry grass and fresh grass. Well, the first time I was worried, but now every time we go to the park they eat grass.

anon65580
Post 66

Dogs eat grass to clean their digestive system, usually when they eat too much junk food.

anon63168
Post 65

Dogs eat grass when they are food poisoned. The grass they eat is a particular grass known as Dhub grass, Garike. It is a very powerful ayurvedic medicine.

How the dogs know this is still a mystery. What is a bigger mystery is that dogs that have been raised in isolation, learn to eat this grass. They only hunt for this grass.

All I can say is that if you dog is eating grass a lot then there is some "poison" in his food. So you better take notice. Like someone commented that her dog ate a Vienna sausage and was eating grass and throwing up all day. I normally throw up when I eat sausages and feel like crap as of the past 10 years. That's because they use a lot of preservatives additives and colors which have some pretty nasty side effects.

So that explains it. Dogs are now fed more and more processed meat and food when they are actually supposed to eat raw natural meat.

anon59618
Post 63

My problem is that with the snow my dog has no access to grass and I think she thinks she really needs some. What can I do to help her?

My dog always eats grass, but she seeks out grass of a particular type. However sometimes in the evenings she starts licking her lips and as the main article above says, she also heads fast and furious to the back garden to gobble up whatever grass she can - she never vomits after this but it obviously makes her feel better.

Now with the snow I don't know how to help her. i've tried green beans and lettuce but it doesn't relieve her.

anon57327
Post 62

I'm not sure exactly why dogs eat grass, but my guess is that it's probably their way of helping to remove parasites from their digestive tract. since the grass is fibrous, it might function as a "brush." At least that's what I think.

anon50155
Post 60

I've heard that eating grass means that a dog has a stomach ache.

anon49883
Post 59

So what if dogs eat grass? They seem to be fine, so I say just let them do their thing. They seem to be just fine. It's a dog thing and we may never understand.

anon48844
Post 58

You know, dogs eat grass all the time. I'm amazed at how seriously all of you took this. It's a dog eating grass. who gives a crap? I've seen my dog eat grass and I just looked at him and said "Dude, what are you doing?" That was it.

anon43878
Post 56

Anon43874, please take your dog back to the vet. The vet may be able to prescribe something in a liquid form you can give, and also give your dog an antibiotic injection to get his immune system kick-started. Your dog may also need IV fluids. The other thing you might think about is contacting a compounding pharmacy in your town. They can often put medication in some sort of form that your dog will eat: lollipops, a sweet-tasting liquid suspension, etc. But the first thing is to take your doggie back to the doctor.

anon43874
Post 55

My dog ran away five days ago. I found him the following morning and he had been in a really bad dog fight, or at least that's what I suppose. He had very bad bite and scratch marks on his rear legs and could barely walk.

I took him to a vet clinic right away and they clipped and cleaned his wounds. it turned out that there were no broken bones on the left rear leg but there were very severe bite wounds. They bandaged his leg up and sent home pain medicine, an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medicine.

He is not good with pills. Usually I have to dissolve them in hot chocolate and he will have them that way but this time around he won't have any hot chocolate. I've tried marshmallows, dog food, table food, rice, brownies. For three days I've been able to give him the pills by sticking them in canned vienna sausage; the vet advised me he should eat since the medicine would probably be rough on his tummy. All I could get him to eat were those sausages and now he won't eat anything.

In the past 5 days all he's had are about 5 or 6 cans of vienna sausages and about 1 can of dog food total. Today he's been eating grass and throwing up all day. I can't get him to eat anything. Any advice? I'm obviously going to stop the medication as I assume they are what is making him sick. Please give me some advice.

anon41020
Post 54

I have two dogs and I started taking them outside to use the bathroom. Then I noticed they started eating grass. Is that good for them or is it bad? They don't throw up but then again they don't eat very much of it! But I have caught them quite a few times eating it! They are not constipated and they seem to act normal so my question is what should I do keep them from eating my grass? Should I change their food? Is it bad for them or is it good for them?

anon40685
Post 53

I had my dog for a while and he use to be a inside dog until we had to put him outside and since then he has not been eating his food --just grass. When I try to give him food inside the house he still doesn't eat it. Why?

anon39436
Post 52

I just bought a 6 month old female boxer a few days ago and she ate a lot of grass this morning and when I brought her inside, she threw it all up and it smelled awful! It smelled like dirt mixed in with crap! She has not had anyhing to eat all day. I cant get he rto eat. I am a little worried. Is this normal for her to eat grass but, not eat her food? I would like to add that when we got her, she was not taken care of. You can see her ribs and all her other bones. I am going to be taking her to the vet on the 3rd. Any information will be helpful.

anon38613
Post 51

Every dog I've ever owned has enjoyed a little grass chewing on occasion. They remind me of Tom Sawyer by the river with a fishing pole and chewing on a piece of grass. People seem to do it too. Perhaps its just a lazy, peaceful thing to do.

anon36320
Post 50

My dog eats grass but does *not* throw up. She has just started this with the new med she is on. I am concerned because now she has trouble relieving herself.

anon36259
Post 49

I have three dogs - pug, sharpei, and a bulldog. When we walk them the pug and bulldog consistently will head to a spot that has long green grass and chew on the blades and eat it. They bypass other grass and vegetation. None of them has obvious stomach problems, and this happens any time of the day we walk pass this grass. I thought it might be a way of cleaning their teeth, or the flavor of that type of grass. Now I think it's similar to how people prefer a certain flavor of gum or a snack and the dogs chew on it because they like the taste. The dogs are on the same diet, but the sharpei doesn't chew grass.

anon35965
Post 48

My jacks love grass, just like some of us critters love salad. They don't get sick. Eating some grass is part of a natural process, for some dogs. My main comment addresses #45. When dogs usually get that white foam in their mouths and are shaking to get it out, I have seen that one and that is from sucking on a toad... no kidding, they will learn.

barryhar
Post 46

My dog was eating grass and vomiting until I found out about Dog-Wa. It is an herbal solution that I mix with his water, and it has had an amazing impact... no more eating grass or vomiting.

lojo
Post 45

To Woodyspond..thanks for your response..before this grass and carpet munching spree I had taken her to the vet and he put her on a new food..diet food..so maybe she is lacking in something.

She has quit eating grass and carpet but still seems to have an upset stomach..she's been throwing up small amounts of white foamy stuff. I'll take her in for a checkup, but it could be the food. She tosses it around the floor which is not like her at all. Thanks again..maybe what I eat will be better..she loves veggies.

Lojo

Woodyspond
Post 44

To Lojo with the Pomeranian. My Golden did the same thing and was apparently full of gas. It's unusual to see bloat or torsion in a little dog like that but I would have the dog checked out. You may need to give her Prevacid or something of that nature (I gave it to mine after bloat surgery). It's normal for dogs to eat grass but not normal when they are trying to eat anything at all in a frenzied way, like the rug fibers or pieces of twigs or leaves. The key word is frenzied, not just grazing on some grass.

My dog loves milk thistle and he always eats some as we're walking by. He also loves green peppers, lettuce!, anything green so maybe he is filling a vitamin deficiency. When I grew up, they had no "dog food" kibble and we fed them what we ate. My dog lived til she was 18 this way. Who knows if they're getting enough vitamins and minerals.

Anyway, enough said and good luck.

Virgogirl829
Post 43

I recently got a yellow lab puppy, his name is Ricky and he's about 11 weeks old now. Adorable as can be. He was throwing up tonight about 10:40 pm, I am not sure what really caused it but he started eating grass for about a good 10 minutes. I was worried because he's this adorable lab puppy and him eating grass after vomiting just makes me worry. I want to call the vet but before I do, I need some advice from people.

- Virgo girl

anon33586
Post 42

That's kind of weird...I would go see a vet. My dogs have chewed on carpet as puppies but never ate it!

lojo
Post 41

My dog, a 7 year old Pom got up this morning and was frantic to get outside where she starting gobbling down grass. When she came inside she immediately started gobbling down carpet. She was ripping at the carpet and pulling out strings...frantically chewing and swallowing. I got the carpet out of her mouth and now she is back outside eating grass. She is constantly licking and swallowing like she is sick but she is not throwing up. She seems to be constipated slightly.

I started her on Interceptor Flavor Tabs two days ago, given to me by my Vet. She had these same tabs last year. She has eaten carpet before and tons of it. She had string coming out both ends.

Any idea why she does this?

anon32260
Post 40

By the way, you can give your dog tums. My only concern is when they eat so much grass they have diarrhea. Any thoughts on this? Should I be concerned?

Thanks, C

anon31908
Post 39

I've raised many dogs over the years - A Pug, Irish Setter, Black Lab, and several litters of Brittany Spaniels. *All* of them would eat grass from time to time - And I've learned that they usually do this when they have an upset stomach. I also learned that a 1/2 Tums tablet works fine. Dogs and humans have many similar dietary needs and cures. None of my dogs ever had worms. Just an upset stomach!

AmberMaria
Post 37

My 6 year old black lab started eating grass last night. I opened the door and she stayed out for an hour eating grass. My mother thinks she may be constipated, but I read that it may be a sign of worms. She has had heartworms before, about 1 1/2 years ago. We got her treated and all has been well until now.

She recently became an inside dog. It is quite expensive to get her checked at my vet for worms. I was wondering if there were other definite signs she may be sick with heartworms again? Any replies are welcome and much appreciated.

anon27535
Post 36

Ok I guess I will throw my $.02 in here. Dogs eat grass because, well they are dogs. Some like to chew on it because that is what dogs do, they chew. Others like the taste. Some *do* eat grass to induce vomiting or to soothe their tummies.

I have been raising dogs for 40 years and have never seen a dog harmed from eating grass. One of my dogs right now poops like a horse, mostly grass. He is as healthy as can be. All of my dogs eat the best of foods and exercise 1 or 2 times every day. Knock on wood, I have never had a dog die younger than 15 and many have lived to be 20 years old.

Mostly I raise sport or herding dogs and have little experience with small dogs.

Peace out and remember, spay or neuter your pets millions of pets are put down every year.

anon26329
Post 35

I found this conversation by asking google why my dog eats grass. meaning to find out what was in grass that hepled him.

He is an 11 year old pomeranian and has only eaten it a few times. each time he has had a gassy stomach. he doesn't eat a lot and he doesn't get sick, but by the end of the day he is fine again. I now don't worry about it. I know he does it for his own good.

I feed him on semi moist food (because he doesn't have a lot of teeth left) and fresh veg when he wants some, he is doing *very* well and each year when he goes for his health check he always weighs in the same, never under or over weight.

I am no expert but i wouldn't worry too much about a dog eating a little grass, as long as it makes him better. Anyone who is worried about it should of course take it up with their vet! Incidentally, my little fella has a favorite bush in the gardens were I walk him often that he likes to lick!! but that's just Ash :)

Take care everyone.

Gill

woody
Post 30

My dog eats grass also. I don't have much grass around my property and he seems to only like a certain type. I would like to grow a small patch if I knew the name of it so I could buy seeds and grow for him a small patch were it would be available to him when he needs it. Anyone know the name of the grass seeds and were to buy them? Thanks and my jack russell says Thanks

anon22192
Post 29

I agree with Anon 4165 - my dogs have all been eating grass on a daily basis for years. It started with our late yellow Lab, was soon copied by our yellow Lab puppy (now 8 yrs old), and later copied by our Lab/Great Dane mix.

I was thinking maybe it was a Lab thing, but we recently got a Boxer/Catahoula mix and after 6 weeks, she started copying our 8 yr old yellow Lab's behavior. The funny thing is, they each have certain grass patches they like, but aren't interested in each other's choices!

I definitely think it is a learned behavior. None of our dogs have had intestinal distress with their grass-eating, though it does show up in their poop. And they are both eating high-quality kibble with a home-made wet food (barley and ground beef) added to make their food a bit tastier and moister.

anon20068
Post 27

Ive read all the comments on this page and yes my dog also eats grass. But I remember a while ago that my father said that dogs, cats etc; eat grass to cleanse the palate, and to take care of tummy upsets.

He worked on a large dairy farm where the dogs on site would eat the hay...my dog is still a pup and I havent had any problems with her diet,

She just seems to be a picky eater. And now she eats grass. DLM

anon19409
Post 25

My yorkie just goes into the yard and rolls and chews on the grass. No vomiting or gagging though.

anon18903
Post 24

I like to take my dog, Karma, on walks along a bike trail near our house. There is a stream next to the bike trail and Karma loves to swim in it. She always drinks a lot of streamwater and it worries me a bit because I'm pretty sure our streams are polluted, and once she got giardia as a puppy.

Today, I took Karma on a walk and she drank streamwater as usual. We got back home and she was fine for a while but then she started doing this weird gulping/hiccuping thing and kept on bugging me. I thought she was going to throw up, so I let her outside.

She ran over to the grass in our yard and started wolfing it down. She kept on eating it for about five minutes, threw up, and then I let her back inside. I think dogs eat grass when their stomach gets upset, because she looked like she really needed to throw up before she ate grass, and after she threw up, she drank some water out of her bowl and was fine.

angsmar
Post 23

I have 3 dogs: a German Shepherd, a Golden Retriever, and a Great Dane Mix. Each morning when I let them out to potty, they all run out and immediately eat grass and vomit. All 3 of them do it, so I'm thinking it's just a normal behavior. Early morning seems to be the only time, for whatever reason, though.

anon17416
Post 22

My dog eats leaves, not grass.

anon17057
Post 21

My dog is a 9 year old German Shephard/Rottie. At 80 kgs and very little body fat he is quite a size. Recently when I take him for a walk he has started eating grass. Not random selection but specific grasses in 3 select areas on our walk. He strolls along with me and when we reach his spot he will stop and graze for a minute and then continue on to the next select area. When he is finished we then walk home. No vomiting no gagging its just like he is having a snack on his afternoon stroll. I vary his diet throughout the week with green veggies mixed into cooked meat 3 nights a week so it cant be a shortage of green in his diet. I have no idea why he has taken a liking to grass but it does not seem to be for any other reason than he likes the stuff.

Woodyspond
Post 20

My Golden Retriever eats grass when he has a lot of gas, he goes nuts and eats everything, including leaves, twigs, anything he can get to apparently to make himself throw up or feel better. I have walked him in storms to get the gas out of him.

Well, he eventually got bloated, had his stomach do a 360 degree torsion and we almost lost him but he survived. He was OK for about a year and now the gas thing is starting up again. The vet said his intestines are not moving enough. He also has bone cancer and had a leg removed and chemo. He's doing great but the walking isn't as long as it used to be so being idle is keeping his intestines from moving fast enough. He ended up back in the vet a couple of weeks ago, almost bloated, full of gas again but we got him there in time.

So watch your dogs if they are really going crazy eating the grass, make sure they throw up, feel their bellies if they have been eating grass, do not throw up and they are trying to throw up with nothing coming out. If the belly is hard, it's bloated and move as fast as you can to get the dog to an operating table or he will die.

I know many people who lost their dogs this way and a lot of people I spoke to, didn't even know what bloat is. It kills and kills fast. I'm not trying to scare anyone, just warning you to watch carefully. Our dog is like a kid to us and I'm sure a lot of you out there feel the same way!

anon15419
Post 19

Dogs eat grass because they are self medicating. It is a diuretic and it helps improve liver function. I have been observing this behaviour for a while and they know exactly what type of grass to eat. This is probably what informed humans to the value of herbology. We don't have it hard coded like the animals do. :) Eric

rebelyell
Post 14

My beagle eats grass on occasion, but she's not too bad for it. Tonight she got sick in her kennel a little bit. When I let her out she seemed very bothered and wanted desperately to go outside. I took her out and immediately she headed for a patch of grass to gobble down.

I took her back in. She then started acting very anxious and gulping. It was almost like she couldn't breathe right, just gulping. I also noticed her tongue wasn't as pink as it usually is. She finally convinced me to let her out again. Well she ate at least a quarter pounder in grass, Then she emptied the entire contents of her belly.

She quit gulping for air. and her tongue was back to pink. I'm guessing she may have been choking on something...But the grass did the trick and she knew it would. She just had to keep bugging me to let her do it...I was kinda getting concerned because she never acts like that about going out, even when she has to go bad. I've learned something from this.

anon13781
Post 13

My boxer dog has just started eating grass, sometimes throwing up sometimes not. I was told it was because he had worms!

atrimpper
Post 12

My dog eats grass, sometimes like crazy, and then vomits. I watch him and after he eats the grass he just stands still, as if waiting. Then, usually, in about 2-3 minutes he starts to vomit. I look at it and its just grass and some saliva/stomach 'juice'.

I worry that it is a sign of some underlying problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

anon12956
Post 11

My new puppy eats grass constantly, she prefers dry grass or roots. It doesn't seem to upset her stomach and I don't think it is a dietary imbalance as I feed her an excellent dog food recommended by my vet. I appreciate the comments about pesticides, that is a great point. Fortunately, we don't use any... haven't for years!

anon12600
Post 10

I'm glad everyone else's dogs are doing the same thing. Mine's not just crazy.

anon11313
Post 9

My dog eats grass when she is constipated. When a few days go by and i notice her straining to have a bowel movement, i know that shortly she will eat grass. She does not throw up (knock on wood), but after eating the grass, she appears to feel better and will then eat her food. She will not eat if she is showing signs of constipation and will only eat after eating the grass and having a normal bowel movement, which happens shortly after she eats the grass and walks around a bit.

anon10899
Post 8

My dog has eaten grass almost daily, and not to throw up... it's usually in her stool. However, I am feeding her a good food, and every so often some fruit/veggies as treats. I am thinking for her it's more of a comfort/stress relief/habit versus a lack in her diet. Since we've only had her for 2 months (animal shelter dog), I'm still on the fence as to her grass eating. Thanks to all and your inputs. I know I'm not alone with a lawn mower! :-)

anon9028
Post 7

The reason dogs chew on grass is simple. When their bodies become overly acidic, the chlorophyll in the grass (which is alkaline) neutralizes it and restores the body's pH balance. If the dog should choose to swallow it, he/she will vomit it back up because the fibers in grass are not digestible to dogs (and humans). They don't actually want to throw up so much as they want to get to the chlorophyll.

anon4165
Post 5

My dogs eat grass all of the time, actually every day. It started with my oldest dog and every dog that followed learned the behavior from her. I have had dogs before that almost never ate grass so I really contribute my current packs behavior to emulating the top dog. They learned to love grass munching. It has never caused them to vomit, it has never affected their stool, the vet says that they are in perfect health and I feed them a natural, well balanced diet. Maybe they just like the taste of grass. But it is obviously not hurting them so I don't have any intentions of trying to stop them.

anon4156
Post 4

My Golden Retriever seems to have a similar behavior. He will start swallowing and licking his lips becoming agitated and gets insistent on going outside. Once in the yard he will gobble grass very quickly, although he seems to sniff for certain types of grass as he moves along the ground. He continues eating for several minutes and he doesn't appear to chew the grass much. After going inside he seems calmer and on a few occasions he will throw up the grass several hours later. Feeding him some lettuce also seems to help when this behavior arises. I have wondered if it could be due to hairballs upsetting his stomach.

anon699
Post 1

When volunteering at two Humane Societies as a dog walker, I have noticed at times that all the dogs I take out are eating grass. Since Humane Societies depend on donated food, I often wonder what they are eating that doesn't agree with any of them.

My own dog just started eating grass along roadways. I have been changing her food to a reduced calorie food (same brand) and wonder if there isn't something missing in the new food causing her to want to eat grass.

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