This is a question I get asked almost every day. The best answer dates back to their canine ancestors. When dogs were in the wild, not only did they eat the meat from the animals they captured for food but also the stomach contents. Many of these animals were herbivores and had all kinds of grass and plant material in their stomachs. In the wild coyotes and foxes eat wild berries, fruit and other vegetation.
Other theories on why dogs may eat grass: Stomach Issues - when dogs eat grass, especially if they gulp it down, it tickles the back of the throat and the stomach lining. This can trigger vomiting. Over the years dogs may have realized if their tummy is a little rumbly that eating grass may cause them to vomit. One study showed that only 25% of dogs vomited after ingesting grass. Enjoyment - some dogs just like the taste and feel of grass. These dogs usually nibble and eat in small quantities. They just like to chew it up. Dietary Imbalance - some dogs may eat grass for fiber in their diet or to supply missing nutrients from their current diet. If your dog eats large quantities of grass you need to examine what food you are feeding your furry friend. Your pet could be missing key nutrients and vitamins. You may need to change their diet to a higher quality food, especially one with more fiber. One client had a beagle that vomited daily for 7 years and ate grass. After switching to a high quality diet with increased fiber the dog stopped. If your pet continues to eat lots of grass you need to consult your veterinarian to make sure there is no underlying problem. Boredom - Fido may just be bored and find eating the grass something to do. Sniffing a Dogs Scent - dogs love to smell. This is one way they find out information about other animals that have been in the area. If some animal has urinated on grass they may nibble on it to wet that scent and make it more readily identifiable.
If dogs could talk we might truly know why they love grass, but since they can’t we just assume. If your pet likes to eat grass then I recommend giving them some cooked vegetables with their food. Some dogs will eat raw veggies, but most like them cooked. My favorite vegetable to use is canned green beans. They can easily be put in your pets’ food.
If you have questions about grass eating and other health issues concerning your dog please contact Dr. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic at email@example.com or 870-483-6275.