Maybe your dog thinks your neighbour’s overgrown lawn is an all you can eat salad bar. Or maybe your dog flops into a patch of dark green shoots and proceeds to devour them like a starving goat. The short of it is, most dogs will nibble on grass from time to time.

Dogs eat grass for different reasons, and it’s not always because he or she has a rumbly tummy and needs to throw up. In fact, Less than 25 percent of dogs vomit after engaging in a little culinary lawn munching.

Here, we’ll look at different reasons as to why your dog might be eating grass.

Supercharge your dog’s diet

The first thing to look at is perhaps something is missing from their normal food intake. Grass contains fibre and minerals like calcium, magnesium and other trace elements, so your dog may be acting on instinct when it dive bombs into a particularly lush patch of grass.

Diet is generally the first thing vets consider if a dog is lunching on the lawn regularly. Talk to your vet before making big changes to your pet’s diet, especially if your dog has had food sensitivities in the past, or if your dog has underlying health concerns. Elderly dogs may have different nutritional requirements than a younger dog.

If your dog has a protein-heavy diet, it may be missing out on fibre, essential vitamins or minerals. There are easy ways to enhance your dog’s food.

Food and supplements to try

Your dog is thirsty

Your dog might be thirsty. One of the main components of grass is water. If your dog seems particularly enthused about soaking wet grass after a rainfall, you can try having it drink from its bowl before you go out for a walk, or add water to their normal food.

Your dog is bored or lonely

If your dog spends a lot of time in your backyard, and patches of your lawn vanishing, your dog might be bored and trying to entertain itself.

Things to try

  • Toys — A treat-dispensing ball that can handle the outdoor elements, like an Omega ball, might be just the thing to distract your dog from your lawn. If your dog already loves playing with toys, rotate them so they don’t get dull. Switching toys in and out also gives you an opportunity to run them through the washing machine.

  • Exercise — Activity is distracting and tiring. Your dog may find it doesn’t need to amuse itself so often with the addition of a little more exercise in their day.

  • Interaction — A bored dog may need a little more interaction with you, its beloved human. If your dog regularly is bringing you toys or a favorite ball, or otherwise getting in your face, maybe it needs more pets, playtime or snuggles. Dogs get lonely and bored just like people and maybe trying to fill some empty time by mowing your lawn for you.

Grass tastes delicious

Your dog might be eating grass simply because it likes the taste, the crunch, or the texture. If it’s not upsetting your dog’s belly, you may just need to live with your dog’s quirky, grass munching ways. 

Grass on its own isn’t harmful to dogs, but it may be covered in pesticides or herbicides that aren’t good for your dog. Be careful about where you let your dog eat grass and to limit intake. By eating grass, especially in parks that contain a lot of wildlife, your dog may inadvertently be consuming bacteria left behind from the fecal matter of other animals. When your dog goes for the snack bar, distract him or her with a treat instead.