Why is my dog eating grass?

July 2022 | BY: James Bascharon, DVM

Who needs a lawnmower when your dog is eating all the grass? If you’ve ever noticed your dog eating grass, you might be wondering why–especially if they started doing it out of the blue. While it might seem a little bizarre, grass eating might not actually be that bad for your dog–that is, depending on why they’re doing it in the first place.

So why do dogs eat grass? From tummy trouble to nutrition, we’ll cover why your dog might be eating grass, and what you can do about it.


Ask any veterinarian and they’ll tell you that most (if not all) dogs will eat grass at some point in their lifetime. But what could cause your dog to eat grass on a daily basis? There are a few common reasons why your dog could be munching on grass:

1. Pica
When a dog eats unconventional, non-food items (like grass) it’s a condition known as pica. Other examples of pica include eating garbage, fecal matter, plastic, and other items with no nutritional value. When a dog has pica, it can be a sign that they’re experiencing some form of deficiency. One of the following could be lacking in their diet: minerals, nutrients, or vitamins. 


Does your puppy seem to eat everything? It’s normal for adolescent dogs to want to eat shoes, clothes, furniture, and other non-food items. So does that mean your pup has pica? Not likely–just like human babies, puppies use their mouth to experience tactile stimulation and explore the world around them.

2. Fiber
Dogs can sometimes eat grass in order to increase their fiber intake, which can be borderline pica behavior. Some dogs know that if they’re constipated, a bit of grass can help. To make their stool softer, bulkier, and easier to pass, they may use grass as an impromptu digestive aid. 

3. Intestinal paracites
If your dog has parasites, their first form of self-treatment might be to eat grass. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy and worms in the stool–along with grass eating–there’s a good chance intestinal parasites could be to blame and you should consult with your veterinarian about performing fecal parasite and other diagnostic testing. 
4. Anxiety
Has nervousness or anxiety ever given you an upset stomach? Dogs experience anxiety too, and can also suffer from the upset tummy that comes along with it. Your dog might be eating grass as a coping mechanism, or as a way to calm an upset stomach triggered by nervousness or anxiety. 
5. Stomach acid
If your dog’s stomach is too acidic, they could be eating grass to make it more alkaline. Increased stomach acid can be caused by stress, or other causes. Dogs who eat ‘people food’ that’s oily, spicy, or fatty will be at higher risk for an acidic stomach.

6. Upset stomach
Wondering why dogs eat grass and then vomit? It could be an upset stomach that’s making your dog eat grass, prompting them to gulp down mouthfuls until they make themselves sick. So why do dogs eat grass when sick? Throwing up can provide them with temporary relief, but be sure to monitor cases of an upset stomach for other signs of illness. Blood in the vomit, abdominal pain, dry heaving, irregular bowel movements, reduced appetite, salivating, and water consumption changes are all reasons to contact your vet.


Grass is basically a vegetable, right? If you’re wondering what harm eating grass can do to your dog, you’re not alone! While eating grass is something that wild and domestic canines have been doing for thousands of years, not all grass is created equal.

Depending on what kind of grass a dog eats, they could be exposed to pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, infectious organisms (bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses), and more. Eating grass with urine or stool from another animal could increase your dog’s risk of exposure to bacterial, parasitic and viral infections, especially if your dog has a compromised immune system.  

If the grass they’re eating is generally unaffected by chemicals or excrement from other animals, there should be no reason to worry about the grass your dog is eating.


Grass might be your dog’s most readily available option for self-treatment, but that doesn’t mean grass should be considered as a cure-all for your pet. If your dog is eating grass to quell digestive tract upset or as a replacement for missing nutrients in their diet, you may want to discuss the behavior with your vet. You can also try a few supplements to support your dog’s wellbeing: 

  • If your senior pet is eating grass and you think it could be due to a dietary deficiency, a daily multivitamin chew might be beneficial to provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may be missing in the pet’s diet.

  • If you suspect digestive tract upset is the culprit, try a probiotic for dogs. Prebiotics (food substances that promote beneficial bacteria), probiotics (beneficial bacteria), and fiber can encourage more balanced gut health, which may reduce your dog’s desire to eat grass.

Another potential cause? Your dog just might like the taste (or texture) of grass! Sometimes it’s that simple, but it’s a good idea to first run through potential causes before writing it off as normal–just in case.

If you’ve tried adjusting your dog’s diet or daily habits and they’re still eating grass, talk to your veterinarian about other potential causes. They may suggest an in-person visit to rule out intestinal worms or other parasites, gastric reflux, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or other ailments. These may be of particular concern if your dog is showing behaviors consistent with pain or discomfort or other clinical signs of concern in addition to grass eating.

Putting the Vet in Vetnique

James Bascharon, DVM
Dr. James Bascharon set out on a mission ten years ago to create a pet supplement company unlike any other. After realizing there was no solution for pets with anal gland issues, Dr. Bascharon set out on a research mission to create a supplement specifically for this problem. After years of research, multiple patents, and collaboration with top industry professionals, Glandex® is now a veterinary renowned solution for pets with anal gland issues. This journey proved that with the correct nutritional supplementation, pets could lead healthier and happier lives. Vetnique Labs® continues with an innovative veterinary mindset and approach to help make a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of millions of pets.

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