Dogs have some very interesting habits. With certain habits, owners know right away that there’s no cause for concern. But with others, it’s completely normal to wonder if what your dog is doing is truly harmless. Eating grass is the perfect example of a habit that falls into the category of giving owners some cause for concern.
Since this specific habit is quite interesting, we’re going to use this post to explore it in detail. However, before we dive in, we want to reassure any worried dog owner that the consensus among veterinarians is as long as grass doesn’t have any dangerous pesticides or fertilizers on it and this habit doesn’t include your dog vomiting, there’s nothing wrong with a dog eating grass.
Now that we’re clear on the key takeaway, let’s look at some of the explanations for why your dog may always eat grass:
It’s Not Because of Nutritional Value
All of our high-quality dog food blends are designed so your dog can eat and then absorb all the nutrients needed for a healthy body. Even though grass has the healthy color of green, dogs aren’t built to digest it, which means they don’t get any meaningful nutritional value out of eating grass (regardless of how much they chomp down).
While dogs can’t absorb any nutrients from grass, eating this substance can help with stomach irritation. So combating feelings of nausea is one possible reason a dog may want to eat grass. It’s worth noting that dogs with inflammatory bowel disease or gastric reflux may use grass as a way to help manage their condition. If your dog constantly eats grass and then promptly throws up, it’s a good idea to have your vet screen for a potential stomach condition.
A Few More Thoughts on Eating Grass
In some cases, a dog who’s chowing down on grass may inhale one or more of the blades. This usually leads to an unintended nasal cleansing! When it comes to the motivations behind a dog eating grass, a small percentage of dogs exhibit this behavior as a result of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Keep in mind that OCD only accounts for a very small amount of grass eating among dogs. It’s more common to see a dog who takes their time to hunt for specific grass spots and then eats their “discovery” with pride.
One other explanation worth noting is this habit may date back through dogs’ evolutionary past. This practice might have been a way for dogs to conceal their scent from prey. Finally, a dog that’s not getting fed enough or proper nutrition may be compelled to eat indigestible matter like grass.
Based on everything vets know about dogs eating grass, as long as you’re feeding your dog a quality food each day and the grass eating isn’t consistently followed by throwing up, you can continue letting your dog enjoy this habit without any further action on your part.