Chocolate labrador walking through long grass

Why does my dog eat grass?

  • Dog owners commonly think that grass eating in their pets is a sign of illness
  • But it’s more than likely to be because it is tasty for them and is, therefore, no cause for concern
  • Be sure that the grass they’re munching on isn’t sprayed with any harmful chemicals
  • In some cases, grass-eating might be linked to boredom so make sure your pet has plenty of enrichment through exercise and play  
  • If your dog is repeatedly vomiting up grass and/or not eating its normal food, consult your vet

Many dog owners worry that their pet eats grass to make themselves sick to get rid of something they’ve eaten, or because they’re feeling under the weather. Others think that eating grass is a sign that their dog is lacking in some nutrients. But studies have shown that none of these longstanding beliefs can be proven.

In fact, it’s far more likely that dogs eat grass because it tastes nice, particularly in the spring and summer months when it’s green and fresh.

There shouldn’t be any need to worry about this if the habit doesn’t become excessive, the grass they’re munching on has not been sprayed with harmful pesticides and you have talked to your vet to get treatment to ensure your dog is protected from lungworm, which is passed on by slugs and snails. Bear in mind that standard flea and worm treatments sold in pet shops do not normally protect against lungworm.

Your dog might also be eating grass because they are bored. If this is the case, look into how to provide better enrichment for them through walks as well as indoor and outdoor play, including food puzzles. 

You should, however, seek veterinary advice if:
•    your dog is eating grass but not their normal food
•    the grass eating becomes excessive
•    your dog is repeatedly eating grass and vomiting up over a period of a few hours
•    your dog is eating grass and doesn’t seem themselves or appears unwell

Warning: Grass seeds found in long grass can get stuck in eyes, ears, skin and paws, which can cause problems, particularly during the summer months. Read our advice on this.
 

— Page last updated 10/05/2021