Is your dog eating grass and you’re wondering why? This is a question that I think every dog owner ponders at one point or another.

All of my dog’s dating back to over thirty five years to my very first dog, have consumed grass for one reason or another.

So, let’s talk about why we think dogs do this and what you can do to curb it.

Is Your Dog Eating Grass To Purge or Because He Enjoys It?

I’ve observed my dog’s eat grass for what seems to be to purge and I’ve also watched them eat grass for what looks like for no real reason at all. In fact, I unintentionally developed a game with my old girl “Lulu” where she would take a bite of grass, look at me and wait for me say “one more bite and you’re dead meat.” As soon as I would say this, she would romp around grazing like a wild little goat, but this was just for play.

On the flip side, Lulu and all my dog’s at some point would run to the door as if to say “let me out NOW please” and just start consuming grass in an effort to make themselves purge. Although there is no real evidence why they do this, I agree with Dr. Becker that there are two basic reasons why dog’s eat grass – to purge or simply because they want to.  However, I want to go one step further and add that I personally believe dogs eat grass in order to consume chlorophyll.  I have no factual evidence, just my own theory based upon my observations over the years.  Dogs know what they need and they know what is best for their system. While others say that dogs eat grass for fiber, I don’t believe that.  Dogs don’t typically require fiber in their diet.

For a dog that eats grass on occasion; it’s most likely not a real problem.  However, if your dog is eating grass regularly, then it’s time to make some changes to his diet. Too much grass eating can lead to Pancreatitis in dogs, so it’s important to get it under control.

I used to add a pure form of barley grass each day to my dogs diet in order to provide chlorophyll.  But, my German Wired Haired Pointer “Abby” had a negative reaction to the barley grass which caused her to scratch.  Chlorophyll comes in many forms, so if barley grass causes an allergic reaction in your dog, switch to another form.  I changed both of my girls to a prepared raw diet and neither look for grass anymore even with out me adding barley grass or any other form of chlorophyll to their daily diet.

It’s also believed that dogs eat grass in an attempt to recover the necessary enzymes they’re not getting from their diet. Grass is actually a living green loaded with phytonutrients including fiber, ruffage and chlorophyll. So, if your dog eats grass on a regular basis in an effort to purge, you really should take a look at her diet. Whether she’s been eating the same food for years or it’s a new food.

If your dog is romping, playing and nibbling on grass here and there, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.  However, if he’s eating it routinely, then I would look into as to why, especially if there are any other health issues going on at the same time.

If your lawn is treated with chemicals, DON’T allow your dog to eat or roll in this grass.

A daily probiotic and dose of enzymes may also help, but unfortunately, it may only be a temporary fix.  Look at the over all big picture with regards to your dog’s diet.  If you’re positive that you’re feeding a top notch diet (not only dry either), then adding a supplement or two can help.  However, if you’re feeding a questionable diet, adding a supplement to stop your dog from eating grass is just placing a band aid on the real problem.

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Showing 17 comments
  • Audrey Stowers
    Reply

    I found two reasons why Roxy eats grass. 1) When she is feeling sick to her stomach 2) To rid her stomach of excess hair, like a cat eats grass to throw up hair balls. Then when she rids her stomach of the hair, she stops eating the grass. I noticed alot of hair in her vomit, and its typically during shedding season. She also has allergies, which causes her to lick herself more than normal. I have to say too, be very careful where you let your dog consume grass since lots of grass is sprayed with chemicals.

    • admin
      Reply

      Good point about the hair Audrey, that makes sense!

  • Edith
    Reply

    a great article re dogs eating grass
    my dogs occasionally eat grass but not regularly but interestingly they both get stuck into the grass when I mow the lawn
    maybe they want to help?

    • admin
      Reply

      Thank you Edith regarding the article. Do you mean because they get stuck in the grass because they are so short?

  • Edith
    Reply

    No I meant they are munching on the grass whenever I mow the lawn

    • admin
      Reply

      O.k., I get it now. So they prefer to get their chlorophyll from freshly cut grass. Picky little grazers aren’t they, lol! 😮

  • meggen
    Reply

    Hi my dog makes himself ill with eating grass, coughing, shaking, He has had visits to the vets and has had three courses of antibiotics the last time as a result of his saliva glands swelling and infected He will be ok for about a week and then the whole thing starts again. Has anybody experience this type of problem and have you found out why

    • admin
      Reply

      Hi Meggen:
      I would very much like to know more about your dog and what’s going on.

      Can you share with me what you are feeding her including treats, etc. Does she do any scooting on her bum? Does she scratch and chew or shake her head? What does the inside of her ears look like and do they smell? What type of dog is she and how old? How long has this been going on?

      Janie

  • Darlene N McIntyre
    Reply

    Thank you all for sharing your stories and comments. After reading I think I may need to consider changing my two Akitas[8 & 9yrs] diet. I’ve been feeding them Pedigree Adult formula for a quite some time. When they were younger I fed them the Puppy formula. Last few months I have noticed them both eating more grass than they used to. I think because of their age it may be time to change.

    • admin
      Reply

      I think you’re doing the right thing Darlene.

  • Kathleen Ruth
    Reply

    You have no factual evidence to support your theory that dogs eat grass to get chlorophyll and yet, in toady’s email you present this as FACT!
    I was dismayed to see this, as I thought this would be a credible site for information about my dogs.
    Sadly, I must unsubscribe as I do not want spurious information that is presented as being facts!

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Again Kathy, I went through all of this with you in a private email. You actually mis quoted what I said. I went back and checked my email and it DOES NOT say what you said. You’re in the medical field and I swear it’s people like you that deliberately try and sabotage others who are doing good things.

      Quite honestly, people in the medical field come here to condemn, and that’s the only reason. We all know it and we don’t want people like that here.

      • Mandie
        Reply

        I just found your site tonight and have found it so interesting and helpful that I have been reading for over 3 hours. My dog eats grass, always has. I don’t see him purge, but he does run out some times like he is desperate to get to it. I currently feed him food from the natural Balance line. However like I said he has always eaten grass with all foods I have fed him. I know natural Balance is not on ur top ten but any thoughts about it?

        • yourolddog
          Reply

          Hi Mandie:

          I’m so glad that you find the site helpful I definitely think you can curb the grass eating with the right diet.

          Our own studies show that there seems to be many factors as to why dogs eat grass: Diet lacking in nutritional value such as quality proteins in a natural form (eg: real meat, egg, etc.), living off of kibble, sharing greasy people food, over eating, too many grains and the wrong grains, unbalanced meal including a lack of the right vegetables or green supplement, no supplement support such as a good daily multivitamin.

          If you absolutely have to feed kibble, I recommend looking to a better brand such as Acana (expensive) and then supplementing the diet with better natural forms of proteins as well (raw or slightly cooked meat and egg, plus some very well cooked green vegetables). You should also include a good fatty acid daily such as Bonnie and Clydes.

          If you can afford to avoid kibble, do it. It’s believed to be harder on the kidneys and the liver, because dogs are not designed to live on kibble. If this is too much, then look to a food such as The Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucy’s, Stella and Chewys or Dr. Harveys.

          I hope this helps. I would be very surprised if you didn’t see a big difference Mandie.

          Janie

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