Why do dogs eat grass?

Your beloved dog clearly isn’t a cow or a lawn mower, so you're probably wondering why he's eating grass. A part of you might even be concerned. Is it hunger? Boredom? Sickness? Is this good for him?

Dog Eating Grass
If you're confused as to why your dog is eating grass and whether or not it's healthy, this is everything you need to know.

Before you begin worrying, relax. This is very common, especially if your dog is eating grass and then vomiting.

So why is your dog eating grass?

There are two schools of thought. The first is that dogs who are feeling sick will eat grass to induce vomiting to get whatever they ate out of their stomach. Others say that dogs aren’t intelligent enough to know how to ease a sick stomach.

Researchers are the first to point out that dogs that eat grass aren’t sick beforehand, or at least they aren’t showing symptoms. According to dog owners, less than 10% of dogs are showing behavior that would indicate they’re sick before they start eating grass. Grass-eating isn’t full-proof either, as it only induces vomiting a quarter of the time after feasting on the lawn.

Another theory is that dogs may eat grass to improve their digestion, treat intestinal worms, or to meet an unknown nutritional need–like needing more fiber in their diet. One study reports on a dog who ate grass then vomited on a daily basis for seven years. Just three days after the owner put the dog on a high-fiber diet, the dog stopped eating grass entirely. There’s also a great chance your dog just likes the taste or tactile experience.

So if you’re wondering whether your dog is eating grass to get nutrients that the food you’re feeding them isn’t providing, you could explore various diets and dog chow blends. While dogs will eat nearly anything you give them, they do prefer meat over vegetables… though they can survive and live naturally on plants alone. It’s definitely not going to be their preference, though.

Some dogs are genetically “programmed” to eat certain things. They might have been programmed to eat grass when they were in the “care” of hunters.