There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh-cut grass to stimulate the senses. It's refreshing, pleasant walk on with bare feet, and makes the world feel alive. Your dog may not feel the same way about grass as you do, but you've probably noticed she has no problem making a snack out of the lawn. You might cringe in expectation of your dog vomiting up what she just ate, or she might digest it just fine. Which probably leaves you wondering why she felt the need to eat grass. There's no need to worry about her consumption of the lawn, but you might need to address something in her diet or lifestyle, which you can always address with your veterinarian. Read on to learn more about why dogs like to eat grass.
It's Something Dogs Do
Dogs are designed to eat just about anything they can get in their mouth. They're essentially a vacuum cleaner for anything that looks like food. While grass isn't seen by dogs as a full meal, it's not unusual for them to use it to supplement something that's missing in their diet or in their daily lives. Wild dogs have been observed eating grass which means it's an activity that's common to canines in general.
There's no solid science behind why dogs like to eat grass and no agreed-upon reason. What is known is that grass that hasn't been recently treated is safe for your dog to eat and might clue you in to the fact that she's in need of supplementation in her diet or just needs more stimulation.
Grass is a Source of Fiber and Nutrition
Commercial dog foods aren't always made from the highest quality ingredients and sometimes they're lacking in fiber and nutrition. If your dog isn't getting what she needs from her commercially prepared diet, she's not going to hesitate to get what she needs from her environment. That means she's going to make a regular supplement out of grass when she goes outside. Try changing her diet to a brand that's high in fiber. She may stop eating grass once she has what she needs from her meals.
Grass is also rich in chlorophyll which can aid with digestion and help improve a dog's overall physical condition. Grass consumption could be a sign that her regular dog food doesn't have enough of the nutrition she needs to feel healthy. You can supplement her meals with small amounts of green vegetables like green beans and peas. Green vegetables are also high in fiber which can help prevent constipation.
Not Enough Physical Stimulation
One theory is that dogs may eat grass because they're bored. It's also known as “pica”, which is the act of eating non-edible materials. What this means for you as a dog owner is that your dog needs more stimulation. That can come in the form of more play time, being let out into the yard for longer periods of time, or scheduled time at doggy daycare. More stimulation can lead to less consumption of grass.
It's safe for your dog to eat grass as long as it hasn't been treated with chemicals. You're more likely to be annoyed by the behavior as opposed to it being harmful to your dog. It's always a good idea to find the source of the grass eating behavior in case it's a deficiency of some kind. But if she doesn't respond to changes, she does it because she likes it and there's no harm in letting her eat grass.