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Why do dogs eat grass?

Why do dogs eat grass?

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Have you ever noticed your pooch nibbling away at your garden and thought to yourself ‘Why do dogs eat grass?’. Well, you wouldn’t be the first! There are many misconceptions around dogs eating grass, with the main misbelief being that the consumption of grass must be a sign of illness or upset in your fluffy friend. We’re here to set the record straight and cover the various reasons your dog may be indulging in some greens.

Reasons you might find your dog eating grass:

  • Boredom

We all know that most dogs love being immersed in the great outdoors, but even us humans get lonely in the same environment with nothing to do. For some dogs, eating grass could just mean your doggo’s a bit bored and having a little nibble here or there is just something to do.

  • It’s tasty!

Your dog might be eating grass because they actually like the taste or texture as it differs from their day-to-day dog food.

  • Sickness

As we mentioned before, most of us pet parents automatically link dogs eating grass with needing to throw up. This isn’t always wrong – when some dogs feel sick, they might indulge in some greenery in order to make themselves vomit.

  • Fibre

Some grass can contain high levels of fibre so dogs may like to munch away to aid their digestive system and help things move along…

Can dogs eat grass?

It is important to consider what grass your dog has access to and if the grass has been treated with fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides then you should be sure to stop your pooch from eating it. You should also be aware that certain grass living creatures like slugs and snails can carry lungworm which they may pass on to your dog, potentially causing serious health problems.

dogs eating grass
If your dog is eating grass excessively, contact your vet

With all that being said, dogs eating grass can be a completely normal behaviour. They are unlikely to receive much nutrition from it, but for an otherwise healthy dog that is regularly wormed you should feel safe leaving your dog to munch away. However, if you notice your dog is eating grass excessively and is showing signs of sickness, then you should speak to your vet to stay on the safe side.

Dogs and poisonous plants

So, we’ve established that in most cases, it’s ok for dogs to eat grass but what about eating other plants?

Most plants that are dangerous to dogs only become a serious issue when ingested in large quantities and it may only be certain parts of a plant that cause an issue. For example, in some plants, it may only be the bulb or berries that are dangerous to dogs but it’s best to keep them away from the whole plant just to be safe.

There are quite a few species of plant that you’ll need to try and steer clear of with your pooch. Here are some common examples, but you can find a full list of plants toxic to dogs from the Blue Cross :

  • Bluebells
  • Daffodils
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Onion and garlic plants (We have a whole article about this!)
  • Tulips

Most of these plants should only cause mild symptoms but in cases where larger quantities have been consumed, the situation could become more serious. If you’re worried your dog has eaten a toxic plant, get in touch with your vets immediately.

We hope we’ve helped you discover the answer as to why dogs eat grass and helped you understand a little bit more about plants that are toxic to your four-legged friends.

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