Ask Seth: Why Dogs Eat Grass

I've noticed my dog eating grass. Is he trying to calm his upset stomach, or is this a myth?

Nearly every dog eats grass sometimes, and some dogs eat it all the time. You would think that we would have a pretty good idea by now of why dogs eat grass. But we don't. Veterinarians still aren't sure if dogs eat grass because their stomachs are upset or if their stomachs get upset after they eat grass. However, many vets suspect it's the former, because dogs who are energetic and perky seem to be able to eat grass without getting sick afterward. It seems likely that there's something in grass that does stimulate the urge to vomit.

Unless your dog is in the habit of regurgitating grass on the dining room floor, there's no reason to worry about it. Dogs have been eating grass for thousands or tens of thousands of years, and there's no evidence at all that it's bad for them. That isn't the case, however, when grass has been treated with insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. Most products say on the label whether they're dangerous for pets. In any event, you should certainly keep dogs away from grass soon after chemicals have been applied. Most products break down fairly quickly, but they can be quite dangerous if your dog eats them while they're fresh. If your dog has recently consumed grass that you believe to have been treated and is displaying any unusual symptoms, please contact poison control.

Does your dog eat grass? Does it usually get sick afterwards? Tell us about it in the comments!

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2 Responses

  1. Trish Turkovich says:

    My dog is losing all her hair from the middle.of her back down to her tail. I know she has allergies and we have had her on every remedy possible. How do I get rid of it?

  2. TNJan says:

    My dog eats grass when he is outside, and does not vomit. I think it helps him find a potty place. I wonder if perhaps it is the part of their ancient heritage which may have come from the herbivores.

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