Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Grass?

Your dog loves to eat grass, and sometimes he gets sick immediately after eating it. Why do they do this, and how can you keep them safe?

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Your dog is doing it again — munching away on grass as if it was a sheep. Then sometimes they stop, hunch over and throw up the lawn salad a few minutes later. It’s one of the the more curious behaviors of our furry friends, but at least they’re not digging holes in the lawn.

Your dog is not alone in this habit. Many dogs are grass eaters, and many of them also taste-test flowers, vegetables and tree greens as they wander around outside.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

No one really knows why dogs eat grass, but there are a few theories.

Tummy Troubles

They could be eating grass to reduce stomach upset. Though some dogs vomit after eating grass, the majority do not show any signs of sickness before eating grass, and many do not vomit or become ill afterward. But if your dog seems ill, take the cautious approach and call your veterinarian.

Fiber Factor

Dogs may chew grass to add fiber to their diet and help them digest food. Make sure your dog is on a quality, nutritionally balanced food. Offer cooked green beans, sweet potatoes or other fiber-rich foods to aid digestion. Learn how to keep dogs out of flower beds.


Maybe your dog chews grass because it likes the taste. Or it is simply something to do, like licking their paws or pulling the cushions off the couch. Chewing grass gives them a focus while they are outside. Make sure your dog has plenty of things to stimulate them mentally, such as puzzle toys and safe chew sticks. Take your dog for a longer walk, or seek out other dogs for them to play with.

Their Ancestors Did It

Wild dogs and wolves weren’t served food in matching bowls. They ate what they hunted and balanced their diet with grasses and other plants. Today’s wolves routinely eat grass. And because studies have discovered that younger wolves eat grass more often than older wolves, this theory has merit. Young wolves are more likely to suffer from intestinal parasites like roundworms than older wolves. Eating grass may help rid them of internal parasites, because the grass wraps around worms or grabs smaller parasites while passing through the intestinal tract.

Although dogs may simply chew your lawn by instinct, it’s a good idea to let your veterinarian inspect your dog’s stool for parasites.

Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Grass?

It depends. Managed lawn grass and other plants that are exposed to pesticides or other chemicals could make your dog sick. Keep them safe by avoiding pesticides and other turf applications that may be toxic. Supervise your dog as much as possible, and offer them fun toys and activities that might reduce or eliminate the grass eating.

Rosie Wolf Williams
Rosie Wolf Williams is a Vermont-based writer with credits in business profiles, veterinary and agriculture, natural health, general interest, automotive, hardware, DIY, innovation and trends. Her work has appeared in USA Weekend, Energy Times, Costco Connection, Next Avenue, and many other local and national publications. She is the author of "The Thought of You: The Art of Being Alive!" and is an award-winning speaker.