Dogs have some quirky habits. They chase their tail, bury their food and lick, well, pretty much anything. Another thing they tend to do is eat grass. Is it because they’re sick? Are they missing something in their diet? Are they hungry? As far as why do dogs eat grass, the answer may be pretty simple.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), they just like the way it tastes! According to Andrea Rediger, writing for the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, “another theory states that undomesticated dogs are naturally omnivores (meat and plant-eaters), therefore domesticated dogs instinctively include plant material in their diet. Alternatively, some speculate that undomesticated dogs would ingest plant material in the stomachs of their prey, and therefore the species developed a taste for it.”
There are other reasons to take into consideration, but the majority of them are harmless. One reason dogs eat grass involves the theory that their ancient ancestors ate grass to rid their body of parasites. Today, most domesticated dogs are checked by a veterinarian and given medication, if needed, so they no longer have to self-treat a parasite problem.
They may also just be eating grass out of boredom. “When dogs aren’t stimulated, they find things to do on their own. Often times, this leads to eating grass,” says veterinarian Dr. Martin Goldstein.
One indication that they could be sick, however, is if they run to a patch of grass, eat it up and then immediately vomit. “They might be trying to ease stomach discomfort. This, however, is not all that common,” says Dr. Goldstein.
So long as they are doing it joyously, there’s no need to worry about your dog eating grass. Just be sure you keep them away from treated grass treated with a chemical pesticide or herbicide.