Do Dogs Eat Grass Just To Barf It Up?

How many times have you found your dog happily chomping on the grass when you’re outside? My dog, Freddie, is a master grass eater. He seems to like the longer pieces along the edges of the lawn and gardens. He usually runs around for a bit, does his doggie business, and then I can find him munching away on a chunk of grass. He rarely vomits afterward, and it turns out that dogs eat grass for other reasons.

small white dog in the grass with their tongue out mid lick.

Do Dogs Eat Grass Just To Barf It Up? The simple answer is no. 

  • Dogs like the taste of grass. Did you know that dogs are omnivores, which means they get their nutrition from plants and meat? Dogs might just like the taste of grass and see it as a nice little snack.
  • Your pup may be bored and is just eating the grass to pass the time. Maybe they need some more exercise or mental stimulation in their day. I have found myself mindlessly snacking when I feel bored. Sometimes dogs do the same thing.
  • Your dog might really feel sick. Usually, when your dog isn’t feeling well, they don’t eat normally, and you might find them eating grass instead of their breakfast. They might be hoping to throw up to alleviate what’s going on in their stomachs.
  • Their diet might be too low in fiber. Dogs are amazing in that they are pretty in tune with what’s going on in their bodies. If they’re eating a lot of grass, it might be a good time to check their dog food and see if there’s enough fiber in their diet.
  • They are playing. Sometimes dogs get so riled up when they play that they extend that behavior toward whatever is around them. Grass is included here. They snatch at it and sometimes toss it around. Maybe zoomies with start afterward. Dogs are silly, so who knows?
black puppie laying in the grass behind a tennis ball with a mouthful of grass

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind if you find that your dog is eating grass:

  • If you think your dog is eating grass because they are bored, then adding some extra physical and mental exercises to their day can help. Mentally stimulating physical activities are best if you are able, but an extra walk or a treat puzzle can help immensely.
  • Gardeners! If you keep houseplants, be aware if your dog is interested in them or not. Many plants can be dangerous and poisonous for dogs to digest. Make sure to check if the plants you have are safe for dogs or not, and if they are not safe, keep them out of reach of your dog. Here is a list of poisonous plants for dogs.
  • Chemically treated lawns are dangerous for dogs if they are eating grass. Check the areas that your dog is munching to make sure that there aren’t any places where water runoff from a neighbor, because their chemicals can transfer over to your grass if they treat their lawns for bugs or weeds. Try not to let your dog eat the grass out in public places unless you can be certain that they aren’t chemically treated.
  • You can grow your own grass for your dog. Most pet stores have wheatgrass growing kits for your pets so they can indulge in a little bit of a grass snack.
The bottom line is eating grass isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to our dogs. They aren’t eating it just to barf it up most of the time. If you do notice your dog suddenly eating more grass than normal, especially if they are vomiting, it’s always a good idea to check in with your veterinarian to rule out any health issues.
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