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There are lots of reasons why dogs eat grass! It’s a common behavior (even wild dogs eat grass) and usually harmless, but it’s still a good idea for you to understand what drives your dog to eat grass and what this habit can reveal about your pup’s health.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Pica (eating non-food items like grass) is sometimes triggered by a diet deficiency. Grass has fiber, minerals, chlorophyll and certain digestive enzymes, so your dog might be eating grass if they’re not getting enough of these nutrients through their food. If your dog is always trying to eat grass, a nutritional deficiency could be behind it. Learn about feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet, and consult your veterinarian about your dog’s eating habits.

Why do dogs eat grass?


Pica (and specifically eating grass) can also be caused by boredom, especially in young dogs. If a dog is understimulated, eating grass gives them something to do. Boredom is a common culprit behind many destructive or attention-seeking behaviors in dogs, like digging up the yard, overgrooming, excessive barking or escape attempts.

If you suspect your dog is eating grass out of boredom, try:

Discouraging a bored dog from eating grass can backfire: If you rush over and give your dog lots of attention whenever they eat grass they’ll probably keep doing it so you’ll interact with them more. You’re better off distracting them from eating grass by giving them something else to do!


Dogs display a wide range of self-soothing behaviors in response to stress, and eating grass can be one of them. Anxious grass eating could be triggered by a stressful situation or event, or separation anxiety.
Dogs might start chewing on or eating grass simply because it’s available and they don’t know how to cope with their nervous energy. You can learn ways to help your dog manage anxiety to support their well-being.


Dogs often instinctively eat grass when they have an upset stomach because it can induce vomiting, which helps them feel better. If your dog doesn’t normally eat grass, but seems to feel better after eating grass and throwing up, they could just be self-treating a case of nausea. Stomach upset can be caused by something your dog ate, intestinal worms, or any number of health conditions. If your dog eats grass and vomits frequently, you should take them to the vet to figure out and treat the underlying cause of indigestion.

Using Grass as an Antacid

Just like humans, a dog’s stomach continuously produces gastric acid, even when there’s no food to digest. An empty stomach can make dogs feel uncomfortable and lead to bile acid reflux. Unlike us, dogs can’t take antacids. Some dogs deal with the discomfort of an overly acidic stomach by quickly eating grass first thing in the morning, then vomiting up yellow foam (bile and stomach acid) to feel relief. You can avoid this by feeding your dog earlier in the day. Sometimes giving your dog a little food right before bed can help, too.

Why does my dog keep eating grass?

Taste & Texture

Dogs are natural scavengers and curious about their environment. Dogs might eat grass just to see what it tastes like—and if they enjoy the taste they could come back for more. Some dogs enjoy the texture of chewing grass and start doing it out of habit, similar to how some people chew on a toothpick, pen or paper.

Should I Let My Dog Eat Grass?

If your dog occasionally eats grass and they’re in good health, it’s probably fine. In the majority of cases eating grass isn’t problematic for dogs – just something to chalk up to weird (and sometimes instinctive) behavior. Of course, if you believe that nutrient deficiencies, boredom, anxiety or chronic indigestion are why your dog eats grass, then you should address the underlying cause.

When It’s Not Safe to Let Your Dog Eat Grass

Under certain circumstances, eating grass can pose a health risk for dogs:

Lawn treatments

Don’t let your dog eat grass that’s been sprayed with pesticides, fertilizer or other chemicals.

Dangerous plants

Make sure your dog’s not eating other plants along with grass. Some plants, flowers and weeds are toxic to dogs, such as tulips, lilies, azaleas and foxglove. Learn about the plants common to your region and steer clear of any dangerous foliage.

Contaminated soil

If you live in a region with hookworm or roundworm in the soil (mostly in the southeast USA), your dog could possibly get a parasitic infection from eating grass. This can also happen if your dog eats grass contaminated with another dog’s poop.


Some dogs have an allergic reaction to eating grass. Symptoms can include inflammation, itching, and irritation involving the skin, ears and eyes. Most dogs won’t have an adverse reaction to eating grass, but if your dog eats grass for the first time you should keep an eye out just in case.

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Grass

If your dog has a clean bill of health from the veterinarian but you feel that their grass eating is problematic, there are a few things you can try to get them to stop:

It may take some time to train your dog to stop eating grass, especially if it’s become a habit. Being patient and staying consistent with commands, rewards, and training sessions are the keys to success! Learn more about how to best support your dog’s digestive health and explore different options for feeding your dog nutritious dog food with raw and natural ingredients.