If you have ever seen a dog eating grass, you may have wondered what they are up to.  No, grass is not simply a dog’s version of salad.  Your dog is not trying to watch their weight if they are eating grass.  Though it may seem strange, it is more common than you probably realize.  WebMD points out just how common dogs eating grass actually is, “ One small-scale study of 49 dog owners whose dogs had regular access to grass and other plants found that 79% of the dogs had eaten plants at some time. Another survey about plant-eating dogs found that grass was the most commonly eaten plant.”

There are a few different reasons that dogs eat grass. First, some dogs actually do like the way grass tastes and they are eating it just for that reason alone.  Dogs can have strange appetites and preferences so the reason they are eating it may be that.  If your dog is eating grass and not vomiting after, that could be the explanation.  Next, a common reason that dogs will eat grass is if they have a gassy or upset stomach.  Eating grass is the dog’s natural instinct and way to help their stomach feel better.  Because of the texture and way that grass can feel in a dog’s throat, eating grass can cause a dog to vomit.  The act of vomiting can provide instant relief for a gassy or upset stomach – thus the reason your dog is eating grass.  Additionally, some dogs that eat grass may have a dietary deficiency.  Just like PICA in humans, dogs may seek out eating grass because they are deficient in some nutrient and crave strange things as a result.  If your dog is constantly eating grass and does not appear to be ill, it may be best to speak to your veterinarian to see if your dog may be in need of different food or nutrition to support their overall health.  Finally, some say that dog’s eating grass may simply be genetic programming that has been inherited from their wild ancestors.  The theory is that wild dogs ate grass as a means of survival and nutrition and that is why some dogs choose to eat grass today, even with access to other types of food.  Generally speaking, eating grass is not dangerous for your dog but if you are concerned about their behavior or health, speak to your veterinarian about your dog so that your dog’s specific behaviors can be assessed by a professional.