Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

It's not because they're going vegan

In a recent IAMS poll of dog owners,* 69% said their dog eats grass. That’s quite a lot. Owners also have quite a lot of theories on why their dog is noshing on the lawn.

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It’s not just modern-day canines that eat grass. It’s likely something that has been going on for thousands of dog years. According to Dr. Tammie King, Applied Behavior Technical Leader at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, “It is actually normal canine behavior. It has to do with innate behavior from canine ancestors. Potentially a remnant behavior.”


Dr. King also shared this with us: “A lot of people think dogs eat grass when they’re feeling ill, but studies have shown that’s not necessarily true.”


But then why do dogs eat grass? To get to the (grass)root of this issue, we asked Dr. Jo Gale, BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS  Senior Manager of Global Science Advocacy at Waltham Petcare Science Institute.

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"There's no one reason. They just like the taste, texture and feel of the grass."

So it’s perfectly fine if your pooch decides to have an occasional grass snack. Who doesn’t crave a salad every now and then?

However …

When to take notice of their grass-eating habit

If your dog is getting adequate nutrition, there’s no need to worry. But the experts we talked with asked dog owners to please keep in mind the following:

    ·  Grass that’s been treated with weed killer or pesticides should be off the menu.

    ·  If your dog is eating grass excessively or routinely vomiting from eating grass, consult your vet.

 
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Looking for the perfect dog food to pair with their side of sod slaw? IAMS has the answer for that, too.

*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+ 

Sample Size: n=201 

Fielded May 8 to May 10, 2020