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Dogs Eating Grass: Why Do They Do It & Is It Safe?

Dogs Eating Grass: Why Do They Do It & Is It Safe?

Have you seen your dog eats grass? Perhaps you thought it odd or are even concerned about their health. In this post, our St. Louis vets list some common reasons dogs eat grass and offer advice on when to seek emergency care.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

When their dog eats grass, pet parents are often left to watch in confusion. The fact is, many dogs will eat grass, vomit, then return to eating grass again. 

You might think this would imply that your dog isn't feeling well and wants to get something out of their stomach, worry that they may have ingested a poisonous substance, or suspect this may indicate an undiagnosed medical condition? 

Though some dogs do vomit after eating grass, this isn't the case for all dogs. Most dogs will eat grass without showing any signs or symptoms of an upset stomach. So, it seems unlikely that dogs eat grass to induce vomiting. But, why do they do it?

Physical Reasons Dogs Eat Grass 

To keep their digestive system moving properly, dogs need a specific amount of fiber in their diet. After all, dogs are omnivores, so they should eat plants and high-quality meat to help them maintain good health. 

Similar to people, dogs can suffer from numerous gastrointestinal and stomach issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis. If your dog is eating grass and displaying other symptoms including decreased energy, diarrhea, constipation, or lack of appetite, we recommend bringing them to one of our two locations in St. Louis for emergency veterinary care as soon as possible. 

Psychological Reasons Dogs Eat Grass 

Anxiety and boredom may factor into your dog's grass-eating habit in the same way that people with anxiety might restlessly pace the room. If your dog eats a lot of grass but doesn't show signs of digestive issues, there may be psychological reasons for this behavior. 

If your dog could simply be suffering from boredom, increasing the length, distance or intensity of walks could help to reduce grass eating.

Separation anxiety could also be the reason that your dog is eating grass. Try leaving an old blanket or t-shirt with your scent on it with your dog when you leave the house. Your dog may find the familiar scent reassuring and help to curb their grass-eating habit. 

Some dogs show obsessive behaviors. If your dog is obsessively eating grass, your vet will be able to advise you on how to help your pooch reduce obsessive behaviors.

Is it safe for dogs to eat grass?

If your dog is otherwise healthy and on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be a safe behavior.

To help keep your grass nibbling pooch healthy, make sure that there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog enjoys. 

Emergency Veterinary Care in St. Louis 

At  Animal Emergency Clinic, we understand that emergencies can happen at any time. That's why our dedicated emergency vets are here to provide quality, compassionate care at our two locations in St. Louis.

Our O'Fallon location is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, while our Kirkwood location has various hours during the week and on weekends (please see our emergency page for more information). 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

Is your dog eating grass and experiencing constipation, diarrhea, or other concerning symptoms? Contact one of our St. Louis animal emergency clinics right away for emergency care.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Animal Emergency Clinic is an after-hours emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs from St. Louis and surrounding areas. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

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