Dog Eating Grass? Here’s Why

Beagle puppy eating grass

Your dog and your lawnmower have one thing in common – both like to eat grass. If you’re trying to decode why your dog is doing this, I’ll tell you today!

What are some reasons dogs eat grass? Dogs eat grass for many reasons, including to get your attention, out of curiosity, to reduce stomach discomfort, because they’re bored, to fill in for nutrients absent in their diet, out of instinct, and sometimes even because they just like doing it.

As the list above proves, dogs will eat grass for a variety of reasons, some more benign and others quite concerning. Ahead, I’ll go over each reason your canine companion might munch on the lawn and share some strategies for stopping this behavior.

7 Reasons Your Dog Eats Grass

For Attention

You’re a busy person who, although you wish you could pay all the attention in the world to your dog, doesn’t always have time to do it.

Your dog knows this too, which is why they sometimes resort to some pretty extreme measures to get your attention, like eating grass. 

Once you see that your dog isn’t only doing their business outside but is also mowing the lawn for you, you’ll surely stop your busy workload and go outside to see what’s the matter. That’s what your dog wants.


Do you have a puppy that you’re still socializing? To them, the world is a playground, and anything and everything is worth exploring (that you let them explore, of course).

While out on a walk, your puppy may begin fervently sniffing the grass. Once they know what it smells like, curiosity might inspire them to take a nibble. 

To Alleviate an Upset Stomach

Have you ever noticed your dog enthusiastically eating grass in the yard until they vomit a yellow foam?

That yellow substance they puked is bile. 

When you vomit on an empty stomach, all your body has to release is bile, and that’s what happened to your dog as well.

Bile is very acidic but eating grass can act as an antacid. 

It’s not like canines can go to the pharmacy and buy an over-the-counter antacid like us people can, so to them, eating grass is the next best thing. It’s nature’s antacid! 


If you let your dog out in the yard hoping they’ll entertain themselves, that won’t last very long. 

Dogs enjoy both mental and physical stimulation, so why not take some time to play with them?

If your dog is left to their own devices for long enough outside, then boredom could motivate them to eat grass. 

Boredom in canines is no small malady. If not rectified, then it’s only a matter of time before your dog will begin destroying your home because they’re feeling unsatisfied and frustrated. 

To Provide Nutrients Lacking in Their Diet

How much fiber is your dog getting in their diet?

If they’re eating grass, then the answer is probably not enough!

Grass is naturally rich in fiber, which benefits your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, helps them pass stool, and aids in digestion. The fiber does all this, let me be clear, not the grass.

Dogs, as primary carnivores, can’t easily digest grass, and most of the grass your dog ingests goes undigested anyway. 

It’s not doing them many favors to eat grass, but they’ll continue anyway if they need more fiber. 


Even if dogs can’t process grass, the urge to eat it stems from their wolf ancestors. 

Wolves are primarily carnivores as well but have been known to consume plant matter from time to time.

Dogs now carry on the wolf legacy and will munch on the plant matter that’s most accessible to them, and that’s grass. 


Finally, the reason your pooch could be obsessively eating grass is that they simply enjoy it.

Some canines might like the chewing of the grass or its texture. Others even prefer the taste, even if you couldn’t imagine that grass tastes very palatable. 

Labrador Retriever puppy eating and playing with a container of grass inside

The Risks of Your Dog Eating Grass

Considering that your dog eating grass is an instinctual thing that’s even been deemed normal dog behavior, is there any harm in letting them chew from time to time? 

There can be a lot of harm, actually. Let’s review the risks now.

Fertilizer, Herbicides, and/or Pesticides

You might be keenly aware of whether you treated your yard as well as with which product, but when walking your dog around the neighborhood, you can’t say what the other homeowners did or didn’t do with their lawns.

If your dog decides to take a munch of grass here and there, they could end up ingesting fertilizer, herbicides, or pesticides. All are chemicals that are can highly dangerous for canine companions!

Eating fertilizer could cause fertilizer toxicity, which leads to symptoms such as nausea, drooling, diarrhea, and vomiting in less severe cases.

Very serious cases of fertilizer toxicity cause seizures, weakness, stiff walking, and stomach pain in your dog. 

Weed killers or herbicides can be life-threatening for your pooch as well. Your dog may have difficulty walking or standing. You could see chemical burns on the tongue, nose, and mouth where your dog ate the grass.

More so, symptoms can include respiratory issues, convulsions, diarrhea, lethargy, muscle weakness, and vomiting.

Pesticide consumption in dogs causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and drooling.

If your dog ingests enough of these chemicals, the exposure could possibly be fatal. 

Possible Internal Parasites

Here’s another testament to the fact that you never know what’s lingering in the grass. Besides the insects that call it home, that patch of lawn in the neighborhood could be harboring internal parasites such as whipworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.

Whipworms, which are the most disease-spreading of all the internal parasites, lead to debilitation, weight loss, and bloody, watery diarrhea. 

A tapeworm infestation might make your dog’s rear itch and cause that trademark scooting behavior that no pet owner wants to see. Otherwise, it can be hard to tell if your dog even has tapeworms unless assessed by a veterinarian. 

Roundworms will noticeably appear in your dog’s vomiting or feces if the infestation is that severe. Your dog can develop a potbelly despite not gaining weight, and their coat will look very dull.

You may also notice symptoms in your dog like vomiting and diarrhea. They could cough if the roundworms reach the lungs.

Finally, an infestation of hookworms causes these symptoms in canines: stunted growth, itchy paws, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, weakness, pale gums, anemia, and possibly death.

Fecal Matter

Unfortunately, grass isn’t the only substance your dog can try to ingest, but fecal matter in the grass as well. 

Your pup could get very sick from this gross behavior, and their risk of possibly contracting the above internal parasites goes up as well. 

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Grass

It’s one thing for your dog to eat grass that’s untreated in your yard, but considering that the risks far outweigh the rewards, you’d prefer to nip this behavior in the bud.

These handy tips will help you do just that!

Keep Them Stimulated Outside 

As I discussed earlier, when your dog is outside for a romp, you can’t expect them to entertain themselves. 

Throw a stick or a Frisbee. Try a new treat toy to see if your dog can use their senses to release the treat. Run around the yard together and feel the cool breeze while your heart races.

The last thing your dog will think about is eating grass during times like these, trust me. 

Buy Higher-Quality Dog Food

If you suspect that dietary deficiencies are causing your canine companion to eat grass, then it’s time to upgrade their dog food.

You want a more balanced product that contains nutrients, minerals, and vitamins as well as healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and some carbs. The food should be sparse on processed ingredients. 

Once your dog begins eating higher-quality food, their nutritional needs will be met so they don’t have to eat grass. 

Only Let Your Dog Outside When Supervised 

For the pet owners with a dog who eats grass solely out of enjoyment, I highly recommend you only let your dog outside when you or another member of your family can be there to oversee their behavior.

The second you see your dog start to chow down on the grass, you need to tell them to stop and possibly even bring them inside if they’re not listening. 

Use a Deterrent Spray

The last option is to use a deterrent spray. Mist your lawn with the stuff and not only will your dog not want to munch on the grass, but neither will any feral animals or local wildlife.

If you’d rather forego the chemicals, you can always combine vinegar with ammonia and dump that on the lawn. Your dog won’t enjoy the smell and certainly not the taste either! 

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