So, you’ve noticed your dog sneaking a grassy snack and you’re wondering if they are daydreaming of being a cow or if something more serious is going on with their health; well, you’ve come to the right place to learn the most common reasons dogs eat grass.  

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Is it harmful for my dog to eat grass?

While eating grass is not harmful to your dog and is actually incredibly common (especially as most pet parents noting their dog has eaten grass or plant matter at least once), there could be an underlying issue if they are eating it quite frequently. For example, if you find your dog eating grass regularly, this could be an indicator of Pica.  We suggest visiting a vet to get this checked further.

What is Pica and could your dog have it?

For some background knowledge, eating something that isn’t typically considered “food” is a disorder called Pica. Pica presents with persistent chewing, biting and eating of inedible objects or foods with no nutritional benefits over a longer period of time. Pica is more common in younger dogs and puppies however can present in any dog and cause digestive obstructions, dental decay and in more serious cases, poisoning. Pica can indicate a few things from boredom to a behavioural compulsion, or a nutritional deficiency. If your dog has been frequently eating grass and other objects and you suspect your dog has pica, it is worth chatting with a vet and looking into behaviour training and nutritional support.1

Why is your dog eating grass?

Upset Stomach:

The most common reason for a dog eating grass is when they have an upset stomach so it will induce vomiting. Grass contains fibre which can ease stomach pain, it can also settle their stomach’s PH level. If you’re noticing your dog eating grass and having diarrhoea and vomiting afterwards, their stomach discomfort is most likely the reason. If these symptoms persist, have a chat with your vet to rule out something like pancreatitis or gastric reflux.2

Bored, Seeking Attention or Anxious:

Eating grass can be a way for your dog to “act out,” as it relieves boredom and can calm nerves. If your dog is outside all day or alone for a long period of time, they need some kind of stimulation, otherwise they will find any way they can to pass the time including eating grass or digging in the yard.

Your dog loves you and craves time with you and while we know we all unfortunately have to leave them alone sometimes; your dog does not understand this. Because of this they can also act out by trying to get more of your time and attention, they may be eating grass to do this, especially if they know this behaviour is bad.4

We’d recommend looking into slower feeders, licki mats and treat dispensers or leaving your dog with plenty of toys outside. If you were looking for another sign or excuse this could be your sign, so your dog has someone to hang out with when you aren’t home!

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Need to be scavengers:

Your dogs’ ancestors lived by hunting and scavenging for their food, creating a balanced diet from meat, bones and plant matter, especially from the stomach contents of other animals. So, eating grass and plant matter can be an instinctual need to hunt and scavenge. If your dog is eating grass and not getting sick and you’re treating them for parasites, this is no need for concern. However, we would recommend checking their diet is providing them all the nutrients they need, and they are eating enough for their breed and weight.1

Your Dog Has a Diet or Nutritional Deficiency:

The biggest reason for concern behind your dog eating grass is if they’re doing it because they are not getting enough nutrients from their food. Grass specifically contains a lot of fibre, if your dog is eating grass in excess, they could require a higher fibre diet. Fibre is the indigestible component of plant matter that assist in healthy digestion, all Big Dog patties are complete and balanced to offer your pet the right amount of plant matter and fibre they need.4

May we recommend raw food…. Specifically Big Dog?

Tastes Good:

For all these other reasons, there is one that’s quite simple – your dog might just like the taste and texture of grass. They can be trained out of this behaviour. If they’re treat driven, redirect them to the better and healthier option. While on walks or taking them outside, redirect them from eating grass to a treat or affection such as verbal reinforcement.2  

Why did my dog eat grass and throw up?

It is actually quite uncommon for grass to cause vomiting; however, it is assumed the texture of grass tickles a dog’s throat which induces gagging and vomiting. Grass is more likely to settle their stomach and if they are eating grass and vomiting consistently, you may need to treat them for parasites and check any other plant matter they are eating for toxins.3 Have a chat with your vet about this one.

What do I do if my dog eats grass?

If your dog is a regular grass-eater, be mindful to only let them eat grass in your yard, as public parks and neighbours/ walking paths may use pesticides that are dangerous to your pets. We’d also recommend looking into a parasite treatment if your dog is an occasional grass eater.3


  1. Byeong-Teck, K et al (2007). A High Fiber Diet Responsive Case in a Poodle Dog with Long-Term Plant Eating Behavior. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  2. Hart, B (2008). Why do dogs and cats eat grass? Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  3. Sueda, K et al (2008). Characterisation of plant eating in dogs. Retrieved 1 March 2024.
  4. Beynen, A (2020). Diet and grass eating in dogs. Retrieved 1 March 2024.