May 5, 2023


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Why Does My Dog Eat Grass? 

Dogs eating grass is a common, mysterious behavior. While it can be perplexing in the moment, there are actually a few straightforward reasons your dog may be engaging in this behavior. So if you’re wondering, “Why does my dog eat grass?”… let’s unpack that together!

Ultimately, a dog’s behavior typically reflects their physical, mental, or emotional state. Keeping in touch with how our animals are feeling is tangibly tied to monitoring their behavior, and our role as caretakers is to pay attention to our animals.

So let’s find out: why do dogs eat grass?

Read next: Do You Know What These 8 Common Dog Behaviors Mean?

Grass and your dog’s digestive system

By far, the most common reason I see dogs eating grass is as a way to aid digestion issues in their GI tracks. This almost always is the result of a biologically inappropriate diet and eating grass almost acts as a digestive cleanser. When your dog senses digestive disruption, eating grass is one way to achieve a natural purging effect.

I often see dogs eating grass more frequently in the spring and summer. Similar to how humans go through “spring cleaning,” our animals also have times when they try to enact a natural sort of reset in their bodies.

When our canines do not have a properly functioning digestive system, it can throw a variety of their behaviors out of whack. The key here is making sure we focus on exactly what we are feeding our dogs and approaching it from a holistic standpoint. Despite not widely being talked about, many people are feeding their dogs food that is not only the wrong fit for their particular canine, but can even contain toxic elements.

I suggest that if your dog has been eating grass frequently, you get their microbiome tested (ideally at a holistic vet), this often has indications of what can be causing the behaviors and can help guide future nutrition and diet decisions.

Exploring holistic canine nutrition

The key to really limiting this behavior again ties back to diet. Majority of the dog food on the market right now is packed full of sugar and other nutrients that potentially have adverse effects on your animal. Not only are our dogs expecting this food, but they are used to it impacting their digestive systems in negative ways. Remember – a properly functioning gut really is the basis for a ton of important canine behaviors.

Commonly, what I encounter is dogs that are relying mostly on dry kibble for food. While some brands are doing this holistically, many promote health and high-quality ingredients without much basis behind this claim. The immense advertising landscape we find ourselves surrounded by allows these companies to make undisputed claims that often are just a result of crafty marketing rather and do not reflect the whole truth.

Start to pay attention to what specifically is in the food you feed your dogs – remember, they have no way to decide for themselves what their diet is going to be, and it’s our role to give them the same level of care and attention we give to our own diets.

The reason diet is so important is because it truly is the basis for everything else in your dog’s life. No behaviors or psychological states our dogs experience are not somehow tied back to diet. It’s easy to overlook holistic diet options because often they are more expensive, but at the end of the day it’s undoubtedly what our dogs deserve. And, it will actually lead to diminished physical and mental problems later down the line that could result in hefty bills.

Read next: Everything You Need to Know About Holistic Nutrition for Dogs

Building awareness about your dog’s habits eating grass

A key theme of my work is the importance of observing and critically analyzing your dog’s behaviors – and this is completely relevant with eating grass. If your dog is eating a lot of grass, take some time to reflect.

Where are they doing it? How often? Right after meal times? Pay attention to any developing patterns and make sure to take some control in the authoritative realm to limit these behaviors in potentially dangerous settings.

While we mostly have control over our own spaces and can make sure there are no chemicals or environmental toxins, there’s no guarantee local parks and public spaces do the same. It’s easy for us to overlook this, as humans we can walk on nearly any surface without absorbing any of the potentially harmful chemicals. However, our dogs may come in from walks and lick their paws, effectively transferring whatever chemicals they may have picked up straight into their system dangerously.

Further, the chemicals used to treat grass are often lingering and can stay present for up to two years with just one spray. We would never knowingly ingest anything toxic, and we shouldn’t allow our dogs to under any circumstances. If you do notice your dog is often eating grass, at least try to contain it to the areas you know and can control.

What to do when your dog is eating grass

Behaviors are often indicative of larger issues in the canine world. In this instance, the number one thing to do is check out your dog’s diet and ways you can alter this and improve it for their unique needs. The best way to do this is often by connecting with a professional – but there are tons of resources online and on my site that are a great starting point.

Generally, eating grass really is just a sign of digestive issues and a reaction to being fed food that may contain shocking levels of sugar and other adverse nutrients. It’s their way to naturally purge and alleviate some of this discomfort.

While diet is the key consideration, if your dog is continuing to eat grass make sure you have control over the setting and can keep an eye on them. Managing toxins and chemicals that potentially go into your dog is essential to ensuring a healthy, long life.

When it comes to your dog eating grass, take a holistic approach to feeding your canine and make sure to pay careful attention to behaviors and moods. It’s all about finding the right balance for your individual animal and prioritizing their health and wellbeing in all ways possible.

Do you want to know more about the ways you can show up in your dog’s life? I created my masterclass, Embodied Alpha, to empower you to shift into alignment and harmony within your relationship with your dog. Take a look.

Sasha Armstrong

Founder of Canine State of Mind

A place where dog parents can learn more about canine behavior and how to create the environment for a closer relationship with their dog.



Understanding Energetic Cues and Expressions in Dogs

Transforming your relationship with your dog requires understanding how they view our world and communicate in it. Learning to read your dog’s energetics and cues goes beyond interpreting their behavior–it’s about cultivating a profound connection to our canine companions. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn to:
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