Why does my pet eat grass?

While there are competing theories regarding why dogs and cats consume grass, a conclusive answer has yet to be supported by scientific study.  Here’s a brief overview of the current speculation

• They simply like the taste and texture of the grass and eating it provides a sense of satisfaction
• It’s an ancestral thing – prey of wild dogs and cats frequently have grasses in their intestinal system, and domesticated dogs and cats still yearn for grass in the diet
• Our companion animals know of some nutritional value in grasses that we have yet to find out (like antioxidants or something similar)
• They do it to provoke vomiting if they’ve eaten something that has upset their stomachs
• They are augmenting their keen sense of smell with taste to uncover more about their environments

Although we may never know the exact reason why, we do know that this is one of the most often asked questions posed to veterinarians.  If you notice excessive grass-eating with either your dog or cat, you should consult your vet.

Comments (6) -

  • Chris

    11/1/2009 4:16:24 AM |

    I have a Dalmation (macey) she eats grass on acation,but is very pickey about which grass.She will sniff and walk and sniff more untill she comes accross the one she is looking for.It is always the same grass!
    I never understood this!

  • Sandy

    11/2/2009 4:30:13 PM |

    My black lab (Gilmore) does the same thing.  He goes to one particular area of the pet area behind my apartment building and eats tender thin grass that sprouts up between the clover.

  • Patricia

    11/20/2009 1:49:57 PM |

    My great big girl chessie a 111 lb chesapeake bay retriever loves to eat the grass in the back of the yard near the garden.  She eats the same kind of grass and seems to enjoy it.  Sometimes I worry that she is lacking something in her diet.

  • Heidi

    1/18/2010 8:54:00 AM |

    I have had dogs throughout my life that eat grass.  Each of them seam to do it differently.  Some did it all the time, while other seamed to only do it when they were feeling ill.  I'm intrigued that so many theories have been put out.  I am simply wondering if it can be harmful in any way?

  • Renaye Ferrara

    3/19/2010 10:58:41 PM |

    Can my dog catch a cats corona disease and what would be his symtoms?  I am not sure yet of FIP positive yet.  My dog is hacking and trying to vomit and sometimes alittle white mucus and had a snotty nose which is gone now.  He is still eating and my vet put him on antibiotics 2xs aday.  But his coughing is getting worse.  How can I help my baby.  And i cleaned the floors with bleach and sent the cat to the shelters vet.  Please help me.

  • Karen

    10/27/2010 6:55:13 AM |

    My dog is an Austrailian Cattle dog mix and she too has always eaten grass.  She will grab a huge clump of it with the mud still attached and eat it.  Any kind of grass will do but there is a preference for the soft mossy grass that grows in the culverts. This drives me crazy since she is taking chunks out of other peoples lawns but I can't seem to stop it. Also it does not make her sick or vomit.  Any advice or thoughts would be great.

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