Dogs like to chew, sniff, and lick all kinds of things. This is a common dog behavior that every dog owner encounters. Dogs love meat, we all know that, but meat is not the only food that dogs consume.
A dog eating grass is not such an unusual sight. If you have had a dog for a long time, you must have attended at least once while your dog was eating grass.
You may have noticed it during the most ordinary walk in the park when your pet stayed a little longer on the lawn. When you looked at him, you realized that he was chewing grass!
This kind of occurrence sometimes does not have to mean anything specific – maybe your dog eats grass purely because he feels like it. However, if you notice your dog suddenly eating grass like crazy, there are certain explanations as to why this happens.
Well, let’s look at why a dog would consume grass to such an extent.
What Could Be The Reason For The Dog Suddenly Eating Grass Like Crazy?
Every pet parent notices when their dog behaves differently than usual. As soon as a dog’s behavior deviates from the standard routine, it is clear to us that something unusual is happening with our dog.
Now you have noticed that your dog suddenly eats too much grass.
What is happening? Why is my dog eating grass like crazy?
1. Natural Instincts
According to archaeological findings, dogs have been living with humans for at least 9,000 years. Today there are a huge number of different dog breeds, and dogs are known as man’s best friend. In addition, we also have guard dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, and so on.
Dogs might be different, but all of these animals have a common ancestor – the wolf.
Although today’s domestic dog is significantly different from the wolf, some of the wolf’s typical behaviors can still be found in dogs.
For example, dogs are loyal and devoted to their human family, which is the natural instinct they had when they lived in a pack. Today we also have many dog breeds that still remind us of wolves!
The reason why your dog may suddenly overeat grass is a natural instinct. The dog, although domesticated, still wanders and looks for food. That food in this case is grass! If this is the reason, you do not need to worry, since this is just a natural instinct of our furry friends.
2. Grass Tastes Good
What’s going on with my dog? Why is he eating so much grass?
It sounds funny, but it may be true – your dog eats grass because he likes the taste of it! Maybe the dog is fed up with usual dog food and needs a break.
Maybe he just likes the taste of grass. We can’t say for sure, but if everything else is fine, it’s very likely that your dog just likes having grass for lunch.
Some dogs even have their favorites and like certain types of grass! Pay attention the next time you see your dog nibbling on grass. Is his facial expression similar to when he eats his favorite treat? If so, it’s obvious that your dog really enjoys eating grass!
3. Attention Seeking
All dog owners have probably had problems dealing with a clingy dog at least once. We all know that puppies really need a lot of attention, but sometimes we wonder how much attention is too much attention.
Sometimes when you are busy with various obligations, you might not pay enough attention to your furry friend. They may react by trying to get your attention. Their ways can be very strange at times.
Some will nibble on various things, while others will suddenly start eating too much grass! Grass eating in this case is nothing dangerous, but it can clearly indicate that your dog lacks attention.
Could your dog might be missing walking or playing? Maybe your pooch isn’t trying to get your attention for no reason.
However, there are also cases when a dog tries to attract attention for no particular reason. If all his needs are met – he has eaten, drank enough water, exercised and has no health problems, then there is no reason for you to worry.
It is important to recognize the difference between trying to get your attention for no reason and trying to get attention when the dog is truly missing something.
Have you noticed how yours suddenly eats a lot of grass after it rains? Or does he eat a lot of grass during the hot summer months?
Grass is rich in water, and even more so when people water it. If your dog is thirsty, this could be the reason why he is chewing grass. During summer days and very high temperatures, dogs need even more water than usual. Therefore, some of them find the solution in eating grass.
This could also be a warning for you. You should ensure that your dog always has plenty of drinking water available. Lack of water intake can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous for dogs.
5. Upset Stomach
A dog that eats a lot of grass at once could have an upset stomach. Together with him eating grass, you will probably notice that the dog is in pain, and it is possible that symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea will appear.
There is no evidence that eating grass really helps dogs when they have stomach problems, but it has long been widely believed that a dog, by eating grass, is trying to relieve a stomach upset.
If you notice that the condition does not improve at all, and if the dog has a fever, or you see blood in its feces, you should immediately contact the veterinarian.
An upset stomach occurs in dogs for various reasons, and most often as a result of consuming certain food that the dog did not tolerate well.
The remedy for an upset stomach in dogs is usually fasting for 24 hours in order for the dog’s stomach to rest and calm down.
During this period, the dog should consume a lot of water. When the first 24 hours pass, it would be good to feed the dog mild food, which the dog will be able to digest.
The best choice, in this case is, for example, boiled chicken and brown rice, which the dog should eat several times a day. Learn more on how to boil chicken for dogs.
One of the common reasons why your dog would suddenly eat grass like crazy is lack of activity. A dog who is bored can show it in different ways.
Some may exhibit destructive behavior, such as chewing on your belongings or digging holes in the yard. Some others will eat too much grass at once. In this way, your dog wants to let you know that he is bored and needs some activity.
A dog that lacks physical and mental stimulation easily becomes a frustrated and unhappy dog.
Therefore, it is very important to make sure that the dog is not left to its own device and to encourage it to move, play, and socialize.
Although dogs primarily represent company for most people, we should not forget that dogs were originally workers. Even today, they need a certain form of work in order to be healthy and happy.
The reality is that people today do not have much free time. Even if we devote all of our free time to our dogs, it can be too little for them and they get bored easily.
Therefore, dog owners need to come up with additional activities and a way for their dogs to have fun even if they are not around them all the time.
Our dogs can also be anxious, and this can turn into a bigger problem if not treated in time. In some cases, excessive grass eating can be an indication that your dog is anxious.
If you are wondering why anxiety would bother your dog in the first place, think about the past period.
Have you recently started leaving your puppy home alone for the first time? Have you moved to a new place? Have there been more guests in your home than usual, or maybe a new pet arrived in your household?
All of these can contribute to your dog becoming anxious. Dogs are very sensitive and fragile, and their behavior tells us that they too have emotions.
Sometimes a thing that we don’t even notice, like a loud noise, can cause a significant change in our dog’s behavior. You should try to find the exact cause of your dog’s anxiety and give him encouragement and support to get him back to his old ways as soon as possible.
If your dog has started eating a lot of grass all of sudden, maybe he is lonely. Some dogs want to be alone, but to be honest, most of our furry friends would love to have us around all the time.
Most dog owners do not have the luxury of being able to spend whole days with their pets. In the end, we all have to leave the house and take care of our responsibilities. Every dog will eventually have to spend a certain time of the day alone.
His behavior will depend a lot on the situation in the house. If you live in a multi-member household, your dog will not be lonely when you are gone.
However, if you are alone and have no other family members or pets that live with you, there is a high possibility that the dog will be lonely when you leave. What you can do is ask one of your friends or relatives to stop by your place while you are not at home.
Just a few minutes of contact with someone can mean a lot to our dogs. Also, today there is puppy daycare, thanks to which dogs can have contact with other dogs and can spend quality time while you are not with them.
9. The Desire To Change Food
Not all dogs eat the same type of food. Some prefer dry food, some prefer wet dog food, while some enjoy raw food. However, all these dog food types are made especially for dogs. Therefore, they contain ingredients that dogs really need.
However, a dog can sometimes miss something in the food it is currently eating. So, the dog could suddenly start eating a larger amount of grass because it wants to complete the existing diet.
Grass provides dogs with necessary vitamins and improves the functioning of their intestines, as well as their nutrition in general. Although our dogs seem to be carnivores most of the time, they are actually omnivores and plants should be part of their regular diet.
Grass is an excellent source of fiber, which can sometimes be lacking in a dog’s diet. Therefore, the dog goes on its own in search of what it lacks in its diet.
Fiber is very beneficial for dogs: it protects your dog from developing undesirable bacteria in its guts and it helps dogs absorb excess water. If there is enough fiber in the dog’s diet, he will produce firm, well-formed stools.
Not all dogs eat the same, which is normal – smaller dogs do not require the same amount of food as larger dogs. If you have an adult dog, you have probably already established a certain feeding schedule and have been sticking to it for a long time.
However, eating grass can also indicate that your dog is actually hungry. Maybe he doesn’t even like the taste of grass, but he needs to eat something else. Think about how much food you give your dog, and how many times a day.
Pay attention to your dog’s food bowl. Does it stay full hours after you’ve served your dog a meal? This could be a sign that the dog does not like the food, and you may want to consider switching to a different type of dog food.
If you are not quite sure which brand of food would be preferable, and what the ideal amount of food that your dog should consume on a daily basis is, consult your veterinarian.
Pica syndrome is one of the reasons why your dog might eat large amounts of grass at once. This syndrome represents a condition when the dog eats everything it can get its hands on.
So, pica is a syndrome in dogs that refers to the ingestion of non-food substances, such as grass, waste, soil, paper, or any other object that is not food.
You may have noticed this behavior in your puppy when he was younger, but it soon stopped. This is completely normal for small dogs that are just exploring the world around them, or in the teething period when they are constantly looking for something to chew.
However, if you notice this behavior in an adult dog, and you notice it very often, then it is very possible that it is Pica.
This kind of behavior is not desirable, and can even be dangerous if the dog swallows a toxic substance. Also, if the dog eats too much of non-food items, this can cause a blockage in the dog’s digestive tract.
Pica syndrome, apart from the obvious indicator – a dog that eats inedible things – can also be noticed by additional symptoms, such as bad breath in a dog, diarrhea, vomiting, as well as lethargy.
Treatment of Pica syndrome depends on the cause of this disease in the dog; the veterinarian will recommend appropriate treatment if he determines that the cause is physiological. However, the cause can also be psychological, in which case the help of a dog behaviorist is needed.
The sooner the treatment of Pica is started, the better it will be for the dog.
Is It Dangerous If My Dog Is Eating Too Much Grass?
Grass in general should not harm the health of our dogs. However, it is necessary to always check the reactions of our dogs, as well as their behavior.
If you notice your dog vomiting, having diarrhea, any other problems with the digestive system, or a change in his mood, it is possible that eating grass is causing him some discomfort.
The grass itself is not a toxic plant, but some harmful ingredients such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides can sometimes be found in the grass. Most of us use these products to make our lawns grow better and to make the grass look nicer.
If you have noticed that your dog likes to eat grass in front of your house, avoid using these products. However, your yard is of course not the only place where your dog can find the grass it wants to eat.
Also, an additional danger is that the dog, together with the grass, can swallow other substances. Your dog may not eat cat poop on purpose, but he may eat it along with the grass he enjoys.
By eating the feces of other animals, the dog can ingest intestinal parasites. These parasites are most often transmitted through infected feces in yards or dog parks, or through infected food bowls shared by multiple dogs.
If you notice symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, or a bloated stomach in your dog, it is possible that your dog has intestinal problems. Also, white specks in your dog’s feces are a clear sign of the presence of a parasite.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?
Your dog started eating too much grass all of a sudden, and you really want him to stop it. Is there anything you can do?
Yes, of course, there is! The first thing you should do is determine the cause of this dog’s behavior. Then, you will know how to make your dog stop eating too much grass.
1. Mow The Lawn
The lawn in front of your house is probably your dog’s favorite place to eat grass. What you can do, at least on your property, is mow the lawn.
After all, this is where your dog spends the most time. You can’t affect other places, like parks where you take your dog, but you can definitely reduce your dog’s access to grass inside your home.
Unless it’s a more serious health problem, chances are your dog will soon forget that he was crazy for grass.
2. New Activities
If you realize that your dog is just bored, it is time to give him some new activities and to increase his physical and mental stimulation.
Chew toys are great for dogs since they will enjoy this new activity for hours!
Also, an extended daily walk is an excellent idea for improving dog health. How often we walk our dogs is something we should never neglect – this is a way to bond with our pets, and also an opportunity for a potty break, and a good way for a dog to socialize with other dogs.
When a dog has a lot of things to do, there is a smaller possibility that he will show unwanted behavior.
3. Balanced Diet
One of the reasons why your dog might be eating grass like crazy is nutritional deficiency. So, the dog is trying to find something that he is missing from his diet.
If this is the case, you might have to change your dog’s diet. If you are not sure what exactly he is missing, you should check with your veterinarian. He might suggest switching to a kibble that is richer in fiber and probiotics.
4. Redirect Dog’s Behavior
If your dog uses every moment he spends outside to eat grass, it would be a good idea to try to redirect his behavior. How can this be achieved? Well, by using your dog’s favorite toy, or treats that he loves.
The next time the dog wanders off to eat grass, call him and show him a toy or treat. It is very likely that the dog will immediately stop chewing the grass and rush to you.
So, redirection means distracting the dog from what he is focused on and directing his attention to what you are saying or showing.
Redirecting is always done with a reward, that is, using positive reinforcement. It’s very likely that any reward will always work better than you yelling Don’t do that! Stop eating grass!
5. See A Vet
A dog consuming grass from time to time should not be a cause for alarm. However, a dog that suddenly starts eating large amounts of grass is not doing so without reason. If this does not stop within a few days, it would be time to visit the vet.
The vet will check if your dog has some kind of digestive issue.
That’s why you should be ready to explain to the vet exactly when you noticed that the dog started eating a lot of grass and whether other symptoms are present, such as diarrhea or vomiting. The color of dog vomit is especially important, which you can learn more about in our dog vomit color chart.
If you have noticed that the dog eats other things that are not food, besides grass, it is possible that it is Pica, and it is also necessary to inform the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treatment will depend on the exact cause of your dog’s sudden increased intake of grass. In some cases, changes to the dog’s diet will be necessary, and in others, you will need to find a way to influence your pet’s behavior.
Our dogs sometimes show behaviors that are not entirely clear to us. One of them is eating grass.
If your dog consumes grass from time to time, you should not worry. Let’s not forget that the dog’s ancestors constantly ate grass, and this was considered completely normal and necessary in a dog’s diet.
However, when you notice your dog suddenly eating grass like crazy, this tells you that something is definitely going on. Maybe your dog lacks activity, maybe he is hungry, or maybe something is wrong with your dog’s stomach.
And maybe the dog has Pica, if together with grass, he is also eating other non-food items. If a few days pass and nothing changes, it would be best to contact a veterinarian.
Grass does not necessarily have to be bad for a dog, but, as we have seen, it can contain certain substances that are by no means good for a dog.
Moreover, too much grass can cause indigestion and even poisoning in dogs. At the end of the day, only dog food contains all the nutrients that our furry friends need to be healthy.
The cause of grass eating in dogs can be harmless, but it can also be serious and can damage the dog’s health. Therefore, keep an eye on your puppy every time you are out with him. Pay attention to his behavior and try not to leave anything to chance.