Why Do Dogs Eat Grass When Their Stomach Hurts

One of the most often inquiries posed to vets is “My dog is eating grass, why? We don’t REALLY know, is the succinct response. Dogs don’t respond when we ask them questions, so there have been a lot of theories put forth, but we can’t be certain.

Most veterinarians concur that giving a dog grass to eat likely helps settle his upset stomach. An “Stomach discomfort typically indicates that stomach acids are accumulating. People frequently take an antacid when stomach acid builds up, knowing that they will soon feel better. Eating grass may have the same effect as a “natural antacid” in dogs. After eating grass, most dogs seem to feel better, but this improvement is typically just fleeting because most dogs throw up soon after.

According to a different notion, dogs may be wanting particular nutrients found in grass—it may be as basic as a micronutrient that is absent from their regular diet.

Last but not least, dogs may eat grass just because they enjoy it. The main reason why dogs eat grass is unknown, but we do know that it happens frequently and that it can be upsetting and stressful for pet owners. Thankfully, there are frequently a few very straightforward remedies to this widespread issue.

Should I let my ill dog to eat grass?

At the age of twelve months, our puppy is still in the eating-anything-he-can period. He will unavoidably become ill as a result, at which time he will eat grass. This reminds me of a saying that dog owners love to use: “When they have an upset stomach, dogs like to eat grass.” But to what extent is this true, and should you allow your sick dog to eat grass?

Should I let my ill dog to eat grass? When your dog is ill, you should allow him to eat grass. It’s acceptable to allow your dog to use this method of self-medication in moderation. However, be mindful that some grass may include pesticides and herbicides, which could make your dog sicker.

In summary, if your dog is sick and has expressed a preference for lying on your lawn eating grass while they are unwell, allow them to do so as long as it is safe to do so.

There is more to it, though, as there are instances in which you should prevent your dog from eating grass when they are ill. You may learn the truth about whether grass actually helps a dog’s upset stomach as well as the precautions you need take to make sure the grass is safe for your sick dog, along with other options for stomach upset treatment, below.

Grass-eating habit in sick dogs: what’s the truth?

Many owners believe that the most frequent cause of dogs eating grass is upset stomachs. It’s not quite that simple, though. VCA animal hospitals claim that only a very small percentage of dogs will eat grass when ill. This is what they said, to wit:

“Does a dog consume grass to induce vomiting and calm an upset stomach, or does he experience nausea after eating grass? It seems improbable that dogs use grass as a kind of self-medication because studies reveal that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating it. Actually, only 10% of dogs exhibit symptoms of disease before consuming grass. The majority of dogs that consume grass do not get sick before or after eating.

Do dogs consume grass during times of pain?

One of the theories with the greatest evidence is that dogs may enjoy the taste of grass just as much as they enjoy a variety of other foods that people find repulsive. Just consider all the odd things canines consume, such as cockroaches and leftover meatloaf. Grass isn’t the strangest thing on the list of foods that my dogs won’t eat.

Why wouldn’t your dog go outside to a field full of delectable green treats and start chewing if they like the taste? However, if your dog starts gulping down grass, you should make sure they aren’t overdoing it because too much of anything can be harmful.


The last concept I’ll discuss in this blog post is that your dogs may simply be bored, which may be the biggest factor in why dogs chew grass. When dogs lack the right sources of entertainment, they may be more likely to engage in disruptive habits like chewing on things and eating anything they come across, including grass. The same as how I frequently find a bag of chips to start chewing on when I’m bored, our animal pals also exhibit similar behavior. But there are techniques to occupy your dog, and the majority of them are quick fixes you can implement right away. In order to avoid your dog from chewing grass or engaging in other undesirable dog behaviors, make sure you provide them adequate toys and opportunities for playtime throughout the day.

Now that you know some of the reasons, you may understand why your dog prefers to graze on the grass than chasing butterflies. Eating grass can be an indication of pain, so if your dog suddenly starts eating more grass or does it more frequently, you should consult a veterinarian. Furthermore, grass is not recommended for a healthy dog diet and should not be used as a substitute for other nutritional requirements.

How can an unhappy dog’s stomach be calmed?

Many individuals find themselves dealing with a dog whose stomach is disturbed, which frequently results in vomiting. Even though many home cures are quite effective, they are frequently not the only option. Here are some of the most effective home cures for your dog’s upset stomach and vomit that have undergone comprehensive testing.

One) Ginger

Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, ginger is one of the finest natural treatments for your dog’s vomiting and upset stomach. It is thought to ameliorate nausea and upset stomach, making your dog feel better. It also functions as a simple-to-digest antacid for your dog.

For at least a week, add a tiny bit of ginger to your dog’s food or water at least three times per day. This will aid in easing the discomfort and motion sickness.

Vinegar made from apple cider

You can add apple cider vinegar to the water that your dog drinks. It can soothe upset tummies and is a wonderful source of carbonation. Use the following formula as a general rule:

Your dog will be able to easily drink it if you add small quantities frequently. Try adding two additional teaspoons of water and re-mixing if your dog vomits after drinking. Make sure the apple cider vinegar is fresh as well. Numerous dogs have proven that these natural cures for dog vomiting and upset stomach are quite effective. To check if they help your dog’s vomiting and upset stomach, buy some of these at pet supply stores or give them a go at home.

Diet Deficiency

Some dog owners and vets believe that chewing grass is a sort of pica, or consuming unusual nonfood objects, which is occasionally brought on by a dietary shortage. Many nutritional deficiencies are caused by vitamins, nutrients, or minerals that aren’t consumed regularly.

If your dog consistently eats grass, ask your veterinarian about altering dog foods. This shouldn’t be a problem for dogs who are fed a well-balanced diet.

Need for Fiber

Your dog may be able to acquire more fiber by eating grass, which aids in digestion, the passage of feces, and the maintenance of a healthy GI system. Changing to food with a higher fiber content could be beneficial.


If a dog has a balanced diet, chewing grass might not even be indicative of a deficiency—rather, it can just be instinct. The digestive processes, nutritional requirements, and appetites of dogs have changed to accommodate their domesticated existence.

Although eating an entire animal provided the best nutrition for dogs in the wild, especially if the animal’s diet included a variety of plants, grass was not their main source of nutrients. They may have a genetic predisposition to crave grass from a time when they hunted their own prey.

If your dog’s stomach hurts, should you still allow them to eat grass?

Clients sometimes ask their veterinarians, “Why does my dog eat grass? ” Although several possibilities have been put forth, a conclusive solution has not yet been discovered. And while many pet owners think that dogs eat grass to make themselves throw up, two studies suggest that this may not be true for the majority of canines.

Veterinarians at the University of California-Davis discovered that grass-eating is a prevalent practice among dogs. Pet owners who reported on their dog’s behavior before and after eating grass said that symptoms of illness were infrequent and that vomiting was likewise unusual. Less than 25% of dogs really vomited after eating grass. However, dogs were more likely to vomit after eating plants if they had previously displayed symptoms of being sick than dogs who hadn’t.

In a different investigation, Australian researchers from the University of New England discovered that dogs fed a typical diet and having normal feces spent substantially more time chewing grass than did canines fed the same diet with fructooligosaccharides added. Only two bouts of vomiting followed the 374 times the dogs ate grass during the research. Researchers came to the conclusion that dogs don’t use grass to make them vomit after making these findings.

So why do dogs eat grass?

In addition to the hypothesis that dogs chew grass to soothe an upset stomach, other hypotheses include:

  • It is thought that the ancestors of modern dogs, as well as living wild dogs (coyotes, wolves), consumed all of their prey, including the stomach contents of animals that consumed plants. They’re also known to consume various plants, fruits, and berries. Therefore, eating grass is a common practice.
  • Dogs eat plants and grass because they enjoy the taste and texture, or they can just find it enjoyable to chew on.
  • Some dogs can munch on grass in an effort to increase their intake of fiber.

Whatever the cause, the majority of experts agree that allowing your dog to eat grass is OK. However, they do offer the following cautions: It’s necessary to consult your veterinarian if your dog gulps down the grass and vomits, or if grass eating suddenly increases. Verify that no pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers have recently been applied to the grass as these substances can give your dog an upset stomach or even worse. Several common houseplants and yard plants are poisonous, so you should keep your pet away from them.

This blog’s content was created in collaboration with our veterinarian with the intention of educating pet parents. Please consult your veterinarian if you have any queries or concerns regarding the nutrition or health of your pet.

How can I tell if my dog’s stomach is in pain?

There are several signs that suggest your dog may be having stomach trouble. The most noticeable signs include nausea, diarrhoea, pacing, and appetite loss. You must see a vet right once if your dog is experiencing severe vomiting, fever, or bloody diarrhea. Any of these signs could mean that your dog is experiencing a serious condition.

Not all stomach ache symptoms are as obvious. Lethargy, for example, could be a sign of an unsettled stomach. In any event, keeping a careful check on a dog is the best method to determine whether they are experiencing stomach pain.

Why is my dog gurgling in his stomach and eating grass?

Does your dog have a nutritious supper before going outside and starting to graze on grass? Does your dog consume grass, throw up, and then resume grass consumption? Here, our Memphis veterinarians discuss some of the physiological and psychological causes behind dogs’ grass-eating behavior as well as when you should be concerned.

Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dog owners who are worried frequently find themselves perplexed as to why their pets seem to like munching on grass. In fact, a lot of dogs will eat grass, throw up, and then immediately start eating grass once more.

Does this action indicate that the dog has eaten something dangerous, feels like there is something in their stomach that has to be brought up, or is the dog trying to address an unidentified medical condition on their own?

Although not all dogs vomit after eating grass, some do. In actuality, the majority of dogs that eat grass do so without displaying any signs of upset stomach before or thereafter. This seems to suggest that it’s unusual for dogs to consume grass in order to cause vomiting. Why do they do it, then?

Physical Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dogs need fiber in their meals to have a digestive system that works properly, just like people do. Dogs are omnivores after all. So both high-quality plant foods and meat are necessary for good health. For dogs, eating grass may be a simple and ostensibly enjoyable way to add roughage to their diet and maintain the health of their digestive system (GI or digestive tract).

As a result, there might be a medical issue if your dog is eating grass but also displaying symptoms of gastrointestinal pain. Dogs can experience a variety of GI problems, including as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and gastric reflux. It’s necessary to visit your veterinarian if your dog is eating grass and exhibiting further symptoms like anorexia, decreased energy, diarrhea, or constipation.

Psychological Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

Dogs will frequently eat grass out of boredom or worry, much like people who obsessively gnaw their nails. If your dog is constantly munching on grass but isn’t displaying any signs of digestive problems, you might want to think about psychological factors.

Increasing the length, distance, or intensity of walks may lessen grass-eating if your dog appears bored.

Try leaving an old blanket or t-shirt with your fragrance on it with your dog when you leave the house if your dog experiences separation anxiety. The comforting aroma your dog associates with it may stop them from eating grass.

Some canines exhibit compulsive tendencies. Visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog is compulsively chewing grass. Your veterinarian can provide you advice on how to encourage your dog to lessen compulsive habits.

Is it safe for my dog to eat grass?

It is thought to be safe for dogs to eat grass if they are otherwise healthy and taking regular parasite prevention medicines.

Make sure there are no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers on the grass your dog nibbles in order to maintain it healthy.

Please take note that the information in this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice for animals. Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a precise diagnosis of your pet’s illness.