Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? Why Pups Munch and Roll On Your Lawn

If, like any good pet owner, you strive to feed your dog a balanced diet you may wonder why they also choose to munch on grass. They are canines not cows, after all.

Some dogs often gnaw on the green stuff, but is it actually good for them and what do they get out of it?

Well, as it turns out, these questions warrant a myriad of different answers. We spoke to some experts to find out...

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

There are many reasons why a dog might eat grass. Head of Training & Behavior at Calm Canine Academy, Karishma Warr, explains to Newsweek that these can include "being thirsty and having nutritional deficiencies."

For instance, it could be a way for your dog to get more fibre into their diet, which in turn helps them to pass gas and stools.

However, she reveals that often it is "self soothing behavior when dog's are experiencing elevated stress levels.

"Much like we may munch on a bag of chips when we are feeling uncomfortable, many dogs eat grass to help themselves calm down and feel more comfortable in challenging or stimulating situations."

Is It Good for Dogs To Eat Grass?

The general consensus is that it is fine for dogs to eat grass. Chief Veterinary Officer at American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein, also admitted to Newsweek that chomping on your lawn may actually be "instinctual" behaviour.

Despite most pooches in America having access to a balanced diet, dogs are omnivores "and naturally crave the act of eating grass as part of their genetic makeup, dating back to when they hunted their own prey."

Dog eating grass
A stock image of a dog eating grass. The general consensus is that this is normal and healthy behaviour. iStock

However, on rare occasions eating grass "can cause intestinal parasites that are easily picked up from animal droppings and stool", explains Klein.

And, alike to humans, the more organic the diet the better. This is because "the herbicides and pesticides sprayed on your lawn can be harmful to your pup."

What Happens if Dogs Eat Too Much Grass?

If your dog is eating too much grass this could be a sign that your dog is stressed and Warr suggests that you should take your pet "into a calmer environment."

If you feel that your dog has eaten a lot of grass, but has not shown any negative symptoms then Klein recommends keeping them "hydrated but no food for about 6-8 hours before introducing food slowly."

"After 8 hours if your dog continues to show signs, check in with your veterinarian."

Additionally, if your pet is eating grass, but not touching their regular food it is important to seek professional help to ascertain whether there is an underlying issue.

Why Do Dogs Roll Around on Grass?

Dogs love rolling around on grass, but according to Warr this is more to do with the scents they are smelling, than the grass itself. Yup, you guessed it: "poop and urine."

As well as the act being fun and feeling good for your canine pal, dogs use it as a way to "communicate and make themselves more attractive to their doggy peers."

Dog rolling on grass.
A stock image of a dog rolling around on grass. Canines love this as they can gather scents to attract other dogs. iStock