As a long time dog trainer and behaviorist, there’s nothing I haven’t seen a dog ingest! While it might seem out of the ordinary, dogs eating grass and dirt isn’t uncommon. They aren’t picky when it comes to what they stick their noses into, and grass and dirt are no different. But, are they appetizing?  Let’s find the answer to Why do dogs eat grass and dirt?

Dogs eat grass and dirt for several different reasons, including:

  • The Dog Simply Wants Something to Chew On
  • The Dog Enjoys the Flavor and Texture of Grass and Dirt
  • The Dog is Self-Regulating Their Stomach (Digestion)
  • The Dog Might be Self-Treating Mineral Deficiencies

The good news is that unless there is an underlying health problem, this behavior is generally not a cause for alarm.

So, Why do dogs eat grass and dirt?

In this article, we’ll explore more about why your canine friend likes eating dirt and grass, as well as how you can discourage this behavior. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep on reading.

why do dogs eat grass and dirt beagle eating grass dog advisor hq

They Want Something To Chew On

If your dog is occasionally snacking on the grass outside, they might be looking for something to chew on. Many dogs are especially interested in the morning dew that sits on the grass, as this can feel like a refreshing snack for your dog, and it doesn’t negatively affect them in any way.

Many pups have a condition known as pica, which occurs when your dog becomes interested in eating things that aren’t food. This could take the form of eating grass or dirt.  Pica can also include poop eating, grass eating and even eating their toys. 

Once again, it’s important to remember that dogs aren’t picky eaters and will enjoy chewing on just about anything. While eating grass and dirt won’t usually have adverse effects on your pup’s health, as a pet owner,  it’s still important to think about what they get their noses into.

They Enjoy the Flavor and Texture

Your dog may simply enjoy the taste of grass, which is why you find them occasionally snacking on it. Once again, if you find that your dog enjoys grass, it doesn’t cause any kind of problems for your animal.

Researchers have also found that grass may contain certain nutrients that are not commonly found in commercial dog food. So while chewing on grass may be harmless, it may also be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

While some pet parents may want to discourage their dogs from munching on grass to keep them safe and healthy, there’s no reason to fret if your dog seems interested in this pica-type behavior. 

They Are Trying To Regulate Their Stomach

You might have seen your dog vomiting after eating grass. Many dogs will eat grass to purposefully induce vomiting when their stomachs are acting up and will do this when they aren’t feeling well and need to regulate their stomachs. 

If your dog is feeling unwell, eating grass is a great way to regulate their upset stomachs, so if you spot your dog chewing on grass, it may be best just to let them be. You may notice a decline in their energy or changes to their stool if your dog isn’t feeling well.

Eating grass is one of the most common ways a dog experiencing discomfort may nurse itself back to health, which is especially the case for dogs who don’t typically eat grass.

They Might Have Mineral Deficiencies 

While it’s generally known that the dirt outside is rich in minerals, which can be healthy for your dog, it might be disturbing to watch your dog eating dirt. However, your pup might be trying to make up for the lack of nutrients in their diet by eating and playing in the dirt. You might want to check how many daily essential nutrients your dog is getting through its regular diet. If your dog isn’t getting all the minerals they need, it may look for them elsewhere.

While consuming dirt may not be harmful, many dog owners still choose to discourage this kind of behavior. If you catch your furry friend digging up dirt with their tongue, you may want to switch up their diet and see if this behavior stops. 

However, if your dog continues to consume dirt, there’s no harm to it, but you may want to speak to your vet to ensure there isn’t something else going on. 

They Accidentally Eat Dirt While Playing 

Your dog is also likely to consume dirt accidentally while playing outdoors. If your furry friend is rolling around in the soil or digging around outdoors, they are likely to swallow some dirt unintentionally.

Swallowing dirt is unlikely to cause your dog any type of discomfort or health concerns in the future, so pet owners shouldn’t be too worried about this behavior. If you feel that your dog is eating dirt regularly, you might need to contact your vet to ensure there isn’t a more significant issue that needs treating. 

What You Should Know 

It’s clear to see that there are many reasons your dog is interested in eating grass or dirt. While this is typical behavior seen in many dogs, there are a few things dog owners should be aware of. Remembering these issues will help you keep your pup happy, healthy, and out of harm’s way. 

Think About What They’re Eating

While eating grass and dirt can be harmless for your animal, it’s best to keep track of where they roam and what they could potentially get their nose in. The last thing dog owners want is for their animals to come in contact with something poisonous.

Make sure that your dog steers clear of any pesticides that may have been added to nearby vegetation that could harm them. The best way to do that is by keeping them on their leash while out on walks, especially if you know someone has sprayed chemicals on their lawn or garden. 

You’ll also want to be mindful of poisonous plants, so it’s best to keep them out of your backyard and avoid any area that may have them nearby. Keep a watchful eye on where your dog goes and what they stick their nose into in order to keep them safe and out of harm’s way. 

Consider Switching Their Diet 

If your dog is eating grass and dirt regularly, you may want to consider making changes to its diet. Your dog may have become interested in these outdoor treats because they aren’t receiving enough of what they need in their diet.

Read the ingredients list and nutrition content of your pup’s food and see how many essential vitamins and minerals they’re getting daily. If this number is low, this may be the reason why they’ve branched out and started eating things that aren’t food.

While many animals exhibit pica-type behaviors or consuming things that aren’t food, your animal may be doing it to receive the essential minerals they need to stay healthy and strong. 

Talk to Your Vet 

If you have further questions about your furry friend’s habits and behaviors, especially if you’re wondering why do dogs eat grass and dirt, you should contact your vet. While eating things like grass and dirt is typical animal behavior, it’s usually only common if done occasionally.

If you’ve caught your dog in the act multiple times, you may want to consider speaking to your vet to rule out any other health issues. Your vet may recommend adding a supplement to your dog’s food or changing their diet altogether to discourage them from consuming things that aren’t food. 

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass and Dirt?  Our Final Thoughts 

In this article, we explored some of the reasons your dog may be interested in eating grass and dirt. While this is typical behavior seen in dogs of all ages, if your dog regularly eats things that aren’t food, you may want to contact your vet.

If your furry friend is only occasionally munching on grass and dirt, it’s unlikely this is a problem. While this behavior isn’t out of the ordinary, it’s essential to think about where your dog sticks their nose to ensure they stay safe and healthy, no matter what they’re munching on. 

Similar Posts