Why is My Dog Frantically Eating Grass and Swallowing Hard?

If you have a pet dog, there is a very good chance that you have seen them do it, often times even more than once.  What have you seen them do you ask?  That being to suddenly start eating grass for apparently no reason whatsoever.  Now if you take into consideration that there is a very popular belief that your dog is only going to eat grass whenever they are having stomach troubles, to induce vomiting, or even both.  And if you have seen your dog eat grass, watching them gag on it (or dog dry heaving) is certainly one way that this belief is going to be reinforced that it is all due to them having an upset stomach.  However, that may not necessarily be completely true.

In fact, there are actually going to be many different reasons why your dog may have suddenly started eating as much grass as they can, most of those reasons not actually having to do with anything related to calming indigestion.  Does that mean you need to start worrying when you see your dog eating grass?

There are actually going to be just a few different situations when you will need to be concerned that your dog is eating grass at a seemingly out of control pace.  With that being said, you are still probably more than curious as to why your dog does eat grass.  The answer to this question is going to range from them having parasites, all the way to the fact that they just simply enjoy doing it.  Here is what you need to know about your dog eating grass.

Eating Grass and Vomiting

There are going to be some cases where your dog may just be eating grass in order to induce vomiting.  If this is the case, the reason behind it could be that they have eaten something that was bad, essentially causing them to feel nauseous or some type of other stomach discomfort.  Just know that when your dog is eating grass, they are often times not actually eating the grass.  You heard that right.  If your dog is trying to eat grass in order to induce vomiting, they are more than likely not actually going to be eating the grass. What is meant by this, is that your dog is more likely swallowing the grass whole, none of it being chewed at all. 

When a dog eats longer grass blades that have not been chewed, there is a better chance that these same longer grass blades will get caught in their throat or won’t be completely swallowed right away, which will then trigger your dog’s gag reflex.  Once this happens, there is a very high probability that your dog will then induce itself to start vomiting.  With that being said, just know that it is going to be very difficult to narrow down what the exact reason of your dog vomiting really was.  Did they eat the grass for some unknown reason and swallow too much?  Was their stomach upset and they decided that they were going to swallow the grass on purpose?  

If you have noticed that your dog has only eaten grass and vomited after, as a singular incident, it will be much tougher to understand exactly what has happened.  But if it is a recurring behavior, the next thing you are going to need to do is to start paying attention to how they are behaving, making mental notes along the way when you notice that the behavior has repeated itself.  

Should You Contact Your Veterinarian?

The only real reason that you would ever need to contact your veterinarian because your dog was eating grass and vomiting is going to be if you suspect that they have been poisoned somehow.  This could happen through them ingesting some type of dangerous pesticide that was sprayed on the grass, or any other type of toxic substances that your dog may have been able to get ahold of.  Just know that if you think that your dog has been poisoned, you are going to need to move extremely quickly in order to make sure that they are safe.  

This means that you will need to look for any evidence that your dog has actually ingested something that was able to make them sick.  Look for any toxic plants that may be growing in the yard, as well as pesticides, medications, foods that dogs are allergic to such as cocoa, or basically any other type of product that contains xylitol, such as if your dog had gotten ahold and swallowed gum.  Now keep in mind that there are obviously going to be many other substances that can make your dog have an upset stomach and cause them to eat grass in order to try and feel better.  While there are going to be many other reasons that your dog may be eating grass at a frantic pace, it is not going to be impossible that they are simply doing it to help calm their stomach.

However, ingesting poison is always a possibility when it comes to dogs, so be sure that you are on the lookout for any symptoms or signs that they may have eaten something poisonous to them.  These can include shivering, lethargy, shaking, fever, diarrhea, disorientation, weakness, pale gums, and even seizures are all going to be symptoms that can be caused by ingesting toxins and other poisons.

Why Does Your Dog Eat Grass?

Now that you know what to look for if your dog is eating grass, you are probably wondering about the other reasons that they may be eating it.  Well, there is actually some good news there.  That news being that there are reasons other than poisoning that your dog may be eating grass.  Here are some of the more common reasons your dog may be eating grass.

They are Suffering from a Fiber Deficiency

Dogs are going to need fiber as part of their regular daily diet, and if they are not getting enough of it from the foods that they are eating at home, they may eat grass to supplement what they need.  In fact, grass is an amazing way for your dog to get in a little fiber boost into their routine.  While it may be weird to you, your dog knows exactly what they are doing.  So how are you supposed to know if your dog is eating grass to supplement their fiber intake?  You may notice that your dog is having dry stool.

If you pick up your dog’s stool immediately after they have defecated, you may find that it actually feels hard as well.  On top of that, your dog may be struggling and straining harder than they normally would in order to poop.  A lack of fiber is also able to manifest itself by giving your dog loose stools as well.  

No matter what the scenario, when you are able to add some insoluble or soluble fiber into your dog’s regular daily diet, it is going to greatly benefit them, as well as help to discourage them from eating all of the lawn that you work so hard to maintain.  

Your Dog Eats Grass When They are Bored

If you have not been properly stimulating your dog, they may just start eating some grass due to pure boredom.  What makes matters worse is that there is a very good chance that they may not stop eating the grass either.  If your dog is active but bored and under stimulated, you are essentially going to be putting your entire yard at risk for being eaten.  From your rose bushes to your little tree saplings, nothing is going to be safe.  

Your dog eating grass is potentially going to be a sign that they are bored or just plain anxious.  If you see that your dog has started to eat grass out of the blue, take a second and ask yourself if you have recently changed anything I your dog’s routine.  Have they started going on fewer walks than usual?  Has your schedule changed, resulting in your dog being left all alone more often?  

If your dog has had any changes in their regular routine, the best way to fix it is going to be to give them more exercise.  This can be an extra walk, playing a game of fetch with them, or even some type of mental stimulation.  If your dog has become bored, they are going to need much more attention before they decide that they are going to start eating grass to help them pass their boredom.  

If you have noticed that your dog has recently started to eat grass, it can be due to a wide range of different possibilities.  While it can be due to them ingesting some type of poison, it can also be because they have simply become bored.  Just be sure that you pay attention to them if they have started to eat grass, making sure to contact your veterinarian if you feel that something is seriously wrong with them.


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