Why Do Dogs Eat Plants? Animal Behavior Explained

Why Do Dogs Eat Plants? Animal Behavior Explained

Dogs love to eat anything, and as an owner, it can be difficult to control what our lovely friends munch on. If you turn your backs just for seconds, chances are you could see your dogs Chewing some kinds of foliage.  So why do dogs eat plants?

There are many reasons for this weir behavior; however, no matter what the theory is, you can always take action to curb the habit. Now, without further ado, let’s find out what’s behind this doggy thing and make sure that your canine friends could enjoy all the beautiful changing seasons in a safe way. 

Myth debunked: Why do dogs eat plants?

why do dogs eat plants

According to research, dog eating leaves isn’t just a canine behavior. In fact, wild dogs have been seen eating leaves and grass in the wild, especially when they cannot find a regular source of meat.  While nutrition facts of plants are not as dense as meat, eating grass is an alternative to fill gaps in dogs’ diet. That’s why domesticated dogs instinctively inherit and include plant materials in their meals. Having said that, the behavior could also be a sign of other health issues in dogs.

Why do dogs eat plants: Taste

Some of the ornamental grass that we use to fence around the house or yard is actually pretty tasty to poochies. So, it comes as no surprise that your pets could end up chewing these plants whenever they have chances. If you’re back and forth deciding on your houseplants and landscaping, make sure to thoroughly research plant options to ensure that they are not toxic. 

Nutritional Deficiency

There is a wide assortment of commercial dog foods on the market for you to choose from. However, not all products contain the same ingredients and some even include fillers without any nutritional value. In this case, due to the lack of appropriate nutrients, your puppies might seek other sources to fulfill their needs in plants.


If your pets are suffering from nausea, it’s likely that they will chew on grass to alleviate the condition. The fiber in the grass is an ideal facilitator to induce vomiting, settling your dog’s stomach. However, if you notice that they vomit in excessiveness, then it’s advisable to take them in for a vet check. There might be some more serious issues that need diagnosing and treating. 

Gastrointestinal upset

Gas or simply gastrointestinal upset is a common condition in animals. If your pooch is feeling gassy, he might want to lessen this uncomfortable sensation by eating certain plants. Some types of grasses actually facilitate their bowel movement or help them vomit. 


Dogs are playful animals full of energy during their daytime. If your dog doesn’t have stimulating interactions often, it’s likely that he will get bored and then look for things to occupying himself. Munching on plants could be a good option for him to get rid of boredom. 

Is eating grass harmful to dogs?

why do dogs eat plants

For healthy puppies that are on regular parasite prevention medication, eating grass is considered to be of no risk. While most leaves falling from trees are harmless, you also need to keep an eye on what your poochies munch on. There are some toxic plants whose berries or leaves can make your dog very ill, including Taxus cuspidata, black walnut trees, tomato plants, and more.

Technically, leaves are not harmful but in large amounts, they can put your dog’s health at risk. This is because they can cause an intestinal blockage, especially in puppies. Furthermore, it is also risky if your pet eats leaves while on a walk. That foliage may be covered in pesticides or any harmful substance to get rid of insects or stay “green” for a long period of time. 

How to stop dogs from eating outdoor plants? 

why do dogs eat plants

So, there are clearly many major factors that play a part in your dog’s strange leaf-eating habit. Now, with the below solutions, you can effectively stop your dog from partaking in this potentially dangerous action. 

First, whenever you let your puppy outside, it’s a good practice to follow them and keep a close watch on whatever they put in their mouths. If they start to sniff and eat a plant, give them an immediate “no”, and gently remove the leaf out of their sight. If they start to eat grass while on a walk, you can redirect their attention by giving them some treats or toys, followed by a “no” command.

The interest in leaves or a sudden craving for plants may also be an indicator that your dog is bored and need something to keep their attention. To avoid this situation, you need to make sure to spare time to play with him. Try some small gameplay such as purchasing chewing sticks, throwing balls, or other toys to get them to engage with something other than leaves while strengthening the bond you have with your dog.

Last but not least, be sure to remove any toxic plant and familiarize yourself with the types of trees in your yard and neighborhood before adopting a new dog.


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