Why Does My Golden Retriever Eat Grass? — Dog Facts

Do you ever wonder, “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” If so, you should know that there are actually several reasons why this phenomenon happens. What you suspect may not even be the right reason why your golden retriever eats grass. Your Golden Retriever may be bored, hungry, or needs more nutrients in his body! However, there’s no need for you to worry — you can correct this behavior through meal adjustments, time, or training your beloved Golden Retriever.

Let’s explore the different reasons why your Golden Retriever is eating grass and how you can help them!

Is it normal for my Golden Retriever to eat grass?

Before I answer your question “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” you should know that it’s normal for all dogs to eat grass. So yes, it’s normal for your beloved Golden Retriever to be munching on grass. That is why you don’t have to worry if your Golden Retriever is doing this strange action. This kind of behavior can be corrected through training, meal adjustments, and encouragement. Your dog will eventually stop eating grass over time.

However, did you know that almost all dogs eat grass every once in a while? Experienced pet parents who allow their dogs to go out or have their dogs stay outside know this. They know that dogs can sometimes have the urge to nibble on some grass.

When your Golden Retriever eats grass, it’s usually because they’re trying to tell you something. Dogs, especially the Golden Retriever dog breed, are very expressive. They don’t do anything drastic just because they feel like it. They are most likely trying to communicate something that’s going on in their bodies. These can actually be a number of things.

If your Golden Retriever is eating grass, it is most likely because he or she is hungry. It could also be because there is a certain patch of grass that smells interesting to them. A Golden Retriever’s curiosity usually won’t be satiated until they fully explore what’s making them curious. That exploration will usually lead them to use all their senses — sight, smell, touch, then taste. Which is why your Golden Retriever will feel compelled to eat grass in the first place.

For starter pet parents, asking “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” is a great question to start understanding your dog! Let us delve deeper into the reasons why your Golden Retriever eats grass. 

Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?

Believe it or not, the question, “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” is a lot more common than you think. A lot of pet parents who own Golden Retrievers and other kinds of dogs have also asked the same question because it happens quite a lot among dogs of all sizes.

As I stated earlier, there could be a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever eats grass. Together, we’ll explore all the possible reasons behind this behavior that seems to be common in a lot of dogs. After exploring the possible reasons why your Golden Retriever eats grass, we will also explore the different ways for you to help them stop munching on grass. It’s a lot easier than you think!

I have a deep love for Golden Retrievers. In my several years of owning one, I have come to know everything that makes my beloved pets tick. I have learned that not all dogs are the same because each one has his or her own special traits, unique behavior, and quirky personality. 

Some Golden Retrievers may not even attempt to eat grass in their entire lifetime. However, it does not mean that there is something broken with your Golden Retriever if he or she does indeed eat grass. The act of eating grass could just be your dog trying to tell you something. Of course, since dogs cannot speak, they will try to convey their thoughts and feelings through other means.

Without further ado, let me share with you the possible reasons why your dog eats grass. That way, you won’t have to wonder, “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” anymore! By knowing the reasons why your Golden Retriever eats grass, you’ll also know how to help them get over that phase in their lives.

Your Golden Retriever is Bored

The very first reason as to why your Golden Retriever could be eating grass is because he or she is bored. There are many medium-sized dogs who are very energetic. That includes Golden Retrievers. This means that when they run out of things to do, they will be easily stimulated by almost everything in their surroundings. When their interest has been piqued, they might start chewing on things. That includes things like little bugs, your furniture, your shoes, and if your Golden Retriever has access to go outside — grass.

So how exactly do you help a Golden Retriever who eats grass because he or she is bored? It is very simple. A lot of pet owners wish that boredom is the reason why they eat grass. After all, boredom is easy to cure. 

Make sure that your Golden Retriever is distracted and entertained by things that are healthy to him or her. When you distract them with activities and things that are not destructive, they won’t have time to go exploring in your backyard. That will usually end up in them chewing on the grass.

The activities you can distract them with are buying them several chew toys. Chew toys are great, not only for stopping them from eating grass because they are bored, but it stops them from destructive behavior around the house. They are relatively cheap to buy. You can purchase these chew toys easily in your nearest department store, pet store, or even online.

Exercise also keeps your dog from chewing on grass. This is a fun activity that will allow you and your pet Golden Retriever to bond. Exercise does not have to be a chore! By playing simple games like fetch, that alone will already distract your Golden Retriever to stop eating grass.

Your Golden Retriever is Curious

The second answer to your question “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” is simply curiosity. Our dogs, especially high-energy dogs like Golden Retrievers, like to give in to their exploratory tendencies when their interest calls for it.

This curiosity can lead to a lot of places and activities. These places and activities can be attempting to squeeze through a hole in your backyard fence, digging up the ground, or licking and chewing random objects.

There really is no way for you to take away your Golden Retriever’s curiosity for things. The most that you can do is wait for him or her to grow out of this phase. You will find that your Golden Retriever will like exploring when he or she is still a puppy. Sometimes, when they haven’t been exposed to a lot of things outside, they tend to become more and more curious by the things that they find. Eventually, they won’t be curious about the look, feel, smell, and taste of grass.

I highly suggest that if your Golden Retriever is an inside dog, try taking him or her for a walk every now and then. That way, they will be able to get acquainted with different things in nature like other animals, dirt, and yes, even grass. High energy dogs like to be included in activities that will help them expend their energy. 

If they don’t engage in enough physical activity, they might start displaying destructive behavior. That’s why it’s important for you to help your Golden Retriever achieve his energy needs.

It’s not bad that your Golden Retriever is curious by grass. What is important is that you don’t scold them for giving in to their curiosity, especially when they are just puppies. They will naturally get over this phase with time.

Your Golden Retriever is Hungry

Another reason why your Golden Retriever could be eating grass is because he is hungry. It is pretty normal for dogs of all sizes and ages to try munching on things that smell like food. One of those things is grass. If you find your Golden Retriever eating grass like he’s the hungriest dog on Earth, it may be a sign that you need to adjust his meal plan

There is some nutritional value to grass, but it doesn’t provide enough to satiate a Golden Retriever’s nutritional needs. At most, eating grass also has the chance to give your Golden Retriever a stomach ache or help it with digestion. This stomach ache will not lead to any life-threatening diseases, but make sure that you successfully prevent your dog from eating too much of the stuff. Why, you ask? That is because grass is mostly made up of fiber. Consuming grass won’t exactly make your Golden Retriever full unless he or she eats more than two plates of grass or more.

However, I have realized that Golden Retrievers usually eat grass because they are being playful. You will rarely find a Golden Retriever who chooses to eat grass because they are hungry. Sometimes, they eat grass simply because they like how grass tastes. For that reason, you should not be alarmed or wary. It is fairly easy for you to help your dog who enjoys eating grass.

When you see that he or she is munching on grass, try offering their favorite snack so that they will choose the snack instead. Alternatively, you can also try to add more food to their bowls during mealtime. That way, when they are fuller, they won’t try to find other things to eat. This will significantly improve your dog’s mood and behavior.

Your Golden Retriever Needs more Nutrients

The human body will try to communicate that it is lacking in nutrients through different ways. If you need more water, your lips will become dry and flaky. It is thus a sign that you need to drink more water. Such is the same with a Golden Retriever’s body. If they are lacking in certain nutrients, their bodies will try looking for it in the edible items that they find in their surroundings. 

As I mentioned earlier, grass has high fiber content. It is possible that your Golden Retriever’s body requires more fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient because it significantly improves the digestive system (both in humans and other mammals). In order to help your Golden Retriever with a fiber deficiency, you can look for dog food that is high in fiber. A diet that is high in fiber will help with your dog’s stomach problems. Don’t allow your Golden Retriever to eat too much grass because it may lead to an upset stomach.

There are people who believe that when a Golden Retriever eats grass, they will throw up. However, your dog may be throwing up because of a different stomach-related problem. There are currently no proven theories that grass will make your Golden Retriever throw up. So don’t worry! The chances of your Golden Retriever throwing up after eating grass is very low.

However, I do suggest that you investigate the other reasons why your dog is throwing up. That way, you can immediately give him or her the proper care and treatment that they might need. If you see that your Golden Retriever is having stomach problems, bring them to the nearest veterinarian clinic and have them checked. After the proper diagnosis, the proper medication will be able to bring your dog back to normal.

How do I stop my Golden Retriever from eating grass?

After learning the many different reasons why your dog eats grass, you should be able to answer the question “Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass?” by this time. With that information, the next question should be “How do I stop my Golden Retriever from eating grass?”

Well, you’re in luck! I have also gathered the different ways for you to be able to stop your Golden Retriever from eating grass. Some of these methods don’t require you to do anything. There are also some methods that  don’t need you to buy anything from the pet store, but instead will need you to adjust certain things that affect your Golden Retriever’s lifestyle.

After making these changes, you can be sure that your Golden Retriever will not eat grass again. However, keep in mind that each Golden Retriever’s case is special. They may or may not respond well to what you have provided them. There are some Golden Retrievers that don’t respond well to training. Generally, the Golden Retriever dog breed is a smart and loyal breed. They love to please their pack leaders, masters, and pet parents. As long as the correct method is employed, you can always get your dog to stop doing the behavior that is bad for him.

But let me remind you that when your Golden Retriever does eat grass, it is not entirely a bad thing. He or she may just be trying to tell you that he or she is hungry and would like a snack. In cases like these, you don’t need to rely on training to correct this kind of behavior. Simply adding more food to his or her dog bowl will do the trick.

Let’s discuss the several possible ways for your Golden Retriever to stop eating grass.

Meal Adjustments

The first on this list of helping your Golden Retriever to stop eating grass is to adjust his or her meals. Remember, one of the reasons why your dog is eating grass in the first palace is that he or she is hungry. Another reason is that there may be a fiber or nutrient deficiency in your dog’s body. By eating grass, your Golden Retriever is attempting to fulfill this deficiency and trying to satiate his or her hunger. 

To counter this, you want to make the proper meal adjustments. You can simply add more food to your Golden Retriever’s dog bowl every meal time. Alternatively, you can look for a dog food that has a lot of protein content in it. Proteins will help keep your dog full until the next meal. Additionally, you can also give your Golden Retriever some healthy snacks if ever you find them munching on some grass. This will also attract them away from eating grass.

However, that may not be enough to fulfill your dog’s need for fiber. In order for you to help your dog who has a fiber deficiency, you can look for a different kind of dog food. The dog food has to have a high fiber content. That way, your Golden Retriever won’t have to look for other sources of fiber anymore. Which means he or she won’t have to eat grass anymore!

Fiber is also a good way for your dog to cleanse his or her digestive system. You’ll find that if your dog’s bowels are healthy, their excrement is solid but not too hard. It won’t smell as bad either. By fulfilling your dog’s need for fiber you will be able to totally take away your dog’s urge to keep eating grass.

Train your Golden Retriever

Training your Golden Retriever to stop eating grass is the most efficient way to get him or her to stop the bad behavior totally. You can either train him to “stop” or “come” wherever you want to. If your Golden Retriever is particularly stubborn, a good training session is needed. Let me teach you how to train your dog to come to you when you want to summon him or her.

Step 1: Get Treats

The first step is for you to get your Golden Retriever’s favorite treats. The urge for him or her to eat the treats should be stronger than his urge to eat grass. There are many kinds of treats that you can work with. However, I suggest that the treats are small and won’t make your Golden Retriever very full.

Step 2: Tell them to Sit and Reward the Treats

Tell your Golden Retriever to sit and give him or her a treat if they listen. If your Golden Retriever does not know how to respond to the command “sit,” then you may have to train him or her how first.

Step 3: Move Away and Tell him to “Come”

Once your Golden Retriever is seated and paying attention to you, keep eye contact with them and move away a few paces. Then, show your Golden Retriever to “come” to you while showing the treat.

Step 4: Repeat the Process until Successful

Chances are, your Golden Retriever will respond to the training quite well. However, you should repeat the process until he or she responds to you without the treat. By telling your Golden Retriever to come to you whenever they are eating grass will stop them. 

The same concept works with the command “stop” as long as they are properly trained. Otherwise, they might just continue to eat grass as they please.

Entertain your Golden Retriever

If you find your Golden Retriever eating grass, chances are they’re probably bored out of their mind. To remedy this, you should find ways to entertain your dog. There are quite a lot of ways for you to do this. Exercise is a great way for your Golden Retriever to stay distracted. This is actually one of the most recommended ways because it not only stops your dog from eating grass, but it also keeps them healthy.

Another way for you to entertain your Golden Retriever is to play with them. I don’t think I need to teach you how to play with your Golden Retriever. As long as you buy them toys that they can chew, they will find that a lot more entertaining than eating grass. I suggest chew toys that squeak whenever your Golden Retriever bites into it. You can buy those at a cheap price online or at your nearest pet stores. The more colorful and the more squeaky it is, the more that your Golden Retriever will enjoy it.

I quickly realized that playing with my Golden Retriever is the best way to distract them from eating grass. I personally love to play fetch with my Golden Retriever’s favorite toy, which is a Frisbee. He loves leaping in the air and catching it with his mouth. These kinds of physical activities give me and my dog a moment to bond, exercise, and have fun.

If you’re not an active person, that’s okay too. You can always find other ways to entertain your Golden Retriever so that he or she won’t chew on grass anymore. There are Golden Retrievers who also prefer cuddling instead of being active. If your dog is the more laid back kind, having one-on-one time with him or her won’t hurt.

Let them Outgrow Eating Grass

Sometimes, Golden Retrievers eat grass because they are young and curious. By simply letting them outgrow this phase, they will be able to stop eating grass. However, keep in mind that you should only do this if the reason that they are eating grass isn’t health-related. For example, if they are bored and choose to chew grass, then it can be considered as a phase. But if they are chewing because they are trying to tell you that they need more food, then the correct thing to do in that situation is to adjust their meals. 

Your Golden Retriever will display other forms of boredom. If you notice that your Golden Retriever is chewing more things than he should, it is likely that he is hungry or needs more nutrients in his body. There are other things that dogs do when they are bored. They tend to become more destructive like digging around in your backyard (or sometimes they will attempt to dig inside the house), being loud by barking and howling, and zooming around your home for seemingly no reason at all.

However, remember that there is always a reason for everything that your Golden Retriever does. All you have to do is really study your dog’s behavior and try to see what exactly is making them act the way they are. After all, you are the only one who knows your dog’s personality and what makes him tick.

Final Words

“Why does my Golden Retriever eat grass” you ask? There are a number of health-related reasons that can easily be corrected by adjusting their meals. Spending time with your dog and entertaining him will also help him stop eating grass. Remember that eating grass isn’t exactly a bad thing for your Golden Retriever. As their pet parent, you must pay attention to what your dog is trying to communicate with you. That is one of the first steps to being a responsible pet parent to your Golden Retriever.

Did you find this article useful? If so, don’t hesitate to share this with your friends and family who also have Golden Retrievers!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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