Curiosity is the main reason dogs lick grass. Whether it’s a bug, another dog’s scent, or the morning dew, something on the grass has caught their attention. It is also possible that dogs lick grass for the sheer pleasure of tasting it!
Have you ever wondered why dogs are considered man’s best friend? The answer is simple… we gravitate towards their cute and cuddly nature. Their sweet and feisty spirits make for great companions. It’s no wonder we overlook their odd behavior so often.
These odd behaviors include rolling in poop or licking and eating grass. Although the behavior may seem strange to us, there’s always a reason for it.
We will discuss why dogs lick grass in this article, and whether you should be concerned about it.
But first, it’s important to understand the difference between behavior and condition.
Behavior vs. Condition
Curiosity – The Behavior
As your dog develops, you might find that they have more interest in licking your grass rather than actually playing in it.
Some dog owners might not find this out of the ordinary and may overlook it. After all, dogs do strange things because they are animals. Animal behavior doesn’t always have a reasonable explanation.
From toes, furniture, rocks, and even pavement, dogs lick things. This isn’t strange behavior since dogs will naturally lick whatever they can get their paws on.
Dogs may lick certain items out of boredom or curiosity. They may want to feel the texture and taste of something. If you believe your dog is licking out of curiosity, this is nothing to be concerned about.
However, the act of licking and eating grass is usually not a behavioral problem, but a condition called Pica.
Pica – The Condition
Pica is a condition that is seen both in animals and in humans. It is a mental disorder that causes dogs to obsess about eating or feeling the texture of non-edible things. Dogs with Pica have a strong desire to know what everything (whether edible or non-edible) tastes like.
So why is your dog licking grass? Is it because of curiosity? Or do they have Pica?
If your dog is constantly licking and eating non-edible items besides grass, there’s a chance they have Pica. However, if they seem to just be obsessed with licking grass and leave other non-edible items alone, they are probably just curious.
Why Do Dogs Without Pica Lick Grass?
If you have determined your dog does not have Pica, you’re probably wondering why they constantly lick the grass. The most common causes are listed below.
When we feel hunger, we gravitate towards the kitchen, rummaging through the cabinets in search of something to eat.
Dogs are very much the same in this aspect. However, when they are not presented with the food they are looking for, they will often resort to other (and often odd) things to curb their appetite. Grass being among those strange things.
Dogs are resourceful creatures. Although we may think their effort to eat grass is silly, dogs will eat just about anything that has a taste to it.
If they can’t rummage through the pantry for a tasty treat, they will resort to the next best thing. If you see your dog actively trying to get outside to eat grass, they might just be hungry and in need of something to satisfy that hunger.
Besides hunger, your dog might lick grass for an entirely different reason. The morning dew tends to stick to grass for a while during the day.
These yummy droplets of water add a small amount of flavor to the grass. This flavor may attract dogs.
If you see them licking grass in the morning hours, it might be because they want to lap up all the water that has accumulated onto the blades of grass.
As with anything, odd behavior could result from an underlying condition. Diabetes can cause an unusual thirst for water. The dog may look for any way to quench its thirst. Licking dew off grass could be their way of increasing water intake.
Dogs rarely develop diabetes. Only 1 in 300 dogs will have diabetes, so there’s a good chance this is NOT why your dog is licking grass, but it’s always a possibility.
The only way to know with certainty that your dog has diabetes is to take them to the vet. However, here are a few symptoms that might point towards doggie diabetes.
Your dog has increased their daily water intake and constantly needs to find a water source. This often comes in the form of licking wet grass.
Your dog is taking more naps than usual throughout the day. This can sometimes be a difficult symptom to catch since dogs can peacefully nap 22 hours out of a 24 hour day. However, if you notice your normally active dog taking longer naps than usual, this could be a sign of diabetes.
Drastic weight loss is another symptom that can be associated with diabetes. While it is important for dogs to maintain a healthy weight, don’t immediately increase their food intake if you notice rapid weight loss. Instead, take them to the vet to figure out what’s going on.
Again, we don’t want to alarm you since dogs rarely get diabetes, but if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, schedule a visit to the vet ASAP.
Trying to Vomit
You may notice that vomiting occurs shortly after your dog eats an excessive amount of grass. If your dog has an upset stomach, they might purposefully eat grass to upchuck the contents in their belly. It is their way of naturally getting rid of the bad foods that cause stomach aches.
In the same way that dogs can detect even the tiniest scents, they also have taste receptors that help them determine information about other dogs.
Dogs can understand information about what they are tasting. A dog that is seen licking the grass might be in the middle of determining crucial details on another dog.
They do this by licking another dog’s urine. While the idea of licking urine is not something that humans find tasteful, a dog receives a lot of information through this method. They can determine the gender of the dog through their urine, whether that dog has an infection or is sick, or even if a female dog is in heat.
The ability to taste and understand information about another dog through its urine is quite an amazing feat. So the next time your dog is inspecting the grass with their tongue, think about the fact that they might be gathering data on another dog!
Determining Doggy Behavior
It’s always important to keep an eye on your dog, whether they are exhibiting strange behavior or not. It is easy to overlook some of the odd things they do and write it off as “common doggy behavior.”
However, if your dog acts out of the ordinary, it is best to stay cautious and take them to the vet. A simple check-up could make a world of difference with your dog’s behavioral changes.
Sometimes they’ve just picked up a new liking to licking grass. Other times, it might be an underlying cause, such as Pica or diabetes. Stay aware of your dog’s changes and keep track of the new things they like to lick.
Recommended For You