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Why Do Great Danes Eat Grass?

Is your Great Dane eating grass? There are many reasons that your Great Dane may be eating grass.

 Many times, this is just fine, but there may be an underlying medical condition. This article will explain why your Great Dane is eating grass and what you can do about it.

So, why do Great Danes eat grass? The most common reasons that Great Danes eat grass include:

  1. Helps relieve an upset stomach
  2. Increases fiber in their diets
  3. Their ancestors at grass
  4. They like the taste
  5. They are bored

For Great Danes that are eating grass, you can closely monitor them for any medical problems that would be causing them to eat grass. There are also many reasons that you may want to prevent them from eating grass as well!

Possible reasons why your Great Dane is eating grass

Grass eating is very common with Great Danes and other dog breeds.  This is not as odd as some of the other things that dogs love to eat, such as their own feces.

The reason behind your Great Dane eating grass may not be entirely clear, although many Great Danes just seem to like eating grass!

For other dogs, eating grass may be a way to fill a nutritional need or cause themselves to vomit to settle an upset stomach, or your Great Dane may be eating grass because they are bored.

Some dogs have a medical condition known as pica, which means they eat things that are not food. This can include dirt, feces, toys, and grass.

Most vets will agree that grass eating is normal canine behavior and that this type of pica usually does not cause too many if any, problems.

So why is your Great Dane eating grass?

Reason #1 – Relieve An Upset Stomach

The most common reason that people think that Great Danes will eat grass is to relieve an upset stomach. 

Some Great Danes will eat grass very fast and then vomit. 

While most Great Danes who eat grass will not vomit, this is commonly seen in dogs who have an upset stomach before eating the grass. 

Reason #2 – Increase Their Dietary Fiber

All Great Danes will need fiber in their diet.  Your dog may be filling this need by eating grass. A lack of fiber in your Great Dane’s diet can prevent your dog from being able to digest food and pass stool.

By eating grass, they are actually helping their bodies function better. 

If your Great Dane shows any signs of stomach problems, they may have a medical problem such as gastric reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, or pancreatitis.

If your Great Dane is vomiting or having diarrhea and eating grass, see your vet rule out any serious medical problem.

Reason #3 – It’s In Their DNA

Your Great Danes ancestors did not eat food packaged in sealed bags. Dogs in the wild would balance their diet by eating what they hunted. 

They also ate everything of what they caught, including the meat, bones, internal organs, and stomach contents of their prey.

Eating an entire animal provided a fairly balanced diet, especially when the prey’s stomach contained grass and plants that fulfilled the dog’s need for fiber.

Reason #4 – They Like It!

This may be the simplest explanation of why your Great Dane is eating grass. 

They actually like the taste of grass!

Many dogs may simply like the taste and texture of the grass in their mouths. Most dogs will eat grass more in the spring when it is newly growing.  

Reason #5 – They Are Bored

Some dogs will eat grass because it gives them something to do. This will usually happen with Great Danes that do not get enough exercise. 

Young dogs and puppies have an abundance of pent-up energy to burn.

For Great Danes that are bored, eating grass is a behavior problem and may not really be a big problem at all. You do not need not worry if the grass eating does not make the dog sick.

Trying to correct this behavior may actually interfere with natural instincts and may do more harm than good.

Should I let my Great Dane eat grass?

Eating grass can be considered normal behavior, but your Great Dane does not really gain any nutritional value from the grass.

However, these are some reasons that you would want to make your Great Dane stop eating grass.

  • Some grasses have poisons on them:  Make sure that the grass your Great Dane does not have any poisonous fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

    When you are at home, this is very easy to do but watch out for public areas such as the dog park or other people’s yards.  Another great option is to grow your Great Dane, a herb garden specifically for them to snack on.  

  • The grass may have parasites: When your Great Dane is eating grass, it can also pick up an internal parasite such as a roundworm or hookworm.  These parasites live in the grass and soil in your backyard. 

    Your Great Dane can easily get infected when they eat grass.  If your Great Dane is eating grass, it is best to have them on a monthly deworming medication to keep them free of any parasites.

  • Some grasses and plants are toxic: Great Danes may start off just eating the grass, and this may progress to eating plants. Some outdoor and indoor plants are very toxic to dogs. 

    If your Great Dane does like to munch on the grass, make sure that none of your plants are toxic.  You can even train your Great Dane to know which ones are toxic and off-limits or keep these plants in an area that your Great Dane cannot access.  

How to Stop My Great Dane from Eating Grass

Eating grass may be a fun pastime for your Great Dane.  If they are constantly eating grass, you may want to figure out why they are eating grass and get them to stop. 

These are a few ways that you can get your Great Dane to stop eating grass.   

1. Give them a treat instead

If your Great Dane loves treats, many times, you can get them to eat a treat rather than grass. You will need to take treats with you when you take your Great Dane out for a walk or on potty breaks. 

Any time that your Great Dane tries to eat grass tell them no.  When they do what they are told, give them a treat, and praise them. 

Quickly they will learn to not eat grass and wait for a taste treat.  

2. Give them praise

Many dogs will stop eating grass for praise and attention!

When your dog starts to munch on the grass, tell them to come to you and give them praise. 

Dogs who are eating grass because they are bored will quickly stop eating if you start to give them attention.  

3. Take them out for a walk

Make sure that your Great Dane is getting plenty of exercise. 

Great Danes are very active dogs and need time outside to play multiple times a day.  They also need mental stimulation.

Using puzzle toys or training will help keep your dog from getting bored and chewing on grass.  

4. Look for a medical reason

If your Great Dane is sick, they may be eating grass because of a stomach upset or because they are missing important nutrients. 

Discuss this with your vet.

They may want to run blood work to make sure that your Great Dane is perfectly healthy.

5. Look at their food

Make sure that your Great Dane’s dog food does contain a balanced diet. By adding additional fiber into your Great Dane’s diet, you can help with digestion and stop them from eating grass. 

A good way to add fiber to your dog’s diet is to give them a spoon full (or two) of canned pumpkin.  This is a taste treat that is full of fiber!

Make sure that this is canned pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling that is loaded with sugar. We like this particular pack of canned pumpkin for its quality and bulk discount!

6. Give them appropriate grass to eat

If your Great Dane is still eating grass, grow them an approved area of grasses to eat. 

You can purchase grass and herb growing kits that are safe for dogs.  

Can eating grass cause a blockage?

Technically yes, if your Great Dane eats enough grass, it can cause an intestinal blockage. 

They would have to eat a lot of grass for this to happen!

This would be more likely to happen in a small dog than your very large Great Dane.  If the grass did cause a blockage in your Great Dane, they would need surgery to remove the grass or at least a very expensive hospital visit. 

Wrapping Up This Grassy Situation

Many Great Danes will find a taste patch of grass to eat and munch on it.  This is a perfectly normal thing for your dog to do, but there are sometimes that this can cause them to get sick. 

If you notice that your Great Dane is sick after eating grass, take them to your vet.  If your Great Dane continues to eat grass, there are many reasons that you may want them to stop. 

By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can train your Great Dane to stop eating grass or fix the problem that is causing them to eat grass in the first place.  

3 thoughts on “Why Do Great Danes Eat Grass?”

  1. you should really think about using another word than “owner” when you speak of having a dane we own cars and houses we do not own danes they are family members just like kids I live in a mixed-species family and have for many years we need to start making people see other animals as more than possessions and maybe they will start treating them with more respect and love just my opinion thanks for caring for these magnificent creatures

    • Hi Sherry,

      I completely agree with your sentiment. Call it laziness or convenience, the term “own” is just short and simple from a writing perspective. I’ll try to do a better job of incorporating more accurate wording going forward.


      • Thank you Zach for sharing this information on eating grass.
        Yes, TigerLily enjoys grass eating, and it hasn’t caused any problems.
        Years ago our Veterinarian suggested planting rye grass for our Dane, Velvet . We are on 5 acres, -plenty of space.
        Luckily the Rye grass does well here. The wind and birds have helped spread it around.
        TigerLily will choose it first, and go for the plentiful Kikuyu grass if it’s not.
        Will you write about games you recommend?
        Thank you
        Aloha ~ january H-W


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