Why Is My Dog Eating Grass, Poop and Sticks?

By: Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University @C_HeinzeVMD  |  May/June 2015
Many pet owners assume their dog’s weird eating stems from a nutrient deficiency, but there’s little evidence to support that idea. Here’s why:
Grass: While for some dogs grass-eating is linked to vomiting, many otherwise well dogs eat grass and other plants. It’s pretty normal, but put a stop to it if your dog is vomiting often, eating grass treated with insecticides or fertilizers or noshing on toxic plants (aspca.org has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants).
Poop: Many dogs will eat other animal’s droppings (even their own!) if given the opportunity. Yes, it’s gross, but poop might taste good to dogs. It’s still best to limit your pet’s access to poop to prevent infections like E. coli, Salmonella and worms.
Sticks, balls, socks, etc.: When dogs are bored or stressed they may eat toys and sticks, but try to prevent this. Objects like these can get lodged in the digestive tract and the dog may require emergency surgery.
Bottom line: Eating these kinds of things is pretty normal behavior for dogs, so don’t worry. However, if your dog seems constantly hungry or repeatedly eats nonfood items, consult your veterinarian.