Care for your pet like Vince the Vet

My Dog keeps eating grass and / or soil - what's the problem?

Eating grass is a common behaviour in dogs and cats, and there's no doubt that the occasional nibble is quite normal. 

When this becomes habitual, compulsive or excessive however, there is usually an underlying health reason which needs addressing if this is to resolve.

In our experience, the commonest causes of this, and measures which most often help are as follows:


This can arise as a result of early life experiences which adversely affect the development of a healthy bowel bacteria population, or subsequent damage to the gut microbiome caused by environmental and dietary chemicals, toxins, drugs such as antibiotics, and other factors.

Signs when this is the case typically include:

  • soft or sloppy stools
  • excessive wind
  • bad breath
  • recurrent indigestion
  • regurgitation of bile
  • acid reflux
  • lip smacking
  • empty swallowing

Steps to take:

Add Digestion to the diet along with plain live yoghurt, kefir or this commercial bio-culture (if you choose this enter vincethevet15 at the checkout on Time Health's website to receive 15% discount).

The latter provides a rich supply of beneficial bacteria, and the former (Digestion) fuels their growth to help them thrive and populate the bowels. This in turn supports a healthier gut microbiome and aids digestive health. 

Allow at least 6 - 8 weeks to gauge the effect.  


If the diet provided does not supply enough of a particular nutrient or nutrients to satisfy the body's demands, an instinctual urge to eat grass and / or soil (also sticks, wall plaster and other inedible materials) can be triggered, so that whatever is missing may be obtained elsewhere.

Steps to take:

Supplement with Vitality to provide more than 80 important vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes and other nutrients essential for optimum well-being.


Common causes of this include:

  • acid reflux
  • IBD
  • parasitic worms (hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, oesophageal worms and roundworms)
  • reactions to food allergens
  • dietary intolerances
  • autoimmune 
  • drug-induced inflammation of the bowels

Here eating grass and / or soil can be an attempt to:

  • relieve trapped gas
  • induce vomiting
  • ease indigestion
  • soothe an aching abdomen or bowels

Steps to take:

1.  Screen for intestinal worms using this kit.

2. If the results are clear, give 2 -3 drops of Stomach and Bowel Support 3 times daily on a morsel of food, to ease discomfort, and maintain normal intestinal movements (peristalsis) and tone.  

3. Check to see if any medication being given has known side-effects on the digestive tract. If this is the case, discuss an alternative form of treatment with your vet.

4. If despite all of the above, grass and or soil eating persists, food trials are warranted, along with other appropriate tests to help identify the underlying cause so that this can be successfully addressed. 

  • past trauma (especially relevant in rescue dogs, and those who have either had multiple homes, or a less than ideal start in life)
  • food sensitivities and / or intolerances
  • gut microbiome disturbances
  • digestive upsets
  • bowel disease 
  • carbohydrate and additive rich foods
  • lack of adequate physical and mental activity 
  • persistent pain or discomfort
These can all contribute to a disturbed HPA (Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis.

This in turn increases stress, lowers the threshold for fight / flight arousal, and alters mood in such a way that compulsive behaviours emerge - which can include eating grass, soil and other materials.

Steps to take:

1.  Give 2 -3 drops of Ultimate Anxiety Relief 3 times daily on a morsel of food, in conjunction with positive, reward based training. The remedies reduce stress and increase receptivity to learning new, healthier patterns of behaviour over time, as explained in this short video. For this reason, allow at least 12 weeks before gauging the effect.  

2. Check for and address any of the possibilities listed above, which may apply. 


Feeding a complete, healthy, balanced raw diet (Vince the Vet single protein raw, plus Digestion, Vitality, Immunity and omega 3 oil (enter vincethevet15 at the checkout on Time Health's website to receive 15% discount) introduced one at a time), resolves eating disorders for many dogs. 


"My dogs are fit and healthy and have a very good raw diet. However, they were both eating some grass and were prone to the occasional digestive upset.

Having introduced firstly Joints, Vitality and Immunity and latterly Digestion plus probiotics, they do not eat grass now.

Very happy with their condition, health and vitality - especially as they are considered senior at 9 and 13 - although you wouldn't think so if you met them!

Just when I thought they couldn’t get much better they have – so THANK YOU!"