Why do Jack Russells’ Eat Grass?

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Jack Russells seem particularly prone to eating grass.  So your Jack Russell is not unusual or unique in his or her grazing habit!  

There are a few likely reasons, so let’s explore them here:

A Low Fibre Diet

Just like us, Jack Russells’ need fibre in their diet to aid digestion.  In the wild dogs would have taken on berries, grasses and other plant material in small quantities to balance their diets.   Domesticated dogs seem to instinctively know that eating grass will help them.  If your Jack Russell eats grass a lot, take a look at the nutritional information on their food.  

He Feels Sick or Bloated

When you Jack Russell feels sick or bloated, they will eat grass to make themselves sick and alleviate their discomfort.  Frequently, you will notice when there is a choice, when they are eating grass to bring on sickness they choose longer, thicker grass and eat it long rather than chewing it up small as they ‘d do to create fibre. 

If eating grass and being sick is a frequent occurrence, having him or her checked over by a vet is a good idea to ensure there are no underlying causes why he or she is making themselves sick.  


Jack Russells are frequently greedy little dogs, they love to snack.  A hungry Jack Russell will eat grass when there is nothing preferable around. 


Once established as a habit, your Jack Russell may continue to go outside and eat the grass.  This could continue to start with and maybe ongoing after any lack of fibre has been addressed.  Usually they eventually stop on their own.

If it’s a habit that you don’t like and there is no explanation for, using distraction techniques work to break the habit. Just be careful that the clever, wiley Jack Russell doesn’t see it as a way of gaining your attention when out in the garden. 


Have you ever sat in a meadow and chewed on a piece of grass while you enjoy the sun on your face and the beauty of the day?  If not, then you should!  When a Jack Russell who is otherwise fit and healthy, mooches around the garden or park on a beautiful day and picks some grass to chew on, chances are they are doing it for the sheer pleasure of doing so.

Taste and Smell

As well as their very strong noses, dogs gain messages from their environment through their sense of taste.  If you observe Jack Russell closely, they will run the grass through their mouths and not actually bite it off to chew and eat.  They are just experiencing the taste and whatever messages that gives them.


As I said at the start Jack Russells’ are keen grass eaters.  They just seem to enjoy grazing and if they are otherwise fit and well, then let them enjoy their pleasure.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Food

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