By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It seems that every dog consumes a bit of grass every now and then without posing an issue but when it (like anything else) becomes excessive, it’s time to take notice. Along with the grass the dog may be consuming dirt as well.

Dogs tend to eat grass instinctively to help ease an upset stomach. It’s a natural and healthy inclination to rid the body of any toxins. It’s nature’s way to cause the dog to vomit as well as to alleviate the problem.

This should only be on occasion, however. If it becomes much more frequent, consult your vet as it may be an indication of missing minerals in the diet, especially in the case of eating dirt. It may even be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. A better diet or supplements may be required.

There can be behavioral reasons for grass and dirt consumption for canines, due to boredom, frustration, excitement or stress. Because dogs use their mouths as well as their noses to explore, it would make sense that a dog who is bored or frustrated, usually due to lack of exercise, would find what’s in their path such as grass and dirt appealing to investigate.