do foxes eat grass

Do Foxes Eat Grass? (Benefits & Risks in 2023)

Foxes are known to be omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. However, there is a common misconception that foxes eat grass, like cows or other herbivores. In this article, we will delve into the topic and answer the question, “Do foxes eat grass?”

Anatomy Of Foxes

Before we dive into whether foxes eat grass or not, let’s first take a look at the anatomy of foxes. Foxes are small to medium-sized mammals that belong to the Canidae family. They have sharp teeth and strong jaws that are well-adapted to eating meat. Foxes also have a short digestive tract, which means they cannot digest plant material efficiently.

The Diet Of Foxes

They eat whatever food is available to them. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals such as rabbits, rodents, and birds. Foxes are also known to eat insects, fruits, and berries.

Grass In The Diet Of Foxes

While grass is not a significant part of the diet of foxes, they may eat it occasionally. Foxes are known to eat grass when they are feeling unwell or have an upset stomach. Eating grass helps them induce vomiting, which helps them get rid of any ingested toxins or indigestible materials.

Why Do Foxes Eat Grass?

The behavior of foxes eating grass is known as Pica, which is a phenomenon in which animals eat non-food items. While Pica is not well-understood, some theories suggest that animals may eat non-food items when they lack certain nutrients in their diet. In the case of foxes, they may eat grass when they are feeling unwell, and their digestive system needs some relief.

red fox eat grass

Do Foxes Need To Eat Grass?

Foxes do not need to eat grass as they can obtain all the nutrients they need from their regular diet. However, eating grass in small quantities can help them with their digestion.

Benefits Of Eating Grass For Foxes

Improved Digestion

One of the primary benefits of eating grass for foxes is improved digestion. The blades of grass help to clean their digestive system, removing any undigested food, fur, or other debris. The roots of the grass contain beneficial microorganisms that support the foxes’ gut health, helping them to digest their food better and absorb more nutrients.

Parasite Control

Another significant advantage of consuming grass is that it helps control the population of parasites and bacteria in the foxes’ digestive system. The blades of grass scrape the lining of the stomach, helping to remove any harmful bacteria and parasites that may be present. Additionally, the roots of the grass contain beneficial bacteria that support the foxes’ immune system, making them more resistant to harmful pathogens.


Grass is also a source of hydration for foxes. Foxes often consume the blades of grass that have dew or moisture on them, helping them to stay hydrated in areas where water may be scarce. This is especially important during the hot summer months when water sources may be limited.

Nutrient Absorption

Finally, consuming grass also helps foxes to absorb more nutrients from their food. The blades of grass contain a wide range of essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which support the foxes’ overall health and wellbeing.

Risks Of Eating Grass For Foxes

Digestive Issues

One of the primary risks associated with foxes eating grass is digestive issues. While grass may seem like a harmless snack, it can actually cause a number of problems for foxes. For one, grass is difficult for foxes to digest, which can lead to bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues. In addition, grass can also contain harmful chemicals and pesticides, which can further exacerbate these issues.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Another risk associated with foxes eating grass is nutritional deficiencies. While grass may provide some nutritional value, it is not a complete source of nutrition for foxes. If foxes are consuming too much grass, they may not be getting the proper nutrients they need to stay healthy. This can lead to a range of health problems, including malnutrition, anemia, and weakened immune systems.


Another risk associated with foxes eating grass is the potential for parasites. Grass can be a breeding ground for a variety of parasites, including fleas, ticks, and mites. If foxes are consuming grass that is infested with these parasites, they can become infected as well. This can lead to a range of health problems, including skin irritations, infections, and even more serious diseases.


Perhaps the most serious risk associated with foxes eating grass is the potential for poisoning. As mentioned earlier, grass can contain harmful chemicals and pesticides, which can be toxic to foxes. In addition, foxes may also consume grass that has been treated with these chemicals, which can be even more dangerous. If a fox consumes enough of these toxins, it can lead to serious illness or even death.

Can Grass Be Harmful To Foxes?

While grass is not harmful to foxes, they may ingest herbicides or pesticides present on the grass, which can be toxic to them. Foxes may also ingest other non-food items while eating grass, which can cause blockages or injuries to their digestive system.


Foxes are not herbivores, and grass is not a significant part of their diet. While they may eat grass occasionally, it is not a crucial part of their nutrition. Eating grass can help foxes with their digestion, but it can also be harmful if they ingest toxins or non-food items.


Can foxes survive without meat?

No, foxes cannot survive without meat as it provides essential nutrients and energy that they need to survive.

What is the average lifespan of a fox?

The average lifespan of a fox in the wild is about three years, while foxes in captivity can live up to ten years.

Is wild grass a part of a fox’s diet?

Yes, wild grass is a part of a fox’s diet. Foxes are omnivores and they eat a variety of food, including insects, fruits, vegetables, and small animals. Grass provides roughage and fiber that is essential for their digestive system.

Do foxes eat grass for nutritional purposes?

Yes, foxes eat grass for nutritional purposes. Grass is a source of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which are essential for the growth and maintenance of their bones, teeth, and muscles.

How does eating grass benefit foxes?

Eating grass helps foxes to aid their digestion, especially when they eat other foods that may be difficult to digest. Grass also helps to clean their digestive system and maintain their dental hygiene.

Can foxes eat all types of wild grass?

Foxes can eat most types of wild grass that are available in their habitat. However, they may avoid certain types of grass that have sharp edges or are difficult to digest.

Is grass the only plant material that foxes eat?

No, grass is not the only plant material that foxes eat. Foxes may also eat fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetables that are available in their habitat. However, grass provides essential nutrients and fiber that are important for their overall health and well-being.

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