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Why does my Labrador eat grass?

Why does my Labrador eat grass?

It can be concerning for a lot of Labrador owners when their Labrador eats grass. This post will help you to understand why yours is doing it and how to reduce it.

So, why does your Labrador eat grass?

Eating grass is common amongst all dog breeds and isn’t something to be concerned with by itself. Possible causes include boredom, forcing itself to be sick to relieve an upset stomach, to improve digestion, being an inherited trait and liking the taste of grass. 

And how can you stop it?

The only way to completely stop it would be to not allow it to have access to grass but this isn’t advised.

Instead, you can reduce its interest in eating grass by feeding it more fiber (most dog foods have enough), giving it lots of exercise, giving it other things to chew on and training it to come to you when you call it. 

The exact reason why Labradors eat grass is something that gets debated but there are a number of proposed reasons that Labrador (and other dogs) do it.

Why Labradors Might Eat Grass

Below are a number of possible reasons why your Labrador does it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

Boredom

Labradors are a breed that is meant to get exercise daily. When they do not get enough exercise, they will start to look for ways to stimulate themselves and it could be why yours eats grass.

This would be more likely if yours tends to do it more when it has not gotten much exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.

Nutrition

Some think that the cause could be to improve digestion due to the high fiber content in grass or to fulfill some other nutritional deficiency.

It likes how it tastes

It could just be that your Labrador likes the taste of grass. It could be that it wants to chew on something and grass is readily available to it and it’s not poisonous so it chooses to chew on that.

To make itself throw up

It’s not uncommon for dogs to throw up after eating grass. This leads some people to think that they eat grass due to having a stomach upset that they want to alleviate by throwing up. However, some people disagree with this saying that dogs aren’t smart enough to do that and that most dogs don’t actually throw up when they eat grass.

It’s an inherited trait

One possible cause is that grass was something that was readily available to dogs before they were domesticated by humans so they would get some of their nutrition by eating grass and this is an inherited trait that present-day dogs have.

How To Reduce How Much Your Labrador Eats Grass

Below are some things you can do to get your Labrador to eat grass less.

Exercise

As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Labrador is able to get exercise on a daily basis. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour or more of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.

A Diet high in fiber

Since some people think that dogs eat grass to get more fiber you could try giving it foods that are higher in fiber. Most dog foods will have a decent amount of fiber but you can see what other fiber foods you can feed your Labrador here.

Give it other things to chew on

Another option you have is to divert its attention away from chewing on grass. you can do this by giving it lots of toys that it can chew on.

Train it to come to you

It would also help to train it to come to you when you call it. By doing so, it will help you to prevent it from eating grass and to get it to stop when you catch it doing it.

Visit the vet

If it has started doing it suddenly and it has been showing signs of being ill, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Labrador and to rule out illness or injury as a possible cause.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about your Labrador eating grass.

Risks of eating grass

Eating grass generally isn’t considered harmful but if the grass has pesticides then it could be. Be sure that your Labrador doesn’t have access to any grass that has been sprayed with pesticides or poisonous plants.

What else happened when it first started doing it

If it did not always eat grass, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as illness, a change in its diet or smelling food there.

It’s not unusual

Eating grass is something that has been observed by owners of all dog breeds and is seen in non-domesticated dogs. So, just because your Labrador eats grass sometimes doesn’t mean that something is terribly wrong with it.

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