If your Labrador has been licking the carpet and floor you might want to know why and what can be done about it. In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my Labrador lick the carpet and floor? Possible reasons are that there is food stuck on the floor, it does it for the attention, it’s not getting enough food or water in its diet, there is a lack of nutrients in its diet, illness or it could be a compulsive behavior.
Your Labrador might do it for many different reasons and it might be the result of a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador licks the carpet and floor
Below are some common reasons why Labradors do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
It’s thirsty or hungry
The cause might be that it is thirsty or hungry. This would be more likely if it does it more when it does not have access to water and it has not eaten for a while.
It could also be a sign that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it is not being fed enough or it is being fed the wrong foods and it is not getting the nutrients that it needs. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet or if it does it when it eats certain foods.
It would help to discuss its diet with your local vet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Labrador.
It wants attention
It could also be the case that it does it for the attention. This would be more likely if it starts licking the floor when you have not given it much attention and you normally give it more attention when it licks the floor.
Instead, try to recognize when it is likely to start licking the floor and to redirect its behavior before it starts doing it and to follow the tips mentioned below.
The reason might be that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to lick its the floor so it keeps doing it. This would be more likely if it has been licking the floor constantly for a few weeks now. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.
Anxiety could be what has been causing it to do it. This would be more likely if it has started doing it after something happened that could make it anxious or if it does it more at a time where it is likely to be anxious. Examples could be if it does it more when a certain person is around, when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises coming from outside.
Illness could be what is causing it to do it since it might be licking the floor to try and soothe its stomach. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
There is food stuck to the floor
It might be the case that it does it because there is food on the floor. This would be more likely if it licks a certain part of the floor more and it has not been licking random parts of the floor excessively.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason why it has been doing it.
When it first started doing it
If it did not always lick the floor, it would help to consider if anything else happened or changed when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly then it would make it more likely to be due to being anxious, ill or food being stuck to the floor. It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started to lick the floor.
When it does it
It would also help to consider when it does it since the timing might also have something to do with it.
If it does it more at a certain time it would be more likely to be due to things such as being anxious, hungry or bored due to not getting exercise.
How often it licks the floor
It would also help to consider how often your Labrador does it. If it has been licking the floor constantly then it would be more likely to be compulsive behavior and something you’ll want to get help on from a vet or dog behaviorist.
If it does it less often then it would help to consider what is different when it does do it.
How to get your Labrador to stop licking the floor or carpet
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Labrador to stop licking the carpet and floor.
Make sure its diet is right
As mentioned above, it might be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to do it. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Labrador. It would also likely help to consult with your local vet on its diet.
Take it to a vet
If your Labrador has been licking the floor excessively or it seems like it might be ill, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert attention tailored towards your particular Labrador.
Give it exercise
Labradors are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. If your Labrador is not getting much exercise it might be looking for other ways to stimulate itself. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily when they are healthy adults.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
If your method of getting your Labrador to stop licking the floor is to give it things that it wants such as treats or attention then it could have learned that licking the floor will get it those things.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it doesn’t lick the floor when it normally would and to reward it before it starts licking the floor and then to stop rewarding it when it does.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to lick the floor. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.