If you’ve been alarmed by your dog’s obsessive licking, don’t worry. It turns out that dogs lick things as an exploratory behavior to learn what they are. This is how they explore their environment and figure out what they’re encountering. It often appears as though they are taking a bite out of things and either the licking or biting part of this behavior is the part that you tend to notice. While some dogs tend to be extremely lick-happy, it is more likely to be an isolated event.
The other aspect of this type of research and learning is that dogs, much like humans and other animals, have all kinds of chemicals on their tongues that can transmit scents and taste when applicable.
Let’s learn why dogs lick everything in this post.
Why does the dog lick everything?
Licking is harmless in several cases, but it can also signal health or behavior-related issues. Here are a few reasons why dogs lick you or other things.
1- Behavioral Issues
If your dog does not appear to like just one item, it’s most likely a self-soothing behavior or a compulsive habit. This habit didn’t arise overnight and won’t go away quickly. It’s also vital to remember that if your dog licks everything, they also communicate with you through their saliva.
Boredom might drive your dog to lick habitually. Providing your dog with a lot of stimulation and exercise throughout the day can help prevent this sort of behavior from forming.
Playing fetch outside or going for a run with your dog is another fun activity to do together. Furthermore, kenneling your dog while away from home for short periods can prevent them from licking items in your home that might result in destructive actions or the consumption of hazardous objects.
Dogs have scent glands in their mouths that release pheromones when they lick. When a dog licks your face, it is often seen as a sign of affection. However, licking can also be a warning sign to back off.
You’ve probably noticed that dogs tend to lick people’s hands and faces when they first meet. Dogs use their sense of smell to learn about the person and determine whether they should trust them.
Licking can also signify that your dog needs something, such as water or food. If you think your dog’s licking is excessive, monitor how much they drink and eat. Dogs might lick things as a way of trying to communicate with their owners.
There are many health-related issues that can cause a dog to lick excessively. Some common causes of excessive licking are allergies, skin irritation, fleas, and infection.
If your pup is licking its paws constantly, it might be a sign that they have a flea infestation. Be sure to check your pup for fleas and treat the problem as soon as possible.
If you notice that your dog is licking a certain area of its body, it might be an indication of a skin infection or irritation. Take your pooch to the vet if you think this is the case.
Allergies can also cause a dog to lick excessively. If you think your dog might have allergies, take them to the vet for a diagnosis and treat them.
If your dog is licking at their paws excessively, they might be stressed because of a new animal or person in the house, unfamiliar noises, or anything else.
Many dogs feel safer and more comfortable in their territory. Your dog might feel stressed if you move furniture around or rearrange items in your home. Consider making a few
adjustments to make your dog feel more comfortable if this happens.
Another common cause of excessive licking is fleas. Fleas can make your dog scratch, chew and lick everything in sight. Some dogs might get so desperate that they are willing to eat their fur or even their owner’s hair.
If you find fleas on your dog, treating fleas is the easiest way to solve this problem. Use a medicated spray designed especially for dogs like Frontline or a pill such as Capstar. It is crucial to follow the instructions carefully and avoid spraying or giving pills directly to your dog’s face or eyes.
If this doesn’t solve your flea problem, you might have to try a few different solutions. Dogs who are allergic to fleas might need steroidal medications such as Benadryl or something stronger.
6- Itchy Skin
If your dog is constantly licking its paws, it might signify that they have an allergy or are experiencing some skin irritation.
If your dog’s skin is reddish or white, they may have an allergy. If this happens, consider taking them to the vet to get treated. Some dogs might also suffer from eczema or other skin conditions.
If your pet licks and bites items in your home excessively, it might be because they are bored. Dogs require stimulation, both physical and mental.
If you have a dog with a hyper personality, they might spend a lot of their time licking and biting things in your home. This is because they need something to channel their energy into.
If this happens, consider limiting them to a certain area of your home with toys to help keep them entertained. Hire someone to walk your dog and play with them every day if you don’t have the time.
If you want to use treats while they’re out, avoid certain types of food that might cause a dog to scratch, like onions.
Why does the dog keep licking me?
The most common areas are that dogs will lick your face, your hands, or your feet. It is important to remember that a dog licking you is not an act of aggression or anything negative; it’s simply a way of showing affection.
When you notice that your dog is getting too close for comfort, try giving them something else to do.
How to prevent your dog from licking everything?
You can do several things to prevent your dog from licking everything. Some of these include:
- Provide your dog with different chew toys and bones to gnaw on.
- Give your dog a puzzle toy filled with treats to keep them occupied.
- Provide your dog with a place to sleep that is clean and comfortable.
- Bathing your dog regularly.
- Using a calming aid such as a ThunderShirt.
- Take your dog to the vet for a diagnosis if you think they might be licking as a way of relieving pain.
- Training your dog with positive reinforcement techniques.
- Make sure your pup is socializing and exercising enough.
What can you do about excessive licking?
If you find that your dog licks a lot, visit your veterinarian to determine whether an illness or skin condition is causing the problem. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining what’s wrong and recommending treatment. Constant licking might result in bald patches and inflict discomfort to the skin, so it’s better to handle it sooner rather than later.