To answer that question, we have written this comprehensive article describing all the reasons behind your dog’s behavior. This write-up also provides advice regarding how to combat issues like these, and therefore serve as a guide.
Reasons Dogs Lick Every Thing
There might be many reasons behind your dog’s excessive licking. Let’s run over a few points in order to understand what those might be –
Allergies most commonly cause excessive licking in dogs. If a dog develops allergies, it might lick and chew between its toes and its hind end and inner thighs.
Dusts, pollens, and other airborne particles produce buildup on the dog’s skin and fur, causing itching. Allergies can cause similar symptoms to flea bites and specific proteins in pet food.
To reduce allergies, wipe your dog’s paws with doggie wipes or a warm washcloth after walking outside. If their dogs’ skin is changing color, or if there are wounds, pimples, excess scratching, or crusts, you should see a vet.
Repetitive behaviors like licking might also be a sign of neurological problems. Excessive licking is one of the early signs of cognitive failure in dogs, which is similar to dementia in humans.
The reason your dog is licking more than usual, whether it’s a specific location on their body, the floor, or a wall, could be an indication of this deadly ailment. Make sure you check for any other signs that may be associated with this behavior and schedule an appointment with your vet to develop a treatment plan.
Dogs with a peculiar sensation in their jaws, such as a chipped tooth or a gum injury, may be tempted to lick it. In addition to licking in response to pain, dogs with gingivitis or dental disease may also lick things.
Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis and scheduling an annual cleaning at your veterinarian’s office will help you avoid these problems.
Hunger and Thirst
One of the most common reasons for dogs licking their empty food bowls is hunger or thirst. They might also be repeatedly licking their lips for the same reason. When a dog senses that a meal is on the way, he or she will lick with anticipation.
Dogs might also lick to fight a dry tongue, mouth, or throat. That licking can assist in activating the salivary glands, but it could also alert their pet parent to the problem, allowing them to receive a drink.
It is possible that your dog’s licking problem is merely an appetite-driven activity. It may be only attempting to clean up after you if you leave traces of food on the kitchen floor and chairs.
Cleaning all surfaces more thoroughly will help to decrease the licking problem. You might also just close off the kitchen area so the dog does not feel driven to indulge in his addictive house cleaning activities.
A dog can experience a foul taste in its mouth due to an upset stomach caused by an illness or eating something dangerous. A dog has a tendency to lick to be rid of the foul taste or spit out some of the surplus saliva.
If there is a change in routine, separation anxiety, or the addition of a new pet to the family, dogs tend to become anxious. Some dogs lick because of this, or simply boredom.
If you think boredom is to blame, consider spending extra time with your dog and leaving a treat-filled puzzle toy for them to play with while you are gone. Anxiety concerns might be more difficult to handle, so consult your veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist for help.
Need for Attention
One of the less-known reasons is that your dog has discovered that it attracts attention. If you stop doing what you’re doing every time your dog licks, look at him, and even chastise him, your dog will find the act rewarding.
Recording his behavior when he is left home alone is an excellent approach to test this. If the licking is diminished or absent in certain situations, the licking is most likely due to an attention-seeking condition.
Licking, like chewing, can be a mechanism for dogs to assess their environment. This is especially true for puppies who, like human babies, investigate the world with their mouths.
Expression of Love
It is possible that those licks are your dog’s way of drowning you in affection. And, let’s face it, a shower of wet kisses can make anyone’s day. Licking can also be interpreted as a gesture of respect, indicating that you are the dominant one.
How to Make Your Dog Stop Licking Everything?
To make sure that your pet stops displaying such behavior, you can take some actions –
Traditional therapies entail taking medications on a daily basis. If your dog’s itching and chewing are caused by allergies, external parasites, or infection caused by fungus, bacteria, or yeast, this can help.
Both dietary and environmental allergies can be treated with allergy drugs like as over-the-counter Benadryl or prescriptions from your vet. A monthly topical medication, tablet, or medicated collar can be used to treat external parasites.
Treatment for infections varies but may include antibiotic pills or medicated shampoos to treat fungal and yeast infections. Ear ointments and skin ointments can help with mites and infections in the ears and locate them.
Redirecting the Activity
Switch up the activities when your dogs start to lick. Choosing a behavior that is incompatible with licking, such as solving an interactive puzzle to obtain a treat, is a good alternative. You can also educate the dog to perform other things such as play with a ball or learn tricks.”
You can progressively reinforce the lesson that you do not want your dog to lick by repeating this redirect without ever employing negative reinforcement.
Trick training, in particular, is an effective approach to change a pattern of unwanted behavior into a positive reinforcement opportunity. Begin by having the dog sit, which may cause the licking to cease on its own, and then reinforce the action with a treat.
Whether you choose to engage in trick training or not, make sure your dog receives enough attention and exercise. Too much wasted energy might lead to excessive licking and other harmful behaviors.
Finally, a modification in your dog’s nutrition can hugely impact persistent itchiness and licking! Food allergies can cause a lot of discomforts, including pain, irritation, scratching, chewing, and secondary infection.
Identifying the components to which your dog is allergic can help you make the necessary dietary changes and put an end to the problem.
The majority of dogs are allergic to maize, soy, and wheat products; however, some dogs are allergic to specific protein sources such as chicken or beef.
It is possible that you will need to consult with your vet to figure out what is causing the problem. Switching to a grain-free or new protein diet can assist your dog’s skin and coat, as well as alleviate allergic redness and itching.
Licking might not always be the symptom of a large problem. But it is always better to be prepared, as none of us would want our fur babies to live in discomfort. We hope that this article has provided you with enough ways to figure out what is wrong and help your loving dog.