The constant and repetitive licking of surfaces and objects by a dog is a problem that many dog owners find difficult to determine. The licking may happen often or too many times, but because many think it is harmless, they choose to ignore or accept this unusual behavior. However, there are some dog owners who take up the matter to their vet for advice and check up.
Today we look at some of the reasons why your dog licks things like the floors, walls, carpets, furniture, or its own lips excessively, and of course what you should do if the problem persists.
Normal Dog Licks
Firstly, it is important to determine just why your dog is licking excessively, and if the behavior is normal or not. For instance, you would expect your dog to lick the carpet clean when you drop yogurt or other food items. Of course they will lick their chops, especially after they have had their meals or something tasty. They will also lick your face when you arrive home after work. That’s normal licking.
Just like humans, dogs also crave for attention. When they do not get enough, they will learn to get it by stealing shoes, barking, and sometimes engaging in obnoxious behaviors, like persistent licking. That’s normal too.
However, when it comes to excessive licking without no reason, it may be a sign of trouble. This behavior can escalate to licking other objects and surfaces, this is a time when you know something isn’t right.
Medical cause of licking
Some possibilities of constant licking are medical in nature, so visit a vet as soon as you can for evaluation. The problem can be due to hay fever (dog version), which is caused by inhalant allergies by pollen, grass, dust, or even human dander. This makes their skin itchy, making them lick constantly. There are also other culprits, such as bacterial and fungal infections of the skin, pain caused by objects stuck in their flesh, and bone fractures. According to veterinarians, the problem can also be due to chronic gastrointestinal distress.
Other common causes
Dog’s temperament and breed
Some breeds seem to have paw problems compared to others. Some of the breeds that have exhibited this abnormal behavior are Maltese, Chihuahuas, Poodles, and Labrador retrievers. Blond and white-haired breeds may not suffer as much, but when the problem starts kicking in, their paws tend to get discolored by the saliva, making it more apparent.
Self-grooming is a natural way that many dogs pass time. However, sometimes they can overdo it to a point it is not safe. Try to fill some of their extra time with some non-distractive activities, such as puzzle feeders or playing games.
This is one of the most common causes of constant and excessive licking. Fleas cause itchiness as well as infections, making the problem to worsen. To avoid this problem, ensure that you employ preventive measures to keep fleas out of your home. As a rule of thumb, however, always consult your vet well in time in case you notice excessive licking by your dog.
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Originally posted 2015-08-05 12:00:41.