Why Does My Dog Constantly Lick Everything in the House ?
You know you are the lucky owner of a professional licker when your dog can lick 100 items a minute and you have considerably less house cleaning to do. Jokes aside, constantly licking everything in the house may be more than just an annoying habit and is worth investigating.
If Scruffy is suddenly interested in licking your carpet, your coach and your upholstery, perhaps he is feeling a bit queasy. Nausea may trigger a bout of excessive licking of surfaces, explains board certified veterinary behaviorist Valarie V. Tynes on the website DVM 360. In such a case, you may want to report to your veterinarian for a thorough physical examination. While you are it, discuss your dog’s diet and any supplements he is receiving.
If your dog is a repeat offender and has to consistently lick everything around your house, you may be dealing with a compulsive licker. In this case, don’t worry; your dog will not end up on the psychiatrist bed. This form of licking is often caused by fear, stress or inadequate stimulation. In mild cases, dogs often get better with adequate exercise, attention and mental stimulation. Spraying commonly licked items with bitter apple spray may also help reduce the licking episodes.
Yes, your fur ball may be licking nonstop simply because he has come to realize that it brings attention. If every time your dog licks, you immediately stop doing what you are doing, look at him and even resort to scolding, your dog may find the behavior rewarding. A good way to test this is by recording his behavior when he is left home alone. If the behavior is reduced or is non-existent in such circumstances, most likely the licking is part of an attention-seeking disorder.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
If your dog is elderly, he may be developing canine cognitive dysfunction, the doggie version of Alzheimer’s disease. Dogs affected by this condition may display repetitive behaviors that may entail continuous licking along with other symptoms suggesting cognitive decline, such as general confusion, disrupted sleep-wake cycles, and a decreased ability to remember commands. While this condition is a progressive disease that can’t be cured, you can alleviate it through drug therapy, environmental changes and behavior modification.
Your dog’s licking problem may be simply an appetitive behavior. If you leave traces of crumbs on the kitchen floor and chairs, your canine companion may be simply trying to clean up after you. A more thorough cleaning of all surfaces will help reduce the licking problem. If this is too much to ask, close off the kitchen area so Rover won’t feel compelled to engage in his addicting house cleaning chores.
Why Does My Dog Lick the Couch All the Time ?
I like to lick a lot, but I only like to lick two things: my plate clean after a good meal, and I lick my humans to show them I love them.
I’m not really one of those dogs that are big into licking my toys or my fur or even my sleeping quarters, but let me tell you – I know loads of dogs who love to lick. They lick themselves. They lick their friends and family. They even lick the floor or bed. Does your dog do this? I’ve heard that one favorite licking spot of all dogs is the family couch. Weird, huh? Are you wondering “Why does my dog lick the couch like a maniac?” Well, there are a couple reasons why dogs lick in excess. Maybe one of these reasons will speak to your pup’s behavior.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Well, if your dog licks and licks and doesn’t stop even if you redirect her, there’s a good chance it’s an obsessive disorder. She will lick obsessively, and especially when stressed. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian right away if your dog is showing signs of obsessional behavior. You might also want to work with a trainer to redirect your furry friend, so the OCD doesn’t show up in different areas of her life as well.
Do you bite your nails? This is a stress-induced human habit that usually creates some form of comfort for the nail biter. Licking things, like couches, is a very similar habit in dogs. The act of licking, what dogs will do to other dogs in packs, comforts that dog enough to relax.
Does your dog get enough exercise and attention? If you work long hours and your dog is alone without much interaction, she’s probably super bored! Make sure to take the time to throw a ball around with your dog, take her to the dog park, or let her run loose in your yard. Dogs that are regularly bored can develop bad habits such as licking furniture and other items excessively.
After birth, a mother dog will groom her babies by licking them. This habit continues through adulthood as soon dogs begin to lick themselves in order to stay cleaning groomed. In the process of grooming herself, your dog may pick up smells or tastes of human skin particles on your couch, and begin licking the couch to clean – or groom – your tastes and smells as well. Keep in mind, if your dog starts licking furniture or other items out of the blue, it’s always a good idea to speak with your veterinarian to rule out any medical or neurological issues. If you find your dog keeps licking the couch, be sure to keep an eye on her tongue. It should be just fine, but it’s always a good idea to make sure she doesn’t get any cuts or scrapes from excessive licking.
How to stop dog licking paws ?
Paw licking in dogs is NOT a “bad habit” or “boredom” it is a symptom of a systemic problem, that is corrected through changing and improving your dog’s food. Change your dog’s food from carbohydrate based, to a meat based dog food. It is very simple.
Unfortunately, I have seen suggestions online that include spraying your dog’s feet with cayenne pepper, putting socks on your dog, give your dog a bone to distract him, yell and scream at your dog. All in an effort to stop dogs from licking their paws. Of course these are just “bandaids” if yeast is the culprit, then of course, NONE of these things will work!