There are a number of reasons your dog lick stuff. For them, it is a way to show affection, love, stress as well as their anxiety level. It’s a natural behavior that allows them to be calm and feel relaxed just like a normal human feeling while taking a massage. Dogs might lick surfaces because they like the way it tastes. Licking is a complex behavior and if your dog is licking too much, it’s worth visiting a veterinary doctor to understand the reason behind that behavior. The common reasons for such behaviors are:
Dog Lick Stuff due to Stress and anxiety:
Excessive licking might be a sign of anxiety or stress. When the environment around them is too noisy or you’re shifting your house and the change in their environment might trigger them to stress. In such conditions, the dogs might look for ways to calm themselves. Licking raises the level of endorphins that help them to keep calm in such a stressful condition. If your dog is licking feet, this could be a sign that they are looking for their comfort in a stressful environment.
If your dog is licking you more than the usual routine, help him to deal with the anxiety. Take your dog out on a walk, spend time while playing with them or serving them the food they like the most. These might help to take them out of the stress or anxiety they are feeling, but if this doesn’t work, consider visiting a vet for the treatment plan.
Dogs find their tongue as a useful way to give them a quick bath. Sometimes they lick themselves so much and over-grooming results in bald patches on their fur. Over grooming can be a result of anxiety, frustration or boredom.
As the dogs can’t speak, licking is the option for a fine conversation or to show the affection to the person they like. It’s a way to communicate and express their feelings. For them, it’s a way to show how much your existence matters for them.
If you always reward your dogs as giving them attention whenever they lick you, it becomes a behavior and whenever they wants your eyes on them, they will start licking you. It’s usually when they want something from your side. Investigate their behavior further, they might want something to eat or drink. Just provide them the things they are looking for and they will reward you with copious tail wagging.
Dog Lick Stuff due to Skin irritation:
Licking their skin or feet could be a response to resolve the skin problems too. Dogs tend to lick the skin to avoid scratchy feeling on the wounds or allergies, but excessive licking might cause more harm. Skin irritation could be a result of flea bites or common skin problems. If you notice raw red spots and missing fur, don’t wait much to visit a vet.
Dog Lick Stuff due to Hunger and Thirst:
If your dog is licking the empty food bowl or smacking their lips, they might need something to eat. They might do this as a response to show excitement for incoming food. If your dog is feeling dehydrated, he might lick to combat their dry tongue, or throat because licking stimulates the salivary glands.
Stress and boredom:
Some dogs lick when they feel boredom which they face due to changes in routine, separation anxiety or leaving a pre-loved space. If you suspect such situation, try spending time with them. Play with your dog to address this issue and take the anxiety away.
Excessive licking can be a sign of neurological disorders. It is more common in older dogs and is similar to dementia in human beings and licking is one of the first symptoms pointing towards this disorder. Other symptoms include sleeping more than usual, becoming withdrawn or pacing around the house. Licking more than usual might be a sign for the serious issue. Make sure to arrange a visit to the vet.
If your dog licks everything around them, including the non-food items, this might be a condition known as pica. This is due to lack of nutrients in the diet that sends your pup looking for these nutrients in obvious places. A visit to the vet will help to figure out the missing nutrient in the diet or to point out the other reason responsible for this behavior.
When dog licking should make you worry?
Every dog is different in the way it communicates to the owner. There are no hard rules to find out the signs that your dog is unwell but if your dog is licking everything of a sudden, you should visit a vet. Always consider the changes in your dog’s environment or routine that might trigger anxiety. So if your dog is licking so much, try to figure out the possible changes in the environment.