We’re sure you’ve all seen a dog that just will not quit licking. Licking faces, themselves, hands, furniture, the ground, the air. It can be pretty amusing at first but once you see your dog continue the behavior it really makes you wonder. What’s up with the neurotic licking?
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There can be many reasons why a dog has a licking problem. The dog could potentially have a neurological disorder, but more commonly it can be the result of boredom and anxiety.
The first step in getting to the bottom of your pet’s habit is a vet exam to rule out any brain function issues. If a conventional veterinarian doesn’t find any neurological issues, it can also be worth the visit to a holistic pet doctor for acupuncture and a massage. This will help your pup relax! If acupuncture seems like too much, consider water therapy!
If your vet doesn’t find any major issues with your pup, the licking is probably a coping technique. It may be in response to fear, stress, anxiety, or boredom. Dog anxiety is usually the result of inadequate exercise or pent up energy. Their anxiety can be curbed with plenty of exercise, attention, and love. Chew toys are also very helpful to redirect the inappropriate licking.
Lastly, consider how you react to your dog’s absurd licking. Do you laugh, coo, and aww? If you’re giving your pet a positive reaction to their behavior they will become more likely to repeat it. Your dog might even be asking for attention when they start a licking rampage. Make sure you only reward good behaviors; it will be your best form of doggy communication!
This is a problem many dogs have and it is a hard habit to kick. So in the meantime, be patient with your pup and take preventative measures to keep your furry friend out of harm’s way. Excessive self-grooming can damage their skin and fur growth. You can minimize licking by using bitter sprays, special collars that prevent access certain spots, and keeping a close eye on your dog.