Now let’s be clear on one thing here: dog licking themselves is part of their normal hygiene. It can become a problem when they start doing this excessively as licking on one area repeatedly can cause irritation and itching which can lead to more licking. This then causes an endless cycle which can result in hair loss and hard red sores. You need to know why this happens to your dog and find a way to stop him or her from doing this.
Here are some of the reasons for dogs’ excessive licking behaviour:
- Dogs often show their unhappiness through obsessive behaviour, in this case: licking. Many dogs do this when they are stressed or nervous. If you think your dog might be unhappy or stressed, ask yourself the following questions:
Have you been:
* giving enough attention to your dogs?
* taking your dogs out for exercise on daily basis?
*spending much time with your dog?
Once you find out the cause, this can be treated easily. For example, if your dog is licking due to boredom, you can counter that by providing him with more toys or walking him longer.
It is important to break your dog out of excessive licking cycle by redirecting his attention every time he begins licking unnecessarily. It may be the case that your dog does not notice it when he is licking obsessively.
Simple toys and giving him jobs like ‘where is your ball?’ can be good distractions.
- Allergy reaction could be another reason for excessive licking in dogs.
Have you changed your dog food brand recently?
Has your dog been eating random stuff on the floor when you take him outside the house?
In this case, you should check the food ingredients or have him take to the vet to identify the allergen.
Apart from this, it can be a matter of feeling irritated due to an exterior agent, such as lawn treatment or new paint in the house.
Whilst it may be less likely, if the licking started very recently, along with symptoms like excessive salivating or rapid breathing, your dog may have ingested something toxic.
- Sometimes you may find your dog licking you too much. To be honest, I don’t mind my dog lick my hand because it is a sign of affection. Of course, licking my face might just be too much…Some of your guests may find it disturbing if your dog licks them too much. If your dog has not been trained for this before, you can simply hold the collar, pull him away and at the same time, say with a firm voice ‘Stop’. If he stops, you should offer him a treat for being a good boy.
If your dog starts licking things inside the house e.g. furniture, you could try using taste deterrent. You can get taste deterrent from shops or make it yourself. I would certainly recommend homemade taste deterrent because it is easy and less expensive, and more importantly, it is natural.