Reasons Your Dog May Be Licking Excessively

October 19, 2020

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Dogs love to lick just as much as wag their tails.  Dog lick to show hunger, to groom themselves and to show affection. However excessive licking can be a sign of some concerning issues including pain, anxiety, and allergies. Licking can be one way to alleviate pain. If your dog is consistently licking the same spot, there’s a good chance something is bothering them in that area. Check for bumps, lesions, and foreign bodies, and monitor how she moves to see if arthritis or an injury may be the issue. Contact your vet if you think your pup might be in pain. They will be able to help diagnose any problems and provide options for medication. Itchy skin can trigger obsessive licking in a certain area as well. Inspect your pooch for hives, rashes, or fleas that might be bothering them. If she’s recently been outside, it could be a reaction to an environmental allergen, particularly if the issue is on or near their feet. Treat them to a nice warm bath to remove any potential irritants and soothe their skin. Occasional licking to relieve anxiety is perfectly normal. But if your dog continues to lick, it could turn into an obsessive-compulsive habit. Licking carpets or blankets is another indication that the behavior is rooted in anxiety. OCD in pets is caused by stress, so it’s important to try and figure out what environmental stressors could be causing the excessive licking. Dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and licking may be an indicator of nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort. Many dogs have an intolerance to grains, starches, and soy. They can even be negatively affected by the diet of the chicken or beef in their dog food. If you have ruled out medical issues as the cause of your dog’s licking, the root may be behavioral. Dogs use licking as a way to release endorphins that make them feel good.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens

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