So you suspect your dog has an upset stomach and now you have noticed your dog licking the carpet or licking the floor. I have a 5 month old Shih Tzu cross who has been doing really well. 1. If your dog is licking you excessively you might want to take a minute to look around. Your Dog Has a Paw Injury. These steps might include: Excessive licking in dogs is definitely a health concern as well as an annoying behavior for pet parents. Here are some things you might notice in this area: The licking is prolonged - It lasts longer than is required to explore or investigate the object. Either scenario can have numerous underlying causes, and your vet will have to investigate further. I hope that all goes well for her. He licks his paws, legs, the carpet blanket, pillow, sheets. Sometimes excessive paw licking in dogs can get quite out of hand and may lead to a compulsive disorder. However, dogs licking their paws excessively can also be a sign of a health or behavioral problem. Habitual Problems and Medical Problems. The causes of these licks may be divided into two reasons i.e. It could be the case that it is a compulsive behavior that it has developed which is where it feels the urge to lick the bed and it can’t stop itself from doing it. Keeping a low stress environment for anxious dogs can be very helpful also; quiet, low lighting, and slow movements. Pain. Lo… But we, the poor humans do not understand the message it passes on through Licking. Give him/her a favorite toy or treat to focus on, go for a walk, or even spend some quality time brushing your dog. But there are times when licking can become excessive and can be a clinical sign of an underlying illness. This entails close monitoring and side-tracking your dog when he starts to obsessively groom. Ask Your Own Dog Veterinary Question. When trying to determine why your dog is licking or chewing excessively, be sure to consider the possibility that something is making them physically uncomfortable. Show Less. Allergies to flea bites and certain proteins in pet food can cause similar signs. Some studies have shown that the act of licking increases endorphins in the brain which calms the dog while it is licking. If you notice your pet suddenly licking excessively, make sure you call your vet and schedule an appointment for the check-up. It is important to intervene to lessen or stop this behavior before the dog licks off all of its fur (usually confined to one site on the body, such as a leg or the abdomen), which can lead to skin infection (hot spots) and acral lick granulomas (which are masses that occur secondary to chronic abrasion with the tongue and inflammation to the area). But often, these glands get clogged leading to a bacterial infection or abscesses that can become quite uncomfortable for your pet. Your vet may also recommend some diagnostic tests, such as a fecal panel, blood testing, and/or x-rays, to rule out causes of belly upset. We have even given her Omega supplements. You are right to be concerned because most likely your dog appears very uncomfortable and even panicky, seeking your presence for reassurance. Excessive licking can be a symptom of liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, dental problems and other conditions. It Is An Expression Of Love. While this may be the case for some canines, recent research has suggested that gastrointestinal issues may actually be a major factor in the development of the behavior for many canines. Since there are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been licking your blanket, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. If your dog has recently given birth to puppies, she may be licking her bed because of a biological urge to keep her pups' environment clean. This type of odd behavior might be caused of either a neurological or physical illness. Neurological disorders, including cognitive dysfunction, are another concern. If there is trauma to the skin, your veterinarian will treat the skin infections and/or granulomas caused by the excessive licking and then determine if the licking is a medical disorder or something that can be alleviated with behavior training. Excessive licking of air, your face, the furniture, his paws, other animals, his genitals, the tile, the carpet -- virtually everything within reach, The licking may begin intermittently and increase in frequency and intensity as time goes on, Scratching and biting often accompany the excessive licking, Hot spots, red and abraded areas that are painful, Infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells and other inflammatory cells into gastrointestinal tissues, Administration of antibiotics for any bacterial infections found or antifungal medications for any fungal infections found, Dietary changes if a food allergy is suspected. Environmental allergies are caused by dusts, danders, pollens, and other airborne particles which lead to build-up on the skin and fur of the dog and in turn cause itching. It is important to discuss all of the pros and cons with your veterinarian prior to starting your dog on these medications. Impacted or infected anal glands are a fairly common cause of anal irritation in dogs. As I mentioned above, the main reasons for a dog licking excessively and suddenly can’t be explained in a couple of words rather the answer varies! Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!. Some dogs will also smack their lips or drool excessively when they feel nauseous. It is important to note that, if your pet is licking carpet, furniture and other fibrous surfaces, he may be ingesting fibers and hairs which can cause digestive issues that can range to intestinal blockages. Environmental allergies are caused by dusts, danders, pollens, and other airborne particles which lead to build-up on the skin and fur of the dog and in turn cause itching. You may catch your pooch bathing daily to keep clean. Excessive licking is a compulsive behavior which can affect any dog, of either gender, of any age and of any breed. Taking a couple of minutes to try and figure out what your dog wants can not only get him to stop licking, it can also help to strength your bond. Excessive licking or licking more than usual could be the sign of an underlying medical issue. It has increased in frequency over the past several months. The important point here is to get your family pet evaluated so that the important conditions are found and treated. Dogs may have something called excessive licking of surfaces, or ELS, where they lick not only the carpet, but also any other type of flooring as well. Still, sometimes natural products are not enough to calm your dog and stop excessive licking. If your veterinarian determines after examination (and possible diagnostic testing) that your dog is licking due to compulsive behavior or anxiety, there are some natural calming products that can be instituted. Following are some possible explanation as to … Lucas says that if your dog is licking something other than what’s listed here, it’s likely a sensory response or indicative of a problem. If your dog is licking just one foot or leg, that would indicate some sort of injury or ache. Items commonly caught in the mouth are bones, rawhides, toys, and sticks. Your veterinarian can help figure out what is going on and recommend treatment. Dogs can also have behavioral causes of excessive licking, such as anxiety or a type of obsessive disorder where they over-groom themselves. Marti C. ( 2015-09-02 17:08:49 -0600) edit. If it does seem to be doing it compulsively it would help to take it to a vet. For dogs that are intent on licking, chewing or scratching themselves only, the cause may be easier to find. There are two types of excessive licking categories: - This type is called Excessive Licking of Surfaces and can include anything and everything within reach in your canine family member’s world, - This type generally results in Acral Lick Dermatitis; it can begin as an allergic reaction or simply as a particular area that your canine family member just keeps licking, biting and chewing at until an abrasion or lesion is created which causes him to keep up the behavior. Behavioral changes are generally a signal that your pet could be sick or that something is amiss in his life. These infections and granulomas can be painful to the dog. In relation to the previous point, if we observe a female dog licking her genital area extensively and does it compulsively, it may be an indicator of stress. Infections from bacteria, fungus or parasitescan also cause itchiness and therefore lead to excessive licking. Owners may note that their dog licks in between the toes (sometimes leading to staining of the fur due to enzymes in the saliva), they may lick and chew at their hind end and their inner thighs. Dogs often will lick fabric if … An underlying health condition is generally causing this pain and discomfort. What Is Freeze-Dried Dog Food? Plants, such as foxtails, can also become lodged in the mouth and cause lip licking. If this resolves in a few days, it is probably a heat cycle, and if that annoys you, it may be best to have her spayed. The very first thing to do is to decide if the behavior is out of the ordinary. The symptoms of excessive licking are precisely what the name suggests -- compulsive and extreme amounts of time spent licking and it can be virtually anything in sight or within reach. Cushing's disease, a condition marked by an overactive adrenal gland, and liver disease are other potential causes of obsessive floor licking. Loud noises, separation anxiety and/or change in environment can lead to this behavior. But an eagle eye is of unparalleled necessity. They might even compulsively lick their paws over and over again (which is actually a separate condition called acral lick dermatitis). I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. For instance, if you notice your dog biting their paw repeatedly, they could have a thorn or sharp stone stuck in their foot pad. Thank you for your question. Once you have a good … Licking the furniture can signal a dog’s anxiety or stress or even a medical condition. A dog licking various objects is considered pretty much normal among pet owners and experts. What Are Some Causes of Excessive Licking? These natural products tend to have little to no side effects and are safest when starting a treatment plan. Here are the most common reasons for dogs that lick their paws excessively. Constant licking can lead to bald patches and painful trauma to the skin, so it’s good to take care of it sooner rather than later. I have heard that it is an allergy, but not sure. Dogs lick themselves, that’s a fact of life, but when does it get to be an issue? Excessive licking is the compulsive licking of any surface for a period of time which is longer than is needed for exploratory or investigative purposes. Because this behavior is so difficult to treat, it's important to determine the cause to most effectively treat the problem. There are shampoos that can help calm the itching as well as veterinary prescribed anti-histamines to keep your dog comfortable. Compulsive behavior would be more likely if it has been doing it excessively for more than a week. “You’ll occasionally see a dog licking a window or a tile floor,” she says. Does your dog lick things obsessively? Most likely your dog is also pacing, acting anxious and gulping repeatedly after licking the carpet, whats going on? She only eats grain-free food for sensitive skin. This is most likely a sign that your dog is in pain in some way. This can help get his/her mind off of the compulsions. We have to stop him, but it is only a temporary fix. There are six major causes of why your dog may obsessively lick [3]. She has thrown up once - all dust. My … I have a Bichon that licks excessively. But, so far observed, licking isn’t an unfamiliar incident in case of dogs. It's one of the many ways they investigate their environment. He will also need to do some testing to rule out as many of the systemic causes for any potential skin infections or deeper internal abnormalities as possible. What is causing her to lick her privates constantly. It’s most likely the result of dental trauma that is giving them a sore mouth. Once your veterinary professional has completed his assessment of your family pet, an appropriate treatment plan will be developed and initiated. Abnormal Licking . There are quite a few causes of excessive licking, so finding the underlying problem may be difficult at first. My dog is constantly licking. Allergies to flea bites and certain proteins in pet food can cause similar signs. Cleaning your dog’s paws with doggie wipes or a warm washcloth after walks outside can help to decrease environmental allergens. Is It Better Than Dehydrated Dog Food. My Dog is Drooling and Licking Excessively. In the meantime, you can learn about five common reasons why dogs start licking things more. While it is a behavior which can drive a pet parent crazy, it is not without its serious side. Dogs with something caught in their mouth, also known as a “foreign body,” can lick their lips excessively. We thought he had wet himself so cleaned him all up. If underlying systemic causes are found, expect that your vet’s primary concern will be to treat those underlying systemic diseases and conditions for the safety and health of your pet. Your vet will perform a physical and neurological examination and will need to order some testing based on his findings in that examination. Causes of Excessive Licking in Dogs The excessive licking behavior in dogs has been, for many years, attributed to Diversion techniques can be instituted if your pet is over grooming. Your veterinarian can often prescribe or administer medications to help control and sometimes eliminate the nausea for your pet. However, from the experiences I have gained when analyzing why does my dog lick me so much, it’s a way of passing the message telling you that something is missing. In extreme cases, this may cause baldness and skin lesions to form. Possible reasons why your dog has been licking blankets are that it is anxious, it likes the taste due to sweat or dead skin cells on the blanket, it smells your scent on the blanket or that it is a compulsive behavior. Very dilute apple cider vinegar can also be sprayed on the skin to deter licking but should be discussed with a veterinarian first to be sure it will not irritate the skin further. You should expect him to order blood testing, urine and fecal samples, perhaps tissue scrapings from abraded areas and even some imaging studies like x-ray, CT scanning or MRI studies. If this is something that’s been going on for some time with no detectable health issues involved, there’s probably nothing to worry about. As we cover in our guide to why a dog licks everything in sight, they are trying to soothe themselves in some way. Is your dog suddenly starting to lick his paw more often than usual? The dog could be excessively licking the other dog’s genitals because he detects a brewing issue like infection. Fourteen (14) of the nineteen (19) were found to have gastrointestinal issues, like: Giardiasis - an infection caused by the giardia parasite. Mother dogs commonly lick their puppies as a way of cleaning them. Of course, your input will be very important as he assesses your family pet’s condition. Licking can be one way to alleviate pain. One such study was done in Montreal using 19 canines who were suffering from excessive licking of surfaces. Share this conversation . Some dogs with ELS will even lick your furniture, walls, or any other surface in your home they can get to. Emotional Problems. Joined: May 19, 2009 Messages: 5 Likes Received: 0. All dogs lick. Dog suddenly excessive licking. If your dog is showing these signs and they last more than 24 hours, or if they are at all associated with vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite, it is important to contact your veterinarian. Your dog may be coming into heat, or she may have an infection. Thank you for your question. Credit: yellowsarah/Getty Images. When a dog is stressed, they try to release tension through behaviors that, in many cases, can be misdiagnosed. She has never done this before, and I can't seem to stop her. Allergies are the number one cause of excessive licking in dogs. Other times, bed-licking may simply indicate that your dog is hungry or looking for food. Your input will be needed regarding your pet’s dietary regimen, husbandry habits, health history and vaccinations (if that information is not readily available to the attending vet),  exercise routine and frequency, urinating and defecating habits and behaviors and any changes in any behaviors noted and the duration of those changes. Perhaps you’ve seen your dog licking their behind repeatedly over several days, weeks, or months. And When Should You Worry About Licking? If there is an underlying health condition which needs to be addressed, and that condition is addressed, then the prognosis is better for improvement in the behavior. It seems to get worse at night. Show More. I hope that your pet is feeling better. This is an innate behavior in the animal kingdom. But when a dog obsessively and abnormally licks the floor, or brick walls, or other objects…that is another story. We woke up this morning to find that his bed was soakings, as was his tail and paws. A dog may start licking as a result of some emotional problems, such as boredom, anxiety, stress, etc. With the newer research into the gastrointestinal component, your vet may wish to do a gastric work up on your pet to look for those causes. Over time, this licking behavior can develop into an obsession. Your dog might want food and water if the bowls are empty, or he might want you to open the door so he can go outside. They could also experience an allergic reaction to environmental triggers, such as pollen or mold in the air. Most dog owners would agree that this behavior is unusual. The treatment plan will, of course, be dependent upon the findings in the various examinations and testing of your pet. Depending on his assessment, he may also need to order an emotional evaluation of your pet to assess the anxiety issue. We made sure that it was not her food. Some excessive licking among dogs is caused by allergies. These include: allergies, boredom, dry skin, hormonal imbalance, pain, and … Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by ell1e, May 19, 2009. ell1e PetForums Newbie. Dogs exhibit scooting, licking, and dragging rear end behavior because they are in pain or discomfort. However, these medications can have side effects and are usually only given for chronic conditions. These include injuries; skin problems; environmental, parasite, or … If you think your dog is excessively licking, it is pertinent to discuss these signs with your veterinarian. If the problem doesn't resolve, and she continues to lick herself, then she may have an infection, and it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian. may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thanks for any help. Quality of life is the most important thing when it comes to our pets. The paw licking may start innocently as a way of coping with an allergy, arthritis or a mental state of boredom, anxiety or frustration, and soon the dog becomes addicted to it. The excessive licking behavior in dogs has been, for many years, attributed to anxiety and stress release. Your vet may wish to look at that issue as well. Many canines who lick compulsively do so from anxiety reasons, there are also some underlying systemic causes which must be addressed to protect your pet. Dogs can also have behavioral causes of excessive licking, such as anxiety or a type of obsessive disorder where they over-groom themselves. Some studies have shown that the act of licking increases endorphins in the brain which calms the dog while it is licking. A dog may lick furniture because he’s bored. She is licking the floor, the carpet, the furniture. If it is determined to be a result of ongoing home care or changes in home routines, changes could be temporary if those ongoing recommendations aren’t continued. Licking can also be a sign of nausea in some dogs. My female dog keeps excessively licking her crotch, and her bottom nipples seem puffy. Emotional evaluation of your pet is simply taking his/her daily bath can develop into an obsession pooch bathing to. 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