Stop The Licking of Your Dog: How To
Have you observed your dog to be doing more than his fair share of licking himself? Does he seem happy and comforted by doing it? How can you, as his owner, find out why he is doing this and how can you stop him from doing this nasty habit? Here are the top reasons as to why he has developed this addiction and how to correct it.
1. Your dog probably needs a bath.
Particularly if your dog plays a lot outdoors, like rolling around in the yard, running through the bushes, digging in the mud and splashing in a nearby pond, he may be just plain dirty. Your dog may just be irritated with the dirt on his body. So in order to rid himself of the dirt, he licks himself. Also, because of all the time he has spent outdoors, he may have caught on lice, mites, ticks or fleas.
Try to bathe him using a tick and flea shampoo that has been recommended by your veterinarian. Also, before giving him a bath, try to remove the tangles and mats of his coat first, as having them can make them worse.
2. Your dog might have a skin disease.
Skin diseases common to dogs are dermatitis and mange. Dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction from mold, dust mites, a dog food brand or fleas. Mange, on the other hand, can be acquired from different types of mites. If you think that your dog has contracted either, a trip to the veterinarian is in order to get a proper diagnosis and prescription for treatment.
3. Your dog may be stressed.
Your dog could be stressed because of separation anxiety, a previous physical abuse, a new adoption or even a new daily routine or a new kind of food you introduced in his diet. If you feel that he is suffering from separation anxiety, try to expose him to the be alone for a short time periods at first, gradually lengthening the time he is left alone until he finally overcomes his fear of being alone.
If you need to leave your dog for longer periods of time like when you go to work or take a business trip, try to have a friend or a relative to look after him and walk him during those days that you will be gone.
If the cause of stress is because of a new dog you got, try to make the transition of your old dog co-existing with the new one easier. You can do this by making your old dog feel more loved so that he will sense his importance in the family although there is a new member. Take your time in making your old and new dog adjust to each other and try to your best in making them both feel loved so that stress can be prevented.
Introducing a new kind of food in his diet can also possibly cause stress. If you are planning to give your dog a new brand or kind of food, do so gradually so that he can take his time to adjust to the new taste while having the comfort of his old food nearby. You can probably give a bit of the new food and plenty of the old food one day, and then increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the amount of the old food until such time he is able to eat just the new food.
If you are unable to discern what is causing your dog’s stress, it is necessary to consult your veterinarian before more serious concerns arise. He may be recommending you to visit a dog behaviorist or prescribe him with medication.
4. Your dog could have an injury that became an open wound.
If a dog has an injury, he will be licking himself as an effort to clean and sterilize the wound. Dog saliva is proven to have the ability of having germ-killing agents, so as your dog licks the wound, it helps in preventing the development of any infection.
If your dog seems to be experiencing pain because of the wound, or if the wound has some foreign material embedded in it, or has a deep wound, or has a wound that is already infected or is excessively bleeding, an immediate trip to the veterinarian is a must.
5. Your dog may just have become addicted to the habit of licking.
There are injury-free, dirt-free and parasite-free dogs that just would not let up in licking themselves. It could be that these dogs are just nervous and licking has become a way to release the tension. They could just be simply bored and licking has become a form of entertainment.
Make sure that you provide your dog with enough love and time to play so he can use all of his excess energy. Always observe your dog so you can figure out his needs and wants. Remember that a happy, healthy, content and well-loved dog will surely not resort to incessant licking to compensate fro anything.