What to Do When Your Dog Licks Excessively
If you have a dog, you may have heard about the benefits of licking. It helps to calm and soothe your pet, and licking also serves as a form of communication. Moreover, it is a great way to show your love for your pet.
Licking behavior in dogs has its origins in the wild. Dogs are pack creatures, and licking is one of their ways of showing affection. They may also lick to show their hunger or thirst. This behavior is especially common among older, mature dogs with mental issues.
While licking is natural, excessive licking can signal a variety of problems. One of the most obvious is an injury or ailment. Your veterinarian can check your dog for signs of injury or illness. Another problem is that of separation anxiety. A dog with separation anxiety may lick to seek comfort. There are solutions for a dog that licks excessively, however.
One of the first things you can do when you notice your dog licking is to walk away and leave the room for a moment. When a dog is licking a lot, the owner should avoid eye contact with the dog, which can reinforce the behavior. You can also distract your dog with an interactive puzzle or other activity.
During the process of licking, your dog will release dopamine endorphins, which are calming chemicals in the brain. These hormones help your dog feel relaxed and soothed. In addition, they have healing properties, as well.
Although licking is not a bad thing, it can be annoying and irritating. The best solution is to understand the purpose behind your dog’s licking. After all, it is your responsibility as a dog owner to make sure that your dog is happy and healthy. But before you start scolding your dog, you should first figure out what is going on.
First, you should know that dogs are highly sensitive to your emotional state. For example, if your dog licks you while you are upset, he or she will likely mirror that behavior. Therefore, you should try to respond to your dog’s anxious licking by cuddling or making other reassuring noises. Alternatively, you could distract your dog with a petting or a few short verbal praises.
In some cases, your dog is simply trying to get your attention. That’s because they want you to play with them or give them food. However, in other cases, your dog is actually licking out of curiosity.
Licking is also a natural way for a dog to groom himself or herself. This may occur after a shower or exercise. During the process, the skin may become slightly salty. Scented body washes or lotions may also appeal to your dog.
It is not uncommon for a new dog to be overly excited when it sees humans. This can cause mischief in the home. Luckily, you can train your dog to avoid licking you by using positive reinforcement.
Excessive licking can indicate a number of things, from physical illness to separation anxiety. It is not always a good idea to punish your dog for this behavior, as deterrents will only exacerbate the issue.