Wet kisses from your dog show that they love you and their tongues are on the job whenever something yummy hits the floor. Your dog can lick for communication or enjoyment; however, excessive licking can be a real issue.
In order to stop a dog from licking, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause. Licking unnecessarily is a behavior that can be unhealthy for the dog or annoying for the pet parent to deal with. Rest easy though! The tongue can be tamed!
Take some time to understand the underlying cause.
First, take a look at this video, which does a great job of explaining some of the evolutionary reasons a dog might lick and what you can do about obsessive licking:
When does your dog lick? A nice welcome home is much different than repeated licking. Most of the time, licking can be a result of your dog feeling stressed, anxious, or just plain excited.
First, is your dog licking himself or you? This is an important question because these are very different behaviors.
It’s important to contact your veterinarian if your dog is repetitively licking the same body part. It could be itchy skin, bacterial infection or pain on that area. Even worse, licking over and over can cause more damage and pain to the area.
With rescue dogs it may be impossible to know their previous history, and they may have had a traumatic experience that caused them to develop compulsive behavior. For example, dogs in hostile environments can form a compulsive disorder to lick.
However, anxiety can be the culprit of this compulsive behavior as well. Anxiety can happen to any dog, even in the most loving home. Changes to their lifestyle, such as loss of a furry friend, moving to a new home, or having a new baby, can cause a dog to form a number of comfort-driven behaviors, including compulsive licking.
In these cases, your vet (or even a dog behaviorist) can probably help you identify the root cause of your pup’s behavioral problem.
But really: talking to a professional can help. Your dog might need medication, or you might need to put in some extra effort to help him relax.
Here are a few steps you can take to try to curb licking at home.
How to stop a dog from licking so much: Idea #1: Exercise!
Sometimes, a dog will lick because he’s just got too much energy stored up in his doggy body. It can be hard for a dog who’s stuck at home all day. To stop a dog from