Does your dog have a seemingly incessant licking habit?
Why is he doing it?
How do you get him to knock it off?
Here are five common reasons why your dog might be incessantly licking himself and how to correct it.
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How to “Lick” Your Dog’s Incessant Licking Habit!
An incessant licking habit is rarely a disease itself but rather the symptom of an underlying issue.
Below are the most common issues and some tips to resolve them.
However, it’s important to note that if the licking behavior just started out of the view, a vet visit is in order.
1. He Needs a Bath!
If Fido spends a lot of time outside rolling around in the mud, he is probably dirty.
He may be constantly licking himself because all of that dirt is irritating him!
All that outdoor fun could also leave him fleas and ticks.
Your dog’s incessant licking may be an attempt to rid himself of those nasty critters!
Give him a bath with a veterinarian-approved flea and tick shampoo.
Before bathing him, make sure you brush out all the mats and tangles from his coat or the bathing will make them worse.
2. He has a skin condition
Some breeds, like Pit Bulls, are particularly prone to skin problems. Others may have mange or dermatitis.
If you suspect that either is the case, visit your vet.
Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose what the disorder is and prescribe the right treatment treatment.
3. His licking habit stems from stress
Your dog could be licking from stress! Anything from separation anxiety to a new pet to changes in the household can cause it.
If you think separation anxiety might be the cause of his stress, there are several methods for solving the problem.
Try exposing your dog to being alone for very short periods of time.
When your dog has adjusted to being alone for that duration of time, gradually increase your departure period.
If you must be away from your dog for a long period of time, find a friend or neighbor who could come over and take him for a walk a couple of times during the day.
If you cannot determine the cause of your dog’s stress, talk to your veterinarian.
He’ll be able to refer you to a dog behaviorist who will be able to determine the cause of your dogs stress.
If your dog has severe separation anxiety, an anti-anxiety medication might be considered to alleviate the anxiety.
4. He’s hurt
A dog that has an open wound will lick herself incessantly in an attempt to clean the wound and keep it free from bacteria.
In the wild, this is how dogs kept those wounds clean!
Since it’s hard to know which wounds are minor and which are potentially deadly, contact your vet for advice.
Veterinarian treatment is required if your dog appears to be in pain or the cut is deep enough to require stitches, is bleeding excessively or becomes infected.
5. He just has a bad habit
Some dogs develop the habit of licking their paws incessantly despite them being clean, uninjured and parasite-free!
Your dog may develop the habit of constantly licking himself because he has alot of nervous energy and no way to alleviate the stress.
He also may have learned this behavior because he is bored and this is a way to entertain himself!
Give your dog lots of time to play and run and work off any excess energy. Consider getting him a dog treadmill to burn off that energy.
Then, he won’t feel the need to relentlessly lick himself to relieve stress or boredom!
Remember, unless the licking itself isn’t the problem. Your goal is to discover the root of the licking, then work on that.
With a little training, attention to proper grooming, and regular veterinarian visits, you can ‘lick’ your dog’s incessant licking habit!