How To Stop Your Dog From Excessive Licking? (Solved)

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Licking You

  1. Ignore It. When your dog starts licking you, walk away.
  2. Put Something in Their Mouth.
  3. Get Some Exercise.
  4. Take a Shower.
  5. Change Your Body Scent.
  6. Reward Good Behavior.


How do I stop my dog from compulsive licking?

Treatment for Your Dog’s Compulsive Scratching, Licking, and Chewing

  1. Eliminating parasites. There are a variety of flea and tick products that your veterinarian can recommend.
  2. Changing foods.
  3. Using medication.
  4. Preventing the behavior.
  5. Addressing anxiety or boredom.

What causes dogs to lick excessively?

There are six major causes of why your dog may obsessively lick [3]. These include: allergies, boredom, dry skin, hormonal imbalance, pain, and parasites. Allergies may be environmental or food-based. Boredom and behavioral issues can cause a number of different forms of excessive licking.

Why is my dog licking the floor all of a sudden?

Dogs often lick the floor just for the taste and texture. However, if your dog is licking obsessively for long periods, then it might be ELS or excessive licking of surfaces. ELS can be caused by stress, anxiety, or in rare cases OCD. More commonly though, ELS is the result of a gastrointestinal problem.

Will baking soda help my dog stop itching?

When combined with water and blended into a thick paste, baking soda can dry out rashes on the skin, alleviate itching, and reduce redness and inflammation. 7 All you have to do is combine 50 percent baking soda with 50 percent water and apply the paste to your dog’s skin. After about 20 minutes, rinse completely.

Why is my dog licking the cement floor?

The minerals and clay-like smell of the tiles may trigger your dog’s obsessive licking. He may have a dietary deficiency or particular nutrient need. Anemic dogs and some with cancer and other debilitating diseases often lick brick and concrete surfaces. Discomfort can intensify this so-called pica.

Why is my dog licking the tile floor?

Sometimes, dogs lick floor tiles when they have a particular nutrient deficiency in their diet. If your floor tiles are clay, brick or even cement, they may be attractive to your pet because they smell like minerals missing from your pet’s diet.

Does apple cider vinegar stop itching on dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is a natural, safe soother for especially dry, itchy skin. The antiseptic and antifungal nature of apple cider vinegar makes it a great form of relief from poison ivy but NOT on raw or opened skin. If your dog has itched their skin raw, this solution will sting the exposed wound.

What can I rub on my dog for itching?

Baking Soda Mix together one part baking soda and one part water to create a thick paste, and then apply this paste in a thin layer to your dog’s itchy skin. Make sure to rub the mixture in through your pup’s fur to get it directly on the affected area.

Does vinegar help dog itching?

Apple cider vinegar has a lot of uses for not only humans but also pets. If your pet has itchy skin, this concoction of 50/50 water and ACV spray can help relieve your pet’s skin allergies or irritation. This home remedy can also be used in a bath format.

Obsessive Dog Licking

Cambryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and longtime animal enthusiast who presently has two dogs, both of whom she feeds Purina Pro Plan dog food on the advice of her veterinarian. This post was authored by Cambryn Rabideau. The issue of pet nutrition may be difficult to understand, so she turned to Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital, for advice on what characteristics to look for in a dog food product. Besides that, she conducted extensive research through reputable organizations such as the AAFCO, the WSAVA, Tufts University, and the Pet Nutrition Alliance (PNA).

Excessive Licking in Dogs: Why it’s a Problem, and Four Ways to Fix Your Dog’s Itch!

Cameron Rabideau, a freelance writer and lifelong animal lover, wrote this piece. She now has two dogs, both of whom she feeds Purina Pro Plan dog food, which was recommended by her veterinarian. Dr. Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital, provided her with advice on what to look for in a dog food. She also conducted extensive research from reliable sources such as the AAFCO, the WSAVA, Tufts University, and the Pet Nutrition Alliance. In order to assess the quality of various dog food brands, she looked at their product range, nutritional content, ingredients, recalls, and development team, prioritizing brands with comprehensive teams that included veterinarians, nutritionists, and scientists.

What is Excessive Licking?

A condition known as excessive or obsessive licking is the persistent licking of a specific part of the body over and over again until the skin or hair is completely removed. Your dog may also get obsessed with the location and scratch or gnaw at it. A dog’s excessive licking can result in the formation of hot spots, which are red raw spots where the skin and fur have been stripped away. Though the region is uncomfortable or really unpleasant, your dog may grunt uncomfortably, and you may notice that he or she begins to lick the area practically continually, even if there appears to be nothing wrong with him or her.

Objects such as the same spot on the floor, couches, bedding, flooring, toys, and other items may be licked repeatedly by dogs until the fabric of the object is completely depleted or a bald spot is formed.

What Are Some Causes of Excessive Licking?

At first, it may be difficult to determine the underlying reason of excessive licking because there are so many different possibilities. When a dog is exclusively interested in licking, gnawing, or scratching himself, the source of the problem may be easy to identify. There are six basic reasons why your dog may be licking himself excessively. Allergies, boredom, dry skin, hormone imbalance, discomfort, and parasites are just a few of the issues that might arise. Allergies can be triggered by the environment or by food.

  • Food-based allergies can cause redness and itching on the skin, as well as stomach symptoms such as bloating, excessive gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • It is possible that hormonal imbalance and discomfort are caused by a metabolic disorder such as Cushing’s disease, allergies, thyroid difficulties, and other factors.
  • In order to discover the underlying reason, a medical examination is frequently required.
  • Mites and lice may also be found in the ears, resulting in persistent scratching of the ears and licking of the paws in an attempt to relieve the itch and relieve the lice.
  • Boredom licking is the most prevalent cause of obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as licking the same region over and over again even after the underlying cause has been addressed, and it may also be the primary reason for licking items other than one’s own body.

Constant licking can be caused by stress, and a stressed dog may attempt to lick objects or themselves in an attempt to calm down and relieve stress.

What Are Problems Related to Excessive Licking?

At first, it may be difficult to determine the underlying reason of excessive licking because there are so many possible explanations. Dogs who are exclusively interested in licking, gnawing, or scratching themselves may find it more difficult to determine what is causing their behavior. It is possible for your dog to lick himself excessively for a variety of reasons. A few examples of these include allergic reactions to foods and environmental stimuli; boredom; dry skin; hormone imbalance; pain; and parasite infestation.

  • Environmental allergens often cause difficulties mainly in the areas where your dog comes into touch with the allergen, such as the legs or belly, but they can also cause full-body itching, redness, or a rash over the entire body.
  • Inadequate nutrition in the diet, excessive bathing, seasonal changes in the weather, and allergies can all contribute to dry skin.
  • An illness caused by bacteria, fungus, or yeast on the skin may also result in discomfort for the person experiencing it.
  • Itching can be caused by fleas, ticks, and lice, which may affect the entire body or specific parts of the body, such as the legs, back of the neck, or base of the tail.
  • Excessive licking can be caused by a variety of factors, including boredom and behavioral problems.
  • It may also be the primary reason for licking things other than one’s own body.

Ways to Fix the Itch!

(Fish oil, for example, might be beneficial!) Treatment may begin as soon as the underlying reason of your dog’s excessive licking behavior is identified and addressed! Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available, both natural and traditional, to assist you in breaking your dog’s habit, healing the underlying problem, and getting him back to feeling better! Here are four ways you may assist your dog in alleviating the itch and healing his skin.

Traditional Treatments

Traditional treatments entail the use of regular medications to alleviate the symptoms. The use of this method can be beneficial if the cause of your dog’s itching and chewing is allergies, external parasites, or infection caused by fungus, bacteria, or yeast, among other things. It is possible to treat both food-based and environmental allergies using allergy drugs, such as over-the-counter Benadryl or prescriptions from your veterinarian. External parasites can be treated with a monthly topical treatment, tablet, or medicated collar, depending on the severity of the infestation.

Ointments applied in the ears or on the skin may also be effective in treating mites and infections that are restricted to the ears or a specific portion of the body.

Non-Medicinal Treatments

Non-medicinal therapies are those that do not involve the administration of pharmaceuticals in order to provide relief to your pet. In addition to pharmaceuticals and natural supplements, they can be taken on their own or in conjunction with other vitamins and drugs. When the cause of the obsessive licking is due to a behavioral issue rather than an underlying medical condition, non-medicinal treatments are frequently used to treat the condition. Boredom, tension, and worry are all examples of this.

  • The traditional function of these devices was to prevent patients from licking or biting at IV lines or bandages, so preventing them from becoming loose.
  • When your dog lays his tongue on the device, it generates a static charge, which is enough to dissuade licking without inflicting any harm.
  • Pheromone sprays and diffusers are becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for stress and anxiety.
  • These sprays are frequently used in conjunction with another no-lick technique to reduce anxiety while the habit is being altered.

Natural Supplement Treatments

In certain cases, natural supplements are an ideal alternative to potentially dangerous drugs or deterrents for treating extreme itching. Dietary supplements such as vitamin E, fish oil, and diatomaceous earth are among the most often utilized natural therapies. Vitamin E and fish oil are wonderful supplements that may aid in the reduction of dry skin, the improvement of the coat and skin’s general health, the reduction of inflammation, and the alleviation of discomfort. When the source of the itch is dry skin, hormonal imbalance generating dry skin as a secondary problem, or to relieve discomfort and inflammation caused by allergies or parasite bites, vitamin E and fish oil are excellent options to consider.

For a long time, people have relied on diatomaceous earth as a natural parasite treatment.

It works by dehydrating the outer “shell” of parasites, forcing them to die, and it does so without causing harm to humans or domestic animals.

If you have fleas or ticks, diatomaceous earth may be applied directly to the skin to kill them. It can also be used in the environment to prevent them from breeding in bedding or carpets, and it can even be taken orally to halt internal parasites!

Diet Changes

Not to mention that altering your dog’s nutrition can make a significant impact in his or her recurrent scratching and licking! When it comes to food allergies, they can be a major source of discomfort, causing itching, chewing, and the development of secondary infections. Identifying the items in your dog’s food that he is allergic to can assist you in making suitable dietary changes and putting an end to the problem. The majority of dogs are allergic to common ingredients such as corn, soy, and wheat products; however, some dogs may be allergic to specific protein sources such as chicken or beef, depending on their breed.

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Making the switch to a grain-free or novel protein diet can help to improve the skin and coat of your dog while also reducing the occurrence of allergic symptoms such as skin redness, rash, itching, and pain.

Yogurt and other probiotic supplements can assist in maintaining the body’s natural flora balance both internally and externally, thereby reducing the likelihood of secondary itching.

Knowing the possible causes, problems, and treatment options for your dog’s issues can be a great first step toward resolving the issue.


Creative Commons/Pixabay donated all of the photos used in this post. Home Remedies for Your Canine Companion.” PetMD, accessed on May 2, 2016. Dr. Becker is a veterinarian. “Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis or Lick Granuloma is a condition that affects the licking of a dog’s skin.” This is why you shouldn’t ignore your dog’s obsession with licking his paws. Mercola, August 31, 2012. Accessed May 2, 2016. “Dogs with Compulsive Licking, Biting, and Scratching,” says the author. Compulsive scratching, licking, and chewing are associated with dogs.

  1. Mary Straus is a writer and editor who lives in New York City.
  2. “The Advantages of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs.” “The Advantages of Diatomaceous Earth for Dogs.” Dogs Naturally Magazine, 2001.
  3. Valerie Tynes, DVM, is a veterinarian.
  4. “Everything gets licked by my dog.” DVM360 (April 1, 2008).

Why Is My Dog Licking Me? Tips To Identify And Alleviate Problem Licking

  • Dog licking is seen as a show of affection by many dog owners, in the same way as kissing is regarded. If you are licking your lips obsessively, you may be suffering from an underlying condition such as worry, boredom, or dread. Troublesome licking can be successfully redirected in a good manner through trick training.

The best part about arriving home to akissfrom a happy pooch is the company.

The majority of dog owners consider licks from their dogs to be expressions of affection. For want of a better term, this is the closest your dog friend will come to kissing you. Is this, however, correct? In addition, what should you do if your dog’s licking has become out of hand?

Is Licking a Dog’s Way Of Kissing?

What could be better than returning home to an ecstatic dog? Loving licks from your dog are often taken as a sign of affection by most dog owners. For want of a better expression, this is the closest your dog friend will get to kissing you. Does this, however, represent the truth? In addition, what should you do if your dog’s licking has become excessive?

When Is Licking a Problem?

The majority of licking is innocuous, and in some cases, it is even welcomed as a form of self-expression on the side of the dog. Burch points out that there’s no need to be concerned about it being a kind of dominance; in fact, it’s just the contrary. The licking, according to one notion, is a show of surrender, she explains. A more powerful member of the pack will lick the canines that are more subservient, according to the theory. Despite this, there are several situations in which you may wish to prevent your dog from having a drool fest on your carpet.

You should alter the behavior of your dog when you have a germaphobic buddy who recoils every time your dog approaches.

However, licking might be an indication of a more serious condition in other cases.

An obsession with self-licking can also be a symptom of allergies or other medical conditions.

What Can Dog Owners Do About Problem Licking?

The first step should be to get your dog examined by a veterinarian to see whether he or she is suffering from any medical concerns or pain. After you’ve ruled out medical causes for your symptoms, you may look into behavioral remedies. As Dr. Burch suggests, “one approach is to refocus your dog’s attention.” “When they lick their lips, change the activity. Choosing a behavior that is incompatible with licking, such as solving an interactive puzzle to obtain a treat, is an excellent alternative.

  • Trick training, in particular, is an effective method of transforming a habitually undesirable behavior into an opportunity for positive reinforcement and reinforcement.
  • Why not harness your dog’s devotion by training them to give you a hug as the next step?
  • Other tactics to work on include sitting up, army crawling, and leg weaving, to name a few examples.
  • Make sure that your affectionate dog receives plenty of attention and exercise, regardless of whether or not you decide to engage in trick-training.
  • Do you require assistance in training your dog?

Helpline. You will be connected with a professional trainer who will provide you with limitless, tailored assistance on anything from behavioral concerns to CGC preparation to getting started in dog sports through telephone.

9 Reasons Why Dogs Lick Excessively

All dogs lick their lips, however some dogs lick excessively. There is frequently a behavioral or medical explanation for the licking.

Why Do Dogs Lick Us?

Dogs lick their lips for a variety of reasons that are considerably more prevalent than medical causes, and it is not typically a symptom of a major health problem. Licking and grooming themselves, furniture, and other surfaces, as well as you, can be considered excessive licking activity. Dogs may lick their owners’ skin because they enjoy the salty flavor, as a display of devotion, or just out of habit and boredom. Licking may also be comforting or soothing to certain dogs, similar to how people feel after receiving a relaxing massage or treatment.

Behavioral Reasons Why Dogs Lick

  1. In order to relieve boredom and/or tension
  2. To calm or quiet The person or animal that they are licking has their affection
  3. It’s a habit
  4. You like the flavor

Medical Reasons Why Dog Lick Excessively

Excessive licking or licking more than usual could be a sign of a medical problem that is not immediately apparent. Excessive licking will frequently produce symptoms that are similar to those induced by behavioral licking (hair loss, skin redness, irritation, etc.). There are a variety of medical reasons for licking, including allergies and a condition that causes the skin or paws to itch. Infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites can also induce irritation, which can result in excessive licking of the skin.

This is similar to what happens when they lick a sore muscle or joint.

A final reason for licking can be due to digestive problems or discomfort.

Medical Reasons Why Dogs Lick

Instead of disciplining your dog when he licks himself excessively, causing hot areas, shedding fur, or skin discomfort, encourage him to lick himself. Distract their attention by providing them with alternate activities to keep them engaged. It is also possible to use positive reinforcement training to assist your dog stop licking by rewarding him or her when they execute the desired action. When you tell your dog to “Leave it,” you may praise him or her for ceasing their licking. If it is suspected that the cause is medical in nature, a visit with your veterinarian will be necessary to diagnose and treat your dog’s illness properly.

How to get your dog to stop licking

Dogs’ natural instincts dictate that they lick practically everything, including their owners, other four-legged companions, their own fur, and even their own food. However, although receiving the odd slobbery lick from your beloved dog is a lovely display of devotion, this habit may become bothersome—not to mention unsanitary—if it is repeated frequently. Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC), warns that while most licking is innocuous, owners should be aware that it can occasionally be an indication of a serious condition.

According to the American Kennel Club, “Occasional paw licking is natural and occurs as part of a dog’s self-grooming process.” Injury, skin issues, environmental, parasite, or food allergies, boredom, or anxiety are possible reasons for dogs to lick or chew their paws.” If the licking begins abruptly and is limited to one paw, examine the paws to see if there is an injury such as a cut, ripped nail, growth, thorn, or ice ball lodged between the pads.

If the licking continues, see your veterinarian.

Klein says, can all lead to excessive licking in dogs, and they should all be addressed by a veterinary professional.

These problems are more difficult to identify and require more investigation.” And while the specific reasons why the majority of healthy canines like licking remain a mystery, animal specialists have provided some helpful suggestions for controlling excessive slobbery tongue motion.

Here are some tried-and-true methods for keeping your pet from licking your face.

1. Ignore The Dog’s Licking

As soon as the dog starts licking your face, step away and quickly discontinue all attention, including eye contact with the dog. Lisa Perry Photography is a contributor to Getty Images. When the dog starts licking your face, simply move away and discontinue all attention, including eye contact, with the dog. Providing this annoying activity continues to go unrewarded by its master’s attention, the licking should begin to subside sooner rather than later.

2. Insert An Alternative Into The Dog’s Mouth

Divert your dog’s attention away from you by providing an oral alternative such as a toy or bone as a reward for your good behavior. Photograph by smrm1977/Getty Images Provide an oral alternative to a dog’s natural need to lick its master. This might be something as simple as a chewy toy or a bone. Such substitutions should keep the dog both engaged and focused by providing the pet canine with something more acceptable to lick than the original item.

3. Exercise The Dog

A lengthy walk should help to lessen a dog’s stress levels, which may in turn help to diminish the animal’s desire to lick its master. Photographs courtesy of Getty Images A lengthy walk should help to lessen a dog’s stress levels, which may in turn help to diminish the animal’s desire to lick its master. Such a strategy is thought to be particularly beneficial for dogs who appear to lick out of a neurotic habit, according to experts.

4. Wash Yourself

Washing the salt from the dog’s skin should discourage the dog from considering its master to be a tasty thing to lick and chew on. courtesy of lowmotiongli/Getty Images Taking a lengthy bath or shower right after a long, sweaty walk with your dog is not only beneficial for keeping yourself clean, but it is also beneficial for your dog. If the dog sees its owner as a tasty item to lick, it should be discouraged from doing so by washing the salt away from his skin.

5. Alter Your Body’s Scent

Some scents, like tastes, are more tempting to dogs than others, therefore upgrading your musk may assist to repel your dog’s attentions with his tongue. courtesy of fly dragonfly/Getty Images Some scents, like tastes, are more enticing to dogs than others, thus freshening up your musk may assist to deter your dog’s tongue from licking your face. Try experimenting with different scents and body washes to see which ones your dog prefers.

6. Reward A Well Behaved Dog

Make sure to give the dog some well-deserved attention after they start to significantly reduce their excessive licking/Getty Images. courtesy of Halfpoint/Getty Images Consider rewarding your dog with some well-deserved attention if they have begun to noticeably reduce their excessive licking behavior. In order for the dog to form a positive connection with the intended behavior, rewards should be given immediately after the desired behavior.

7. Train Your Dog to Lick on Command

Dogs learn that licking is only permitted when it is initiated by their master via strict training. Photo courtesy of Boyko/Getty Images Dogs can be taught that licking is only appropriate when it is started by their master through strict training. A smart place to start is to choose a term that will induce licking, and then dab a little dab of peanut butter on your hand to prompt licking—but only if the dog is not hostile with food at this point.

Once this is accomplished, an end command should be given, and the dog should be rewarded with a tiny treat even if it simply stops licking for a brief period of time.

8. Be Consistent With The Dog

If you want your dog to quit licking his lips, you must fully commit to ceasing the activity totally. Photograph by Seregraff/Getty Images When you want your dog to quit licking, you must make a complete and total commitment to cease the activity totally. This advice emphasizes the need of consistency, which means that owners should avoid rewarding their dog for licking one moment and criticizing them for the same action the next, since this would only confuse the beast.

9. Use Bitters On a Dog

Bitter sprays are non-toxic and safe for dogs to use, and they just taste horrible to them, so they should immediately deter licking. Vanessa Nunes is a photographer for Getty Images. The use of bitters is thought to be an effective deterrent for a dog’s licking behavior. Bitter sprays are non-toxic and non-lethal to dogs, and they just taste awful to them, which should immediately prevent licking.

10. Use Dog-Appeasing Pheromones

Dog-Appeasing In the treatment of animals with compulsive licking behavior, pheromones are regarded to be a successful treatment method. Image courtesy of Art rich/Getty Images The use of this approach is also thought to be useful in the treatment of dogs’ compulsive licking habit. Specific pheromones can be used to mimic the natural pheromones given by a nursing bitch, which can help to calm easily agitated or frightened dogs.

How to Stop A Dog From Licking: 4 Terrific Tongue Treatments!

Dogs have a tendency to lick things. Each of them licks himself or herself. They lick each other, lick their toys, and they lick us as well. If you find something disgusting or irritating, you are not alone in your feelings. Many people do not love being coated in dog drool, so what can we do to educate our canine companions not to lick us? What are some suggestions? Yet another question to consider is how to determine whether or not your dog’s licking is a severe problem.

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Why Does My Dog Lick?

Licking is a very common action among dogs, but why do they do it? There are a variety of reasons why a dog may lick, including the following:

1. To Ask For Food

This type of licking is frequently directed at a cherished human’s face, especially after the human has been gone at work. It is natural for some dogs, particularly pups, to lick their owners’ hands as an instinctual request for food. In the same way that puppies kiss their parents’ faces to request food or attention, they do the same with you, their human caregivers. Wolf puppies licking their parents’ mouths in order to induce them to vomit supper is a similar concept to what you may have seen on YouTube of wolf puppies (but yes, kind of gross too).

2. To Clean Themselves

All dogs lick themselves to keep themselves clean as well. When applied to the great majority of circumstances, this is a healthy and natural response. Several dogs may also lick themselves as a means of calming themselves down and self-soothing. Consider if your dog is licking himself because he is truly comfortable and cleaning himself, or whether he is licking himself because he is agitated and trying to calm himself down by licking.

Dogs are known to lick themselves obsessively to the extent of losing fur or causing ulcers on their bodies. These dogs should be evaluated by a veterinarian behaviorist. Continue reading for more information about obsessive lickers.

3. As a Calming Signal

Other dogs lick their lips as a means of calming down and reducing social tension. If your dog exhibits this behavior, it is a good idea to educate yourself on the many soothing cues that dogs utilize. A soothing signal is a means of saying “I’m sorry,” or “let’s all settle down here,” in a non-threatening manner. These canines may be frightened or attempting to de-escalate a difficult situation when they appear on this list. The licking occurs when something goes wrong at home, when they are scolded at, and occasionally for no apparent reason at all (see below).

This tongue flick is a frequent indication that they are attempting to disperse stress or relax themselves.

The spaniel on the right is doing an excellent job of exhibiting this “tongue flick.” Liking for self-relaxing is analogous to the human habit of taking a deep breath and smiling — by doing so, they are both calming themselves and demonstrating to others that they are not a threat.

4. As a Compulsive Behavior

Some dogs have an obsessive-compulsive licking behavior. These are the canines that will sit and lick the inside of your pants or the inside of your forearms for as long as you let them to. It’s also possible that they’ll lick sofas, themselves, the floor, or almost anything else. Some of these dogs may be stressed out, while others may be prone to obsessive behavior. Consider them to be similar to those who, when they’re frightened, can’t stop polishing their nails. These canines have taken what is considered typical behavior and elevated it to dangerous levels, necessitating the need for specialized care.

5. Because You Taste Good

After a hard exercise or after being slathered in barbecue sauce, it’s no wonder that your pooch wants to get in on the fun! Delicious flavors might also be the driving force behind dogs licking spills on the floor or even the furniture’s upholstery.

6. Because He Loves You

Licking can also be used as a simple expression of affection. My border collie, who had been separated from me for two weeks, continued to give me soft licks on the hand last night after we were reunited. Ordinarily, he just licks my face when he’s enthusiastic (or if I’m very salty), but when he’s particularly delighted to be near me, he appears to take pleasure in licking the palms of my hands. This type of licking is usual during quiet snuggle sessions with your dog.

Understanding The Root Cause Of Your Dog’s Licking

“I don’t care why Fido won’t stop licking me — all I want is for it to stop!” you may be thinking to yourself. That’s something I understand. However, if we know what is causing a behavior problem, it is much easier to treat it. Then we can get to the source of the problem and find a different solution to suit your dog’s requirements. Some canines can be classified into more than one of these groups. Some people don’t fit into any of the categories. When I got home from the gym, my foster dog, Sasha, kissed my face.

The saltiness didn’t come from her requesting food, attempting to defuse tension, or acting on neurotic inclinations — it came from my perception of her.

If you’re upset or concerned about your dog’s licking habits but are unable to determine why your dog licks, consult with a veterinarian or a dog trainer.

To make matters even better, record your dog licking and present it to your veterinarian or a dog behaviorist. A video of the issue behavior is the most effective means of communicating with specialists the specific reasons for your concern or frustration with your dog’s conduct.

How To Stop A Dog From Licking?

Following your dog’s licking problem has been recognized, it will be much simpler to take the necessary actions to remedy the problem and keep it from occurring again. Keep in mind, however, that licking is a normal behavior in dogs, and you are unlikely to be able to totally stop your dog from licking! As soon as you’ve determined why your dog licks, you may work on changing the surroundings so that your dog is less likely to lick you at moments that drive you crazy. Here are a few illustrations:

Example One: Sweat-Licking

If your dog has a tendency to lick you after a run and this makes you feel uncomfortable, try to towel off and then wash as soon as possible. To keep your dog entertained with something else nice, give her a Kong filled with treats.

Example Two: Compulsive Licking

If your dog can’t seem to quit licking, it may be suffering from compulsive licking. Consult your veterinarian about calming chews and anti-behavior medications. In the meanwhile, continue to provide your dog with Kongs and other acceptable items to lick. Take her on more lengthy, decompression-type walks in the woods to help her relax. Use soothing caps, Thundershirts, Zyklene chewable pills, window film, and anything else that could be useful in providing your pup with a respite from what is causing her tension to assist relieve her stress.

Truly obsessive lickers may require the services of a veterinarian, a professional trainer, or a veterinary behaviorist to be treated.

These canines have the potential to lick through carpet and cause themselves sores.

Example Three: Bored, Affectionate Licking

Some dogs appear to like licking the faces of their owners. Instead of licking your face when you’re trying to unwind after work, offer your dog something more enjoyable to do! Once again, stuffed Kongs are my go-to reaction in this situation. If your dog licks you, you may also simply rise up and walk away – quietly and without making a scene. Scolding or swatting your dog will almost always make the situation worse since your dog will try to placate you (and in dog language, licking is appeasing).

Instead of licking your face when you’re trying to unwind after work, offer your dog something more enjoyable to do!

If your dog licks you, you may also simply rise up and walk away – quietly and without making a scene.

If your dog is on a diet, fill your daily Kongs with cooked carrots, applesauce, and rice soaked in chicken broth – or simply with your dog’s usual morning kibble and a little amount of wet dog food – to help him feel fuller longer.

The reason I like Kongs for licking issues in dogs is that Kongs allow your dogs to lick something that is suitable for them. Your dog’s apparent urge to lick is being met while at the same time your desire not to be licked is being met.”

Example Four: Food-Begging Lickers

Many dogs will just outgrow this behavior over time. Although it is most typically observed in pups, this behavior is also strongly associated with neurotic and compulsive lickers in humans. Make a conscious effort to avoid rewarding this normal action with attention in order to lessen the probability that it may develop into a compulsive behavior. It is best to avoid both positive and negative attention when your dog is licking, but it is important to shower your dog with affection and rewards as soon as he displays a behavior you like.

As a substitute, pay close attention to your dog when her tongue is wedged between her chompers.

Example Five: Clean-Up Lickers

Once again, this is a completely normal behavior that should not be discouraged. Dogs lick their paws, bellies, and yes, even their buttocks, as part of their natural, healthy grooming routine, according to the AKC. If your dog licks himself to the point where it causes damage to his fur or skin, take him to a veterinary behaviorist right away. However, keep in mind that what appears to be cleaning in certain circumstances may actually be obsessive behavior. Some dogs will only lick particular items at specific times of the day.

  1. Another dog I know will lick the blood from his paws if his owner leaves town.
  2. In the meanwhile, it’s critical to figure out what’s causing your dog’s obsessive licking and make every effort to remove the stressor in his life as soon as possible.
  3. After being awakened by my dog licking his feet (slurp, slurp, yuck), I investigated and discovered a massive cactus spine in his foot!
  4. Do you have a licker who is a huge influence on your life?
  5. What measures do you take to keep your dog from licking?

5 Common Reasons Why Your Dog Is Licking Excessively

Also included is information on what you may do to help. Each product that we showcase has been picked and vetted by our editorial staff after being thoroughly researched and tested. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. For dog owners, a pet who enjoys licking things is not out of the ordinary. In fact, this sort of reaction is equally as prevalent as tail wagging, head tilting, and barking when confronted with an approaching squirrel.

They’re merely looking forward to a snack!

If you find your pet licking themselves excessively, call your veterinarian immediately and book an appointment for a check-up as soon as possible.

In the meanwhile, you may read about the five most prevalent reasons why dogs begin licking more objects. Australian shepherds licking the inside of their mouths Photograph courtesy of Lysandra Cook/Getty Images

1. Pain

Licking can be an effective method of pain relief. If your dog is licking the same location over and over again, there’s a significant likelihood that something is causing them discomfort in that area. Examine the skin for lumps, lesions, and foreign things, and watch how they move to see if arthritis or an injury is the source of the problem. If you suspect your dog is in discomfort, call your veterinarian right away. They will be able to assist in the diagnosis of any issues and will be able to suggest pharmaceutical alternatives.

2. Allergies

Itchy skin can also cause excessive licking in a specific region if it is inflamed. Inspect your dog for any hives, rashes, or fleas that may be troubling them and treat them as necessary. If they’ve been outside recently, it’s possible that they’re experiencing an allergic reaction to an environmental allergen, especially if the problem is on or near their feet. Give them a warm bath to eliminate any potential allergens from their skin and to calm their itchy skin.

3. Anxiety

It is completely acceptable to lick one’s lips from time to time to relieve nervousness. However, if your dog continues to lick himself, it may develop into an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Another sign that the behavior is founded in anxiety is the licking of carpets or blankets by the child. Dr. Jennifer Freeman, D.V.M, a Florida-based veterinarian, explains that “OCD in pets is triggered by stress, therefore it’s crucial to try to figure out what environmental stresses might be causing the compulsive licking.” (The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as all of the changes it has brought about, might undoubtedly be one of them.) Early maternal separation is another possible cause of your dog’s licking of objects other than himself or herself.

According to Freeman, dogs that are taken from their mothers too early in infancy may suffer obsessive licking later in their lives.

4. Dietary Issues

It is completely acceptable to lick one’s lips from time to time to release tension. Your dog’s licking may develop into an obsessional-compulsive behavior if you allow it to go on for too long. Another sign that the habit is rooted in anxiety is the licking of carpets or blankets. Dr. Jennifer Freeman, D.V.M, a Florida-based veterinarian, explains that “OCD in pets is triggered by stress, therefore it’s crucial to try to figure out what environmental stresses may be causing the compulsive licking.” (It’s possible that the COVID-19 epidemic, and all of the changes it has brought about, will be one of them.) Early mother separation is another possible cause of your dog’s licking of objects other than himself.

According to Freeman, dogs that are taken from their mothers too early in infancy may develop obsessive licking later in life, which can be fatal.

5. Habit

Petco’s head of veterinary medicine, Whitney Miller, D.V.M., notes that if medical concerns are checked out as the source of your dog’s licking, the problem may be behavioral. “Dogs utilize licking as a method of releasing endorphins, which provide a pleasant feeling. Dogs also buff their coats with their licks, and they frequently show devotion to their pet parents by licking them, much like their moms did to them. Occasionally, licking is simply a behavioral inclination for certain puppies.” Aside from that, dogs kiss us because they enjoy us!

Tasting our salty skin is one way in which dogs get an understanding of the world around them. We give them our whole attention when they “kiss” us, and this positive reinforcement encourages them to repeat this behavior.

Reasons Your Dog Licks Excessively – And What to Do About It

Licking is one of the ways a dog communicates with its environment, and the occasional licking is totally typical behavior and should not be taken seriously. It is possible that your dog’s excessive licking is an indicator of underlying issues, or that licking itself might cause difficulties and damage to your dog. Identifying the reasons why your dog licks can assist you in identifying and rerouting your dog’s behavior in order to prevent future problems.

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How Much Licking Is Too Much?

Lopping is typical activity for a dog, and it may be relaxing and reassuring to the animal when done infrequently to groom itself, communicate affection, or sample different items. Too much licking, on the other hand, occurs when the dog does not quit licking, even when urged or distracted. Dogs who lick excessively may concentrate on a specific location, such as a paw, their muzzle, or their genitals, or they may lick items such as walls, carpets, or furniture, depending on their temperament.

When excessive licking occurs over time, it might result in hair loss and skin infections in addition to the underlying conditions that caused the licking.

Stopping Excessive Licking

Finding and treating the source of your dog’s excessive licking is the first step in putting an end to the behavior. Take note of where and when your dog licks, how long the action lasts under different settings, and whether or not you are able to distract your dog from licking at all. In order to make an accurate diagnosis and to rule out any underlying health issues that may be contributing to the licking, you should consult a veterinarian. To assist you in preventing your dog from licking excessively.

  • Grooming should be done properly and on a regular basis. This will aid with the maintenance of healthy skin as well as the removal of bugs, dander, and allergies that may be causing irritation. After walks or outside fun, wipe your dog’s paws with a moist towel to eliminate irritating allergens, paying particular attention to the delicate pads and spaces between toes. Change around your dog’s walking routes or outside play locations to avoid the worst allergies that might be causing him to excessively lick his lips
  • In order to reduce the number of bugs that might be causing irritation or allergic responses, use proper flea, tick, and pest treatments, including medicated shampoos. Reduce your dog’s nervousness by doing things like reducing loud noises, providing reassuring toys, and spending more time connecting with him. Provide your dog with a chew toy or reward puzzle to keep it from licking excessively, or engage in a variety of games and activities to burn off anxious energy in the process. Remove any lick marks from any surfaces your dog has licked. It’s possible that an old spill, accumulated perspiration, or other toxin is appealing to your pet and is causing the licking. Food allergies, dry skin, and sickness are all potential reasons of excessive licking in dogs
  • Thus, you should modify your dog’s diet to alleviate these issues. Check to see that your dog is receiving sufficient dental and oral care, since soft tissue injuries or gum infections may result in licking as your dog seeks to alleviate the discomfort. Any arthritis or joint issues should be addressed with appropriate medication or assistance, such as taking smaller steps to reach a couch or sleeping on a heated bed pad to relieve aches.

What Not to Do

Most essential, do not discipline your dog if he licks himself excessively. As a result, penalties will be ineffectual in addressing the underlying reason of the dog’s behavior. Dogs lick for a variety of reasons, and determining the exact reason for your dog’s licking may be a time-consuming and complicated task. Instead, be patient while you attempt to determine the source of your dog’s excessive licking, and after you have determined the source, take actions to alleviate your pet’s suffering.

Excessive Licking, Chewing, and Grooming in Dogs

As a pet parent, it might be discouraging to see your dog lick, chew, and groom himself or herself on a regular basis. In dogs, what exactly constitutes “excessive licking and grooming?” What causes our pets to behave in this manner, and what can we do to alleviate their discomfort?

What Is Considered Excessive Licking or Grooming in Dogs?

A small number of typical regions are licked by most dogs: between their toes, along their wrists, over joints, and on their tummy. They may mildly lick or bite or chew these places, or they may bite or chew them aggressively. Excessive licking, on the other hand, happens when a dog suffers harmful consequences as a result of persistent licking. Hair loss or bald patches, red spots on the skin, pimple-like lesions, dandruff, skin or coat discoloration, yellow or green discharge, or even limping are all possible symptoms of this condition.

In addition, some pets may display evident indications of pain while licking or grooming themselves. Vocalizations, crying, moaning, and groaning are all possible signs of the condition. If you see any of the following concerns, it is possible that the licking is excessive:

  • If your dog is experiencing hair loss, skin redness, or seeping anyplace on their body, consult your veterinarian. Your dog is unable to sleep or is regularly awoken due to the need to lick or chew anything on the floor
  • When your dog is fixated on a certain place, he or she groans or whines. Your dog pauses playing in order to lick or groom himself on a regular basis. Your dog’s fur has mats in it that are near to the skin’s surface. Your dog is otherwise unable to function normally in their daily lives

Causes of Excessive Licking in Dogs

Excessive grooming in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. Your veterinarian will attempt to establish the underlying reason, which may be a medical illness, pain, or a behavioral problem. Because many dogs do not display indications of disease at the veterinarian’s office, you may assist your veterinarian in determining what is causing the licking by bringing images or videos of your dog when they are licking frequently. The following are some of the most common reasons why dogs lick excessively.

Infections and Skin Conditions

It is not always the case that licking and grooming indicate that you are itching. Itching, on the other hand, may be the cause if it is accompanied with scratching, or if the affected region is red, infectious, or heated to the touch. There are a variety of drugs that veterinarians may give your dog to alleviate or hide the itching, but the most important thing to consider is WHY your pet is itchy in the first place. First and foremost, your veterinarian will do a thorough examination, paying particular attention to the areas of aggravation.

Fleas, Mites, and Other Parasites

A deep skin scrape, which is a diagnostic procedure that looks deep into the follicles to rule out the presence of ectoparasites like as fleas or mites, which are famously irritating, may be performed by your veterinarian. Some of the mites your veterinarian will be looking for are communicable to people, therefore it is vital that they are correctly identified.

Yeast, Bacterial, and Fungal Infections

After ectoparasites have been ruled out, your veterinarian may examine the skin and fur for signs of yeast, bacteria, or fungal infections, using a diagnostic instrument known as a tape prep. A bacterial or yeast infection is often quite irritating, with redness and discharge as a result of the illness. Warm, wet, dark areas are preferred by yeast, which is why yeast infections between the toes, in the groin area, and in the ears are commonly observed. Yeast infections are characterized by brownish-red discharge and discolouration, which are frequent symptoms.

Infections caused by fungi, such as ringworm, might be less irritating.

To rule out fungal infections, special cultures, lights, and follicle tests can be used in conjunction with each other.


If your dog’s diagnostic skin tests came back negative, it’s conceivable that he’s suffering from allergic reactions. Itching caused by allergies is one of the most prevalent causes of pruritus, often known as itching. Environmental allergies and food allergies are the two most common forms of allergies. Pets suffering from allergies may lick, chew, or scratch themselves, and they may even get secondary gastrointestinal problems. For moderate allergies that may be treated at home, many veterinarians advocate using a multimodal strategy, which includes combining a few different medicines that work well together.

Whenever possible, consult with your veterinarian before beginning any drugs or therapies.

It is possible that they will require antibiotics or possibly prescription anti-itching medicines. All of the scratching, licking, and grooming can result in a secondary bacterial infection, which can set off a vicious and painful cycle of scratching and licking.

Food Allergies

Even though your dog’s diagnostic skin tests came back negative, it’s likely that he has allergies. The most prevalent cause of pruritus, or itching, is an allergic reaction. Environmental and food allergies are the two most common types of allergies. Pets suffering from allergies may lick, chew, or scratch themselves, and they may even get secondary digestive problems as a result. Many veterinarians advocate a multimodal approach to treating minor allergies at home, which includes combining a number of different medicines that act in concert with one another to get the best results.

Whenever possible, consult with your veterinarian before beginning any drugs or procedures.

Antibiotics or even prescription anti-itching medications may be required in some cases.

Environmental Allergies

Following the completion of a diet trial, your dog’s environmental allergies, often known as atopy, might be evaluated as a possible underlying cause of his pruritus. It is quite typical to get secondary infections in the skin or ears as a result of food allergies, and they must be treated at the same time as the primary illness. Apoquel, Cytopoint, and Atopica are just a few of the medications available to help manage atopy. However, the most effective long-term approach to managing environmental allergies, particularly in younger dogs, is to perform allergy skin testing and then begin immunotherapy, also known as desensitization.


After determining that there is no evidence of a skin illness or allergy, veterinarians will explore arthritis, discomfort, and wounds as possible causes of excessive grooming and licking. Dogs are known to lick sore portions of their bodies on a regular basis. Examine the region where your dog is licking for symptoms of lacerations, puncture wounds, or even minor bug bites with care (and in a safe environment). If there is no hair loss, it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. It is possible that you may need to trim and clean the region in order to completely analyze it.

The majority of wounds require medical attention and, in certain cases, surgical intervention.

Additionally, you may have joint edema, joint heat, and limping.

Our treatment choices for arthritis, strains and sprains, and degenerative joint disease are extensive and include a wide range of approaches such as medication and weight loss as well as nutritional supplements, laser therapy, physical therapy, and acupuncture.


Whether your pet is licking their lips or licking the air, carpet, or bedding, or if they are eating grass, this might be an indication that they are feeling queasy. Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, increased stomach rumbling, and lip-smacking are all possible indicators of a thyroid condition. There are a variety of reasons why a dog could feel queasy or throw up. There are several frequent reasons of constipation, including a blockage in the digestive tract, a dietary indiscretion (consuming non-food things), a diet change or sensitivity, inflammation, an infection with parasites, pancreatitis, toxicities, or disorders of other bodily systems.

If your pet appears sluggish and is unable to keep food or drink down, seek emergency care as soon as possible.

Other Health Issues

Whether your pet is licking their lips or licking the air, carpet, or bedding, or if they are eating grass, this might indicate that they are feeling sick. Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, increased stomach sounds, and lip-smacking are all possible indicators of a stomach bug. For a variety of causes, a dog may experience nausea and vomit. There are several typical reasons of constipation, including a blockage of the digestive tract, a dietary indiscretion (consuming non-food things), a diet change or sensitivity, inflammation, an infection with parasites, pancreatitis, toxicities, or disorders of other bodily systems.

Consult an emergency veterinarian immediately if your pet appears sluggish and is unable to keep food or drink down.

Anxiety/Behavioral Issues

If all medical explanations for the excessive licking and grooming have been checked out (itch, illness, allergies, sickness, or discomfort), it is possible that the excessive licking and grooming is the result of a behavioral problem.


Dogs can become bored and lick, groom, and itch themselves. You might want to consider increasing your pet’s daily activity or assigning them a task if you observe that they groom themselves largely while they are idle. Many dogs require cerebral stimulation, which may be provided by activities like as fly ball, agility, or obedience lessons. Using time-released goodies or puzzles that include concealed treats will keep their minds occupied.


If anxiety is a problem, over-the-counter anxiety treatments are a sensible next step to take. With the Thundershirt, you can apply gentle, constant pressure to your body, which can help to reduce anxiety, fear, and overexcitement. This soft holding has a significant soothing effect, akin to that of cradling a newborn baby in your arms. Adaptil is a product that employs pheromones to reduce stress and anxiety. Calming treats, such as Composure, are particularly effective for dogs that are demonstrating uneasiness, hyperactivity, or anxiety, as well as for dogs who are responding to environmental stress.

It may take some time and patience to identify the most appropriate strength and mix of prescription drugs.

Because dogs are unable to communicate verbally, it is up to pet parents and veterinary experts to collaborate in order to serve as investigators.

It is possible to fit the jigsaw pieces back together and cure the underlying issue so that your dog may return to enjoying their best life by utilizing the numerous techniques at our disposal. Image used in this post: sean

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