Has your dog's licking got out of control?

If you have a dog, chances are you've wondered why they like to lick you so much!

21 Mar 2016 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

Dogs’ slobbery kisses are usually taken as a sign of affection. A lick can mean ‘I love you’, or it can mean ‘I miss you’. It's your dog showing you they care, but that's not the only reason dogs lick. Sometimes it's simply because us humans taste good!

Your dog learnt to lick as a puppy. A mother dog licks her puppies to keep them clean and groomed and the behaviour becomes a part of the pup’s everyday life. To lick (and be licked) is a source of comfort for your puppy. It makes them feel warm and fuzzy and they want to share it with you. If your dog is anxious they may lick you to calm down, releasing endorphins that make them feel good. Dogs are very perceptive, if you seem stressed they might just be licking to try and reassure you!

It might seem a bit icky, but when we sweat nutrients pool on our skin. Sometimes dogs like to lick off all the salts present in our sweat. It tastes good and it's good for them, but if they lick excessively it may mean they're missing something in their diet!

There's a wide range of reasons why dogs lick themselves and sometimes they continue this behaviour on you. Dogs can lick when they're bored, anxious or as a force of habit. They can also lick as a means to fight off infection. Dog saliva contains a mild antiseptic, which can assist in healing minor wounds and licking is a natural response to injury. A dog who has just had an operation for example (oh no not the snip!) has to wear a silly cone on their head to prevent them from licking themselves as it can pull out the stitches.

However, if your dog’s licking is becoming a problem there's a few things you can do. When your dog is licking you excessively stop responding and immediately walk away and ignore the animal. It shouldn't take long for them to get the hint! You can also resort to bad tasting sprays and creams, which turn you pup off the taste of your skin. A visit to the vet could assist in determining why your dog is licking, and what you can do about it!

Part of being a responsible pet owner is taking note of your dog’s behaviour and addressing any issues before they get out of hand.

 

21 Mar 2016 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

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