As an owner of a dog that licks so much, you need not to take that situation seriously because it is simply a way of a dog to show their affection to their friend and owner. “Why does my dog lick so much?” is quite some questions that have been bothering the minds of the dog owners for quite some time now, but little did they know that this is a multi-faceted means that has been playing many roles in the dog’s personality and behavior which may be interpreted in many ways. Licking has been one of the innate instincts of the dogs.
This is part of their social interaction and this has been shown to them ever since they were born, in which the mother of the dogs may lick the puppies as a sign of showing her love to them. From the moment that dogs were born, their mother has been licking them as a sign of affection.
Though dogs are not able to talk and we couldn’t understand them in terms of words, they have their own language on how to express their feelings to us and to their fellow dogs and one of those ways is by licking. Because of such behavior, there were some experts who may have studied the attitudes and actions of dogs to know the reasons behind why does my dog lick so much.
They have known that there are plenty of reasons on why a dog does this and some of the reasons are listed below.
Reasons On Why Does My Dog Lick So Much?
As mentioned on the previous paragraph, the mother of dogs are licking their puppies to show their love and affection. The licking of mother dogs also serves as a sign that they need to be fed.
On the other sides, when dogs are joining a pack, the low-ranking members of the pack are usually licking their superiors with the wish that the superior dogs will be inviting them to eat on a shared prey.
Some researchers are saying that dogs are licking too much to be able to taste, touch or reach out for something. This is their way to sort of good-for-nothing searching.
Dogs sometimes try to lick themselves because they just wanted to explore their environment. They want to lick the people that they have met for the first time because this is their way to know about them. Some dogs also love to lick their environment and surroundings to be able to become more familiar on the place. Curiosity is one of the causes why a dog loves to lick so let them be.
This kind of behavior may even make your dog more knowledgeable regarding the various things that exist around them. This is also one of the reasons that a dog will lick some people that they have met for the first time.
This is also one of the ways that a dog does to be able to catch the attention of their owners. There are many ways on how a dog may try to attract the attention of their owner they may try to tap your knee or any part of your body with their paw or they may nudge their nose on you or they may directly bark when they want your attention.
On the other side, they often lick to get the interest of their owners or sometimes, this is their way to greet their owners that they are there on their side. The dogs will often lick your hands, face, arms or feet. Once the dog started to lick you then you will have to investigate why the dog is licking for they may want to tell you something.
For instance, basing from the human tongue they may want to say, “I’m here. Look at me. I’m pretty. Give me a hug”. There are also some instances that they just want to have a potty break, they want to drink or they just want to play with you because they are bored.
There are many ways on how to interpret this kind of behavior, but there are times that they just love to lick their owners as a sign that they want to be noticed by their owners.
There are also certain times that a dog may be licking too much to ask their owners that they want to play with them. There are some moments that the dogs may love to lick your arms, hands, feet or your face as a sign that they want to play with you or feel your care and affection.
This kind of behaviour has been established even when they were still young. This makes them feel that the bond that they have with their master is strong. This is also a way to show to their owners that their bond together is strong like a family.
Babies or puppies that are licking excessively may be on the process of teething so they try to replace their teeth with their tongue.
Licking of dogs is considered as a behaviour that is learned. If they feel like their owners may give them more attention when they try to lick them then this certain behaviour will be done for many times for they would already be learning that this kind of behaviour can attract the attention of their owners.
Dogs love to lick because they just simply lick the taste of your skin. This may be because of the food scent or particles that may have been left on your skin. In some cases, they love to lick your skin because they love the scent of your skin or they want the saltiness that they may have tasted on your skin.
Licking your skin is also the way of a dog on investigating regarding the place that you have been too. So if such cases that your dog love to lick you after you left him, then your dog may just be too smart to lick you to be able to know the place that you have been too.
There are also some times that the dog may try to lick you to know what you are feeling. They have receptors that are quite special which are located on their nose and mouth in order to understand the molecules that are scented that is known through the sweat of humans.
This will help the dog in determining whether the dog is happy or stressed. This is one of the reasons why a dog may determine when you are sad so they can give you some comfort. And, if you are happy then they can also celebrate that feeling with you.
There are times that a dog loves to lick their owner because they simply want some food. There are some dogs that may try to lick their owners because they are hunger.
However, just because the dog is licking you do not necessarily mean that your dog is already hungry. You should still try to investigate if it is really the reason behind the dog’s licking behaviour.
If the times is usually his or her feeding time and the dog has displaying his or her licking behaviour then you might want to consider giving them treats or food so as not to make them hungry.
Remember that they are also like humans, they also need some food and this is their way to communicate that they are hungry. A dog that is licking is also a way for the dogs to relieve their stress. There are some dogs that just want to feel relaxed so this is their way to remove their stress.
Like humans, dogs also release a hormone that is called endorphins that entails a huge part for the relaxation of the dogs. The dog may try to lick their paws or the objects that are near them. They may also try to lick their owners in order to feel calm. Most dogs love to lick because this is their way of relaxing and soothe themselves from any kind of stressors that they may have felt.
Aside from that, a dog will usually smack their lips or do their licking behaviour to make themselves calm and also to be able to display to other kinds of dogs that they do not pose any threat to them.
A dog may love to lick themselves because this is their way to clean themselves. Like humans, dogs also think about their hygiene so they usually lick themselves to clean their hairs. But if there are some instances that a dog is licking themselves too much then this may also be a sign that the dog’s glands needs to be articulated.
Dogs love to lick themselves when they want to get rid of some bacteria that may present on their wound. Licking their wounds may help in cleaning and killing the bacteria that are present on their wounds.
This may also be a good way to remove the tissues that are dead on their wounds. However, you should always notice their licking behaviour if the dog has been licking themselves too much for it may be harmful for themselves as well.
When Should I Consult The Veterinarian?
If in some cases that excessive licking is being done by your dog. Any actions that are not wanted that are being displayed by the dog may somehow be interpreted as excessive.
If such cases that the owner is favouring the request every time the dog is licking them then this kind of behaviour has the possibility to become excessive. In this case, the problem is not with the dog but with the owner, so the owner must take into consideration that they have to limit this kind of behaviour of dogs.
Dogs are still trained so you may want to consider training them well. However, there are times that licking may already be an abnormal behaviour. This kind of behaviour is usually seen on those dogs that may have obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, dogs that have such kind of disorder may turn their attention on objects rather than themselves in which they will be showing excessive licking on these objects.
Dog owners that have observed this kind of behaviour are advised to ask for some advices with their veterinarian or veterinary behaviourist to assist them with this kind of behaviour. There are various dogs that have been successfully treated by veterinarians and veterinary behaviourists so you may want to ask for their help so as to end such kind of behaviour.
There are also some cases that a dog may be licking themselves because of certain underlying medical conditions. This may not be considered as too bad for some dogs. But if there are some cases that the excessive licking of dogs may already direct to eating of their own hair or some fibers that may be present on their surroundings then this may pose some threat because this can block the intestines of the dogs. When the dog is licking excessively in the same part of their body then this is already a good timing that you have to go to the veterinarian to ask some advices because one reason may already because their skin is irritated because of certain allergies that they may have been experiencing.
On the other hand, they may be licking too much because of some infections that they may have already been experiencing. The other medical conditions that may be associated with this kind of behaviour are cancer, fractures, gastrointestinal distress or pain.
There are so many reasons on why a dog is licking so much. But whatever the reason is the most important thing that an owner must do is to be a keen observant so that you would know the various interventions that you need to do in order to prevent such occurrence again. Knowing the cause is also one of the things that the responsible owner must do before doing any medical advice from the veterinarians.