Monday, September 20, 2010

Stop the Obsessive Licking

A dog grooming his or her self occasionally is quite normal. However if you see your dog licking at one spot constantly there is probably something going on and it can quickly become a serious problem. A sore could develop and become infected or there could be a wound that you are unaware of. In my experience there are three main reasons a dog will lick obsessively.

1: Allergies. Yes dogs have allergies and a lot of the time this will manifest itself through dry and itchy skin. The discomfort will cause the dog to lick in an effort to sooth the skin, in actuality they will end up hurting themselves. Thankfully allergies are easy enough to deal with, a simple trip to the vet and some medication often does the trick.

2: Injury. If a dog gets stung, bitten, or just plain hurts its self through a bump or fall, it will lick at the affected area. This may require a trip to the vet, and you may end up having to "cone" your dog to stop them from licking at the wound. Your dog will look silly, yes, and may even become a klutz while wearing the cone, but a silly klutzy dog is a small price to pay in order to avoid an infection.

3: Lack of exercise or mental stimulation. If a dog becomes bored and does not get the proper amount of physical and mental exercise, it may become an obsessive licker. There are a few ways to deal with this. First and foremost you MUST walk your dog, if you find he or she is still obsessively licking, it may be because it has developed into a habit. There are a few ways to break this habit. A cone is one way. With out being able to lick for a few days the habit will end right there. I have also seen some products that you spray on the area you do not want your dog licking. These products will have different flavors that will not appeal to your dog to put it mildly. Bitter apple or citrus are some of these flavors. The trick is to get your dog to stop licking for about a week. At the end of that time your dog, if you have started exercising it properly, will forget it was even licking to begin with.

          So keep an eye out and make sure your dog is not licking obsessively and you will be sure to have a healthy, happy furry family member. Thank you for reading and look out for future posts!

Nick C.

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