My friend has a dog, Lucy, that licks herself constantly. She was wondering why Lucy licked herself so much and I decided to research the issue.
Apparently, there are many reasons/causes for excessive licking in dogs. Dogs often lick their skin when they are in pain or feeling itchy. They may have allergies to food, pollen, mold, house dust mites, insect bites, plants, or hundreds of other irritants. Some dogs lick excessively when they are bored or stressed.
If your dog is focusing all his licking in one spot, he's probably injured or has a skin infection. Licking all over his body may indicate that he has an allergy or is anxious.
Below are some tips to stop the licking and help your dog's skin recover.
Check the area being licked
Dogs sometimes lick at one spot if they are trying to get rid of something stuck in their fur or skin. If you see a thorn or burr, gently remove it for him.
Look closely for fleas
Comb through your dog's coat with a fine-toothed comb, looking for fleas or gritty particles that look like pepper, which are the wastes fleas leave behind. If you find either, give your dog a bath with a flea shampoo. Then use an ongoing flea control powder or spray. It can take up to seven days after treatment for the itching to go away and for your dog to stop licking.
I like to lick everything!
Change your dog’s diet
Dogs that are allergic to certain foods may get a skin irritation. Try giving your dog a different food that has none of the ingredients of his usual diet. Then, see if the licking stops. Also, make sure your dog isn't getting food from somewhere else. He may be eating the cat's food or going through the garbage. The neighbors or someone in your household may be giving him food.
Refocus his attention
When you see your dog furiously licking himself, distract him by giving him some attention. Provide something to chew, such as a bone or chew toy. This alleviates licking due to boredom and stress.
Help relieve the pain.
Dogs with painful conditions, like arthritis, will often lick furiously at the offending spot. You can also massage the sore area or apply a heating pad.
Increase his exercise
Some dogs lick excessively because they have pent up energy. Get his paws moving. A tired dog has less energy to lick.
Give him fast relief
A cool bath or a spray of witch hazel can give your dog some short term relief. There are also anti-licking sprays on the market that can help. As always, consult your Veterinarian to make sure these sprays are OK for your beloved.
Good luck and if the licking doesn’t stop, check in with your veterinarian to make sure the licking is not indicative of a bigger problem.
Copyright © 2013 www.petpav.com
All Rights Reserved