Possible Medical Reasons of Persistent Licking
Some of the reasons your dog may be constantly licking could be medical. With that being said, if your dog is licking a specific body part or parts, you should bring them see a vet as soon as possible. Certain disease or infection can make a dog’s skin awfully irritable and itchy. The dog version of hay fever can be known to do that as well as certain fungal and bacterial infections of the skin. Constant licking can also unfortunately be associated with cancers, fractures and general pain caused from a variety of outdoor nuances. There are even some veterinarians that believe excessive licking can be a sign of chronic gastrointestinal distress. Furthermore, the licking can be the cause of new medical issues. Dogs who continuously lick one spot of their bodies again and again are at high risk of developing acral lick granuloma, a sore that can eventually travel to the bone.
Stereotypies & Other Causes of Dog Licking Behavior
Despite the numerous possible medical reasons for unnecessary licking, there are other factors that may lead a pup to do this; history can play a role. For instance, say your dog was a rescue. Had your dog been chained in a backyard for much of their lives, they could have developed the habit because of their boredom and loneliness. This type of behavior is recognized as what’s called a stereotypy. A stereotypy is a single, nonfunctional behavior that is constantly repeating itself. When an animal is kept in a sterile environment, one in which they are unable to satisfy their behavioral needs, they’ll commonly develop a stereotypy. This is why you may see a zoo animal endlessly pacing back and forth in their exhibits or why a caged bird may be picking their feathers.
Stereotypies have the ability to change an animal’s brain chemistry. Once an animal is provided a more inhabitable environment, their stereotypies may still remain, at which point it’s considered a compulsive disorder.
How To Stop Your Dog From Licking You (Updated 2017)
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