Does your pooch lick the rug? Sometimes, a pooch will act strangely, well, to put it mildly. They’ll act strangely, and you won’t understand why. Licking the carpet is one such instance. As they continue to lick, their tongue will be working extra hard. Additionally, lick three times. And even while you could write this off as one of their peculiar habits, in some cases, this kind of behavior can indicate something is amiss.
Here are three potential causes of your pooch licking the carpet and three solutions to the problem:
1. Excessive Surface Licking
A disorder known as excessive surface licking (ELS),, can cause poochs to lick the carpet and any other type of flooring. Even your home furniture, walls, or other features will get licked by some pooches with ELS. They may even repeatedly lick their paws out of obsessive behavior (which is a separate condition called acral lick dermatitis).
It makes sense that some pet owners would try to ignore this licking habit. After all, it’s only licking; what possible harm could it cause? Unfortunately, excessive licking of the floor, walls, and other surfaces can lead to various digestive problems if done frequently; even before those problems manifest, excessive licking may also indicate something is already wrong.
To be clear, ELS is a pattern of obsessive behavior, not simply one single incident.
Different, repetitive, and compulsive behaviors may indicate underlying health issues. The occasional licking of your dog is considered natural grooming. Even health issues like intestinal obstruction might result from it.
For instance, consuming something that dogs shouldn’t result in a blockage in their intestines that could be deadly.
One such obstacle is a pooch licking carpet fibers.
Researchers at the University of Montréal Veterinary Teaching Hospital examined this excessive licking that dogs engaged in and discovered some unsettling findings. There were 29 poochs investigated, 10 of which were healthy and 19 of whom had ELS. According to the findings, 14 of the 19 canines with ELS experienced gastrointestinal issues. Some people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, while others develop parasitic infections or pancreatitis.
The researchers continued monitoring the dogs for 90 days after receiving therapy for their digestive problems. They discovered that the inclination to lick had significantly decreased in 10 poochs. Nine dogs finally exhibited zero ELS symptoms.
So, if you find your pooch frequently licking carpets or other surfaces, take them to the doctor to check for an unidentified gastrointestinal problem.
2. Boredom Licking
Lack of physical or mental stimulation is one reason your pooch could be bored. Some dogs gnaw on shoes and furniture, while others lick carpets or other surfaces. A pooch could lick compulsively in some situations only out of boredom. Pooches with high activity levels require frequent exercise or, at the very least, toys that will keep them interested and focused.
There are several things you may try to change if you suspect boredom may be the cause of your pet’s excessive licking habit.
Make sure your pooch gets a lot of exercise. Get them up on their paws and off the floor. If you can, take your dog for two daily walks around the neighbourhood. And whenever you can between walks, play with them. Run around in the grass outside with your friends. They will have a great time playing games like fetch or hide-and-seek.
Be picky about the things kids play with as well. Several dog toys on the market are designed expressly to hold your dog’s interest for extended periods of time. These toys go by the name of puzzle toys and frequently reward players with food. Several ball puzzle toys have openings to occupy your pooch so that they release little goodies when a reward fits in the space. Your pooch only needs to nudge and paw at it to move.
For pooches, there are puzzles with pieces that must be turned or moved to disclose a reward below.
You may even rotate out their toys to ensure that kids always have something fresh to play with. Make a few available while stowing the rest. Alternatively, conceal your dog’s preferred toys for a new challenge so they may go on a mini-scavenger hunt.
Going to a puppy daycare for your pooch is an additional choice to think about if you cannot spend the entire day with them and they are displaying indications of boredom. You might also hire a pet sitter to visit your home three times a week.
Anxiety sad, anxious dog Some dogs may lick themselves excessively when anxious about something. Before the issue becomes chronic, you must be able to identify when they’re stressed and address the probable causes.
A calm pooch is quite simple to identify. When they converse with someone, their ears will somewhat recede. They’ll nearly appear to be grinning. However, their body language will change significantly when they are under pressure. For instance, you could notice that their eyes are whiter than usual or that they are staring intently and glancing about more than usual. They might not give you a straight glance or even blink.
The stress levels of your dog can also be indicated by their ears.
If your dog is stressed, it could stand more straight than usual or lie flat. They could be somewhat shifted back if their ears are floppy. By the motion of their lips, they may appear to be grimacing or getting ready to snarl or bite. Some dogs whine, bark, or growl more frequently than usual to express their worry.
Moving homes is among the most frequent causes of stress in dogs. If you’ve just moved into a new house, make your dog’s environment as comfortable as possible. It would help if you took their old toys and bed with you. That could make it easier for them to adapt to the new environment.
If you have a dog, take it to the vet if you are still worried that it is stressed. A veterinarian with experience can check a dog to see why it could be acting out in this stressful way. Additionally, they are fully aware of the options available.
How to Stop or Change Your Pooch’s Licking Behavior
You might take a few measures to reduce your pooch’s propensity to lick the ground or anything else they come across. One of the most crucial is to eat with the utmost caution. Avoid spilling crumbs on the floor so your pooch won’t be tempted to lick them up. You may also think about giving your pooch an alternative to carpet-licking. Try a plush animal toy, a puzzle toy, or even a popsicle specially made for pooches.
The Last Word
Remember that it’s okay if your dog occasionally licks the floor. It’s typical. They may have merely cleaned up after you dropped a bit of food. However, if they often lick during the day and night, this might be a sign of a health problem. Visit your veterinarian with them so that the issue may be resolved.
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