How To Control Your Dog’s Chewing And Licking Habit
Controlling Your Dog's Licking and Chewing
How to control (or stop) your dog’s constant licking problem
How can you, as a dog owner, control your dog’s incessant licking habit? We have highlighted five reasons why your dog licks itself and what you can do to correct this habit.
Why your dog could be licking always:
• It needs a bath
If your dog spends lots of time tramping in the mud, wandering in the grass, romping through the woods or if it is dirty, it will develop an unrelenting licking behavior.
The dog will lick itself because the dirt on his body is irritating him/her. Also, he/she might have been infested with fleas, lice, mites or ticks from the outdoor activities and will be involved in constant licking to free himself from the flies.
A young poodle has a lick granuloma - treatment
A young poodle has a lick granuloma - treatment
Courtesy:Kong Yuen Sing
• It has a skin disorder
Dogs usually develop mange or dermatitis. Mange is caused by different types of mites while dermatitis can be as a result of an allergic reaction to mold, fleas, dust, mites or certain types of dog food.
If you notice that your dog is suffering from mange or dermatitis, you need to get in touch with your veterinarian. The veterinarian should diagnose the nature of the disorder and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
• It is under stress
The dog may be involved in a constant licking habit due to stress. The stress may emanate from new adoption, separation anxiety, and reaction to new food or physical abuse.
If separation anxiety is responsible for your dog’s stress, you can solve this using different methods.
Allow your dog to be alone for short periods of time. Once you notice that it has gotten used to being alone for short periods of time, increase the departure time.
If you feel that you’ll be away for a long period of time, while at work, find a friend or neighbor that can take your dog for a walk for some periods of time in the day.
Stress can also be caused by a new dog in a family that has an established pet. You can make this transition period easier by paying lots of attention to the older dog.
This will enable him to know that he’s still important in the family. You need to realize that it’ll take a long time for both dogs to get used to each other.
As stated earlier, diet can also be responsible for the dog’s stress. If you want to introduce a new brand of food to your dog, do so gradually over a period of four days (or more).
On the first day, feed the dog with one-quarter of the new food and three- quarters of the old food. After a couple of days, add in another quarter of the new food. You will eventually be able to leave the old food out of his diet once it gets used to the new food.
If the stress is caused by acute separation anxiety, the anxiety can be alleviated by an anti-anxiety medication. Drugs should only be used along with a treatment program because they are not a complete solution.
If you’re unable to pinpoint the specific reason for your dog’s stress, get in touch with your veterinarian. He’ll refer you to a dog behaviorist that will determine what’s responsible for your dog’s stress.
• It has an injury that has led to an open wound
If your dog has developed an injury that has led to an open wound, he will lick himself constantly to clean the wound and prevent it from being infected by bacteria.
Dog saliva kills some germs. So, when he licks his wound, it will be kept free from infection.
You need to contact your veterinarian when this happens, most especially when the dog is in pains. The veterinarian is needed if the wound has foreign materials, deep enough to be stitched, infected or bleeding excessively.
• It has become a habit
Some dogs might have developed the habit of licking their paws constantly despite the fact that they are clean, parasite-free and uninjured.
This habit is usually developed if your dog has a lot of nervous energy and needs to find a means of getting rid of the stress. It can also be due to boredom and needs a way of entertaining himself.
To correct this, you need to allow your dog to play and run around so that he can get rid of any excess energy. A happy and well-exercised dog will not lick himself to get rid of boredom or stress.
Most dog owners enroll their dogs in dog training programs. Lots of aspects are incorporated into these training programs. However, an aspect that is often overlooked in the training sessions is chewing.
This aspect is difficult to go over in dog training sessions because dogs don’t have anything to chew whenever they are in the training class. This article is meant for you if you’re a dog owner that needs help with training your dog about chewing.
Chewing is a form of dog training that can be conducted for both young and old dogs. It is usually common amongst puppies. Older dogs also need this kind of training since they love chewing things when their owners are not around.
To commence this training, you need to understand that all dogs chew and that they need to chew. Thus, you need to have things that your dog can chew on when you start the training.
Keep all the dog’s chewing toys in one place. This will enable the dog to associate its chewing toys with this spot. Doing this will effectively enhance the training session. You also need to put the dog’s toys in a “toy box.”
Do not hit your dog if you find him/her chewing something else. Instead, do praise and pet. This will go a long way in making the training to be effective. Dogs respond more to praises and this makes the training to be effective.
If the dog keeps chewing on what it shouldn’t chew on, correct it verbally. The tone of your voice should be enough to punish it. In fact, your voice should be the only punishment for this form of dog training. You can also put a taste deterrent on those items that you do not want the dog to chew.
This deterrent is referred to as “bitter apple” and can be found in most pet stores. These are effective in training your dog not to chew on inappropriate objects.
Dog training is fun and also rewarding provided the dog does not chew on your favorite items. You need to be calm and also be patient with your dog so that the desired results can be achieved.
If you take this information into consideration, you’ll be able to correct your dog’s annoying licking habit. You need to be observant and should also pay attention to grooming the dog.
The dog should also be trained and you should also pay regular visits to the veterinarian so that your dog’s constant licking habit can be eradicated.
Also check out our post on Effective Dog Command Training
In addition to training, we have also added some products that you can get to help with your pet's incessant chewing and licking. Check them out below:
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