Most dog owners consider a puppy’s licking habit to be a sign of affection, just like kissing. It is indeed true that, many a time, puppies mouth or lick to show love; however, it can mean various things depending on the context of licking.
0bsessive licking can point to potential health issues like skin problems, allergies, infections, flea bites, or behavioral issues like stress, anxiety, fear, or boredom. Learn the cause of the licking problem to address it quickly. If unsure, meet your vet to get to the bottom of the matter.
Pet health insurance covers a canine fur baby’s testing, treatment, and medication costs during non routine vet visits and emergencies. It is one reason why you must consider buying dog insurance. In the meantime, read this article to learn some common reasons why dogs lick.
Why do dogs lick?
Young puppies take only a little time to learn that their tiny tongues are valuable tools to communicate with the world.
- Mother dogs often lick the babies to stimulate them after birth and keep them clean. In the beginning few weeks, the mother dog usually licks a puppy’s behind to trigger urination and defecation.
- It is worth noting that puppies born to wild dogs lick their elders to express submissiveness. However, puppies also perform this act to induce food regurgitation that older pack members consumed during hunting.
- Puppies belonging to a litter can lick each other to interact, comfort themselves, show affection, and bond with their littermates. Licking has a calming effect on young puppies and assures a sense of security.
- Dogs are known to lick to better smell people, places, and objects they are attracted to. It is a dog’s way of gathering important information about its surroundings. Plus, a dog might lick to explore the texture of a surface like windows, doors, or tile floors or enjoy the temperature. For instance, your dog might lick a fogged glass window.
- Canine fur babies lick to communicate their anxiety. Know that anxiety can be due to several reasons, including environmental changes, the addition of family members, having to share a home with new pets, health conditions like stomach upsets or gastrointestinal troubles, an owner’s lack of attention to them, no opportunities for physical and mental stimulation, and more.
- Licking releases happy hormones – “Endorphins” in a dog’s brain. These neurotransmitters have a calming effect on a dog’s mind. Hence, a dog flooded with endorphins in its body stays relaxed and responds more positively to situations.
However, sometimes licking can become a problem. If your puppy licks itself or you excessively, especially during stressful hours, your pet pooch might have anxiety issues. Contact your vet to rule out potential medical conditions.
Occasional licking habits should not be concerning, but the same is not the case with obsessive chronic licking habits. Monitor your dog to check the average time it spends licking and the frequency of engaging in this habit so you know when to schedule a vet’s appointment.
Pet health insurance helps provide a canine fur baby the medical care it deserves during unexpected health conditions and emergencies. Consider buying dog insurance so that providing quality medical care need not be a challenging task during distressing times of health.