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The Dog Health Problem Licking Excessively

Nov 7, 2007
Almost every dog licks himself or herself at some time or another. This can irritate owners if it becomes excessive and persistent. The explanations for this problem are many as some reason are health related and some may be physiological. Different breeds of dogs lick because of the characteristics of the breed; others do it because they are frightened or have a health condition. Determining the reason can be time consuming for the dog owner, but a vet might find the reason quicker.

The Dog Health Problem Licking is Biological

Female dogs lick their puppies to keep them clean and free from fifth. When pups are born, the mother cleans them after birth and removes the film and body fluids that are common after birth. This also helps to arouse breathing in the newborn puppies. Another reason for the female to lick the newborns is to get the puppies to pass urine and feces. The puppies will sometimes lick the lips of the mother to persuade her to vomit so they can eat, this does not always happen if owners help with the care of the puppies.

Dog Health Problems Licking due to Psychological Reasons

Signs of stress or fatigue will cause a dog to lick excessively. If you compare human behavior to a dog's behavior, you will see that people twirl their hair or something like that when they are bored or stressed and dogs lick themselves for the same reason, they only have this to do. Dogs react to different situations by licking and sometimes chewing on their paws or legs.

In some cases, excessive licking may result in other health problems such as dermatitis. Dogs make lick walls, floors, and anything they can find. Around this same line, some dogs eat fuzz off the floor as a way of expressing stress or displeasure. If you have ever seen a dog with hair or fuzz in their mouth and the continued mouth movement trying get it swallowed or out of the mouth is just as irritating as excessive licking. Treatment can only be given if there is an underlying health problem.

Some believe that behavior training corrects the problem, but punishment is not the answer. Rewarding the dog for not licking may take some time, but some dogs respond to this type of training to correct the licking problem. Some breeders believe in treats for curing excessive licking behavior.

If you notice any skin problems resulting from excessive licking, you need to contact a vet to correct any conditions arising from this behavior before a serious condition results. Some dogs will lick and lick until they have bald spots, this can cause other health complications such as dermatitis or skin infections if the lick the shin raw. The dog health problem licking condition may be something like adjusting the diet or providing a quiet room for the dog to get away from all the commotion that can cause stress. Either way, whether it is biological or psychological, your dog needs some kind of help.
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