Why does my dog lick the floor? If your pooch is frequently licking the floor, then you may think about it in a serious way. But, in most cases, this behavior is just annoying and harmless.
Usually, the licking habit is normal for most canines. There are different reasons canines use their mouth to explore things.
On the other hand, some canines may lick for unusual reasons. From communicating to grooming and exploring the surrounding, licking is something you may see your pooch doing.
However, if your pooch is frequently licking unusual things like the floor or carpet, it can be a sign of something serious.
The importance of licking in a dog’s life
It is probably of interest to understand that canines lick to help heal themselves. Their saliva includes enzymes that kill off microorganisms. It also enables them to put off dead tissue, in addition, to clean any dust from wounds.
Likewise, there may be proof to show that licking also can have an effective impact on fighting E.coli, and other dangerous microorganisms along with Streptococcus canis, which may be passed from puppies to people.
As most folks will be aware, licking is likewise a prime signal of love for dogs, with this even being genuine for wolves. Canines will lick both their pack and people to expose their love and affection.
However, this could quickly develop into an undesirable barrage of sloppy canine kisses, as a lot of us have experienced firsthand.
Although this sort of conduct appears innocent at first, similar to licking the floor, this could quickly develop into an obsessive dependency if left unchecked.
Why does my dog lick the floor? – 8 reasons
Licking the floor is typical canine behavior and very normal. In veterinary studies, the frequent licking of things like floors, furniture, and walls is termed excessive licking of surfaces (ELS).
Canines with this issue spend a huge amount of time licking things. Canines do not lick frequently if they are exploring things.
ELS can apply to how long your pooch licks, how often he licks, or how hard he licks. Canines having ELS may lick the floor, couch, carpet, etc in the house.
Some of the potential reasons for ELS include:
Lucrative & Favourite Food
One of the most common and normal reasons for your canine licking the floor.
A few drops of milk, spaghetti sauce, and bacon grease can make your canine lick the floor like anything.
Your canine may frequently lick the floor near the stove, your dining table, or other spots where you usually keep the food.
Make sure there is nothing toxic on the floor. It may make your canine fall sick.
According to a study, 14 out of 19 canines with ELS had gastrointestinal issues. It included irritable bowel syndrome, delayed gastric emptying, chronic pancreatitis, and giardiasis.
When these gastrointestinal diseases were treated, ELS behavior progressed for almost all of those dogs. It resolves 1/2 of them completely.
Many of those gastrointestinal issues are painful or uncomfortable and can result in more intense consequences. Especially if left untreated.
This is simply one of the reasons why it’s so critical to have your doggy examined by a vet if they are continuously licking the floor.
Issues with the brain can cause behavioral modifications which may also encompass ELS.
Though it is not a common representation, neurological issues ought to usually be considered in instances of licking the floor.
Older canines licking the floor can be beginning to experience dog cognitive dysfunction – modifications associated with brain aging, much like dementia in humans.
Hydrocephalus, Seizures, and brain tumors are different potential reasons for behavioral changes.
If your vet is worried about the possibility of a neurological sickness they’ll discuss diagnostic testing with you.
It may also consist of blood and urine tests, CT, x-rays, MRI, and spinal fluid analysis.
Mouth and teeth issues
Any damage or circumstance related to the mouth, teeth, or gums may also cause bizarre licking or ELS behavior.
Canines with mouth aches or ailments may additionally paw at their mouth, drool extra than normal, revel in difficulty chewing, or have an ugly odor in their mouth.
Some of the more common situations in the mouth and oral cavity include:
- Dental disorder (eg. gum ailment, fractured, loose, or inflamed teeth)
- Traumatic injuries (eg penetrating damage from chewing on a stick)
- A foreign item caught in the mouth (e.g piece of bone)
- Ulcers of the stomach
- Oral tumors that can cause soreness or ache
Your vet will cautiously have a look at your dog’s mouth. However, in a few cases, sedation or standard anesthesia may be required to completely check the area.
Pica In Dogs
Is your doggy honestly seeking to consume uncommon and inedible items like your carpeting or drywall? This conduct is referred to as pica.
Canines with pica regularly consume pungent objects like towels, socks, or underwear.
Sometimes they will consume wood due to the texture. Carpet can also attract the dog, specifically after the latest spill.
Pica must be handled as a critical situation that warrants the additional investigation.
The objects your canine swallows during this condition might be poisonous or cause a blockage.
Like ELS, pica is likewise non-precise conduct that may be because of a huge sort of clinical condition.
Polyphagia & hyperphagia In Canines
Polyphagia (elevated appetite) because of diabetes or the usage of steroids is simply one potential cause. Even behavioral problems such as separation anxiety or boredom can cause pica in dogs.
Your vet will possibly carry out a few diagnostic testing such as blood and urine tests to try and discover the underlying cause.
There are some underlying clinical situations that could cause immoderate carpet or ground licking in dogs. It’s crucial to have every one of them checked by a vet.
Many of those situations cause pain, nausea, or pain and may have excessive effects if left untreated.
When taking your canine to your vet for carpet or ground licking, it could be sincerely beneficial to carry a video of the episodes with you on your cell phone.
Also, you should test to see in case your canine responds to you while licking the floor. You must strive to call his name or distract him with food.
Keeping a diary and paying attention to any repeatable styles or triggers for the conduct also can be useful.
These guidelines might also additionally assist your vet to solve the puzzle of why your canine has determined to start showing this behavior.
Boredom and anxiety
As mentioned previously, ELS can grow to be a ‘displacement behavior’ to relieve stress and anxiety. You would possibly notice your canine starts licking the floor in response to a specific trigger.
This is probably a loud noise, or a person yelling. However, those triggers aren’t usually easy to spot.
Dogs may also lick their paws in reaction to stress or anxiety. Boredom as a result of a lack of environmental stimulation also can cause those signs, frequently blended with the destruction of the walls or carpet.
Compulsive problems are characterized by repetitive behaviors that canines carry out to try and alleviate continual strain and anxiety.
These behaviors are accomplished to such a volume that they appreciably intervene with their regular daily function.
Compulsive behaviors seen in canines consist of over-grooming or licking. However can also encompass tail-chasing, spinning, freezing, mouthing, continuously pacing, and self-trauma.
Certain breeds have a tendency to be at risk of precise compulsive behaviors. This includes spinning in Bull Terriers, which indicates genetics can also play a role.
How to stop your dog from licking the floor
If your canine is licking the ground because of an obsessive habit, there are a pair of things you could do to fight this behavior. At times, canines will lick the floor because they may be anxious or bored.
Pretty soon this will change into obsessive behavior, specifically if a canine is left alone for long periods. Thankfully, the answer to this will often be as easy as working out more often than usual.
If you’re not able to get home to walk your canine at some point of the day, you can ask a pal to walk him. Likewise, many organizations provide this service in case you are not able to locate an available friend.
For excessive energetic canines, toys also can help to preserve them occupied whilst you’re absent.
If you observe your canine licking the floor while you are home, you could distract them through quite a few methods.
You could take them out into the backyard and throw them a ball or play tug of war. After a few vigorous plays, your canine has become tired. And, this can possibly prevent them from licking for at least a little while.
When canines are confused or anxious, they will lick obsessively. Recognizing while your canine is in this state permits you to consolation them and in turn, prevent chronic licking from getting out of control.
When your pooch is comfortable their ears will be back, and they may often seem like they may be smiling. In contrast, confusing canines can also additionally pace around. In addition to this, canines may shake, or display extensive eyes and dilated pupils.
To similarly assist your canine to loosen up you could educate them on different tricks including lying down, sitting, and heel. These hints can go in an extended manner in making them more comfortable.
However, it’s important to notice that if you observe your canine is continually stressed you have to take them to the vet.
- For Further Reading
- Why Does a Dog Licks Another Dog’s Ear?
- Dog licks my period blood; Why?
- Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?
In conclusion, I would say that mostly it is very usual that your pooch licks the floor. If this behavior becomes more frequent, then you must take it very seriously.
Take a note of every weird activity your pooch does and make sure that it is not harming him.
So, that is all in today’s article on “Why does my dog lick the floor”. We will be back with other interesting and informative articles. Till then. Stay connected.
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