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November 11, 2015

Obsessive dog licking

Dog licking nose.
Obsessive dog licking is noted when your dog starts to behave a bit like a cat, licking a specific part of his body continually. This occurs above all on the front paws.


Many causes of leg chewing are fairly easy to identify and treat at home, but if your dog won’t stop biting her leg or any other area of the body, it’s a good idea to take her to the vet for examination. Your vet can determine the root of this behavior and make suggestions for treatment or dietary and lifestyle changes.


Reasons for obsessive dog licking are commonly due to the following:


Dry skin

Your dog may be biting himself in an attempt to relieve the itchiness of dry skin, which could be caused by a number of things, such as dry, cold weather or a lack of fatty acids. You may be able to spot flakes of dandruff and cracked, tough skin.

Fleas and other parasites

Fleas, mites, and ticks alike can cause a lot of discomfort to their canine host and are common culprits behind excessive chewing. Often, these pests can be revealed from a visual check or a good brushing.


Mold, pollen, bug bites, and other allergens can make your dog’s skin dry or greasy. Similarly, allergies to certain types of soaps and pesticides can irritate a dog’s skin and set off a scratch session. If the behavior just began, consider what environmental changes occurred recently.

Skin infections

Your dog’s skin can become infected because of imbalances in cortisol or thyroid hormones. You can often identify bacterial infections by tiny, red bumps on your dog’s skin. Fungal infections can result in oily, greasy skin. In both cases, your dog may also have a waxy ear discharge.

Aches, pain, and soreness

There’s always a possibility that your dog has stepped or brushed against something that resulted in pain or irritation, such as a burr, thorn, or sharp piece of glass. In addition, dogs sometimes react to arthritis and other orthopedic problems with chronic chewing, scratching, and licking.

Psychological reasons

As pack animals, dogs require constant companionship, attention, and stimulation. If your dog begins to frequently chew an area of her body, it may be because she is lonely, bored, or restless. Find ways to add more socialization and mental challenges into your dog’s life.


To speak to Cristina about obsessive dog licking and behavioural therapies to stop this contact Natural Look Dogs here.

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About The Author

I am an Italian vet with over 30 years experience in dog grooming and dog care. I have run several successful dog grooming salons in Italy. I moved to the UK in 2013 with my husband Martin and set up Natural Look Dogs in Winchmore Hill, London.

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