We are aware that dogs enjoy licking soft objects in the house, such as the carpet or the sofa, as well as their own paws, people, and peanut butter treats. They groom themselves, show their people affection, enjoy the flavor of our salty skin, or savor exquisite foods with their mouths. However, there can be more concerning factors if you observe that your dog is consistently and frequently licking the furniture. Does your dog lick things like the couch, your favorite chair, the pillows in your bed, and other things? The peanut butter-covered sofa suggests that it probably isn’t. A dog’s tendency to lick the furniture may be an indication of worry, stress, or even a medical ailment.
A bored dog might lick the furniture. He might simply be attempting to pass the time as there isn’t anything else to keep his mind and body active. Make sure he has toys, games, and treats to amuse himself with when you aren’t around if the behavior isn’t constant and if he can be quickly distracted from it.
A change in the dog’s environment or routine might cause anxiety and tension, which can lead to excessive licking. Is there a new resident in the house or a significant increase in activity, for instance? Dogs are creatures of habit, so changing their regular routine can worry them. Dogs use repetitive licking as a kind of self-soothing and endorphin release. Licking the couch is frequently a one-off reaction to stress, loneliness, or boredom. If left unchecked, it might develop into a habit, though.
Consider giving your dog additional opportunities for socializing, stimulation, and exercise. Increase your child’s playtime by bringing in new toys and hard puzzles, setting up playdates, or starting a new hobby like a dog sport. By the way, activity and exercise are well-known stress relievers that can benefit people. Even if the problem is not resolved, it is the most straightforward solution and has virtually no drawbacks.
Furniture Licking and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Some dogs actually exhibit true obsessive-compulsive behavior when they lick their furnishings excessively. Obsessive and/or compulsive behavior is displayed when your dog cannot be diverted from licking, licks intensely or aggressively, or appears to be almost dozing off. In people, it’s the difference between anxiously biting your nails and being unable to leave the house without making sure the door is secured seven times.
Canine OCD can affect any breed equally, however certain canines may be more prone to compulsive behaviors than others. This can be observed in dogs that have lived in extremely constrained, sterile conditions, such as being chained in a yard or housed without access to exercise or socialization. These canines might be exhibiting stereotypy, which is characterized as a single, recurring, non-functional habit, in this case, licking furniture. Moving to a kind, stimulating workplace could not even result in a change in the behavior because stereotypes can solidify into hard-to-break habits.
However, dogs raised in a reliable, caring, and healthy environment can also suffer from OCD. It’s possible that stimulation and diversion won’t help here. Discuss potential therapies, including as anti-anxiety medication and behavior modification therapy, with your veterinarian. You’ll eventually develop the ability to recognize triggers and foresee conduct.
The physical causes of excessive furniture licking are also possible. Due to their delicate digestive systems, dogs may exhibit symptoms of nausea or an upset stomach. Canine cognitive deterioration (dementia) in older dogs may cause compulsive licking.
So, Before Your Dog Licks the Sofa Threadbare, What Can You Do?
You have a decent probability of ending the habit if you can identify what’s driving it.
- Assume that the cause is boredom, and provide him with an alternative kind of entertainment like a toy or game.
- A new baby, visitors, loud noises outdoors, the doorbell ringing, or other stressors in his environment should all be kept in mind. Once you’ve identified the behavior’s origin, you might be able to either get rid of it or divert your dog’s attention with more suitable stimuli.
- Think of ailments like dementia or digestive difficulties.
- Speak with your veterinarian. She might suggest treatment for anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder after ruling out any specific medical factors.
It’s not necessarily aberrant behavior if your dog occasionally licks the sofa and can be distracted from it. After all, dogs will lick a variety of objects to feel and learn about their surroundings. It’s also a typical method of coping with anxiousness. But when licking results in wet chair arms or sofa cushions and becomes so persistent as to border on obsession, it’s time to take action. You’ll prevent damage to your furniture and distress for your pet’s body or mind.
My dog is licking my blanket, why?
Licking is a way for dogs to understand and feel their surroundings. However, licking in dogs is not solely an exploratory behavior. Dogs use their sense of taste, much as people do, to comprehend the world around them.
Most animals use licking as a means of self-hygiene, and your lovely puppy is no exception. Furthermore, most dogs associate licking with something positive.
When your dog is still a puppy, its mother will lick it to keep it clean and to show it how much she loves it. Therefore, it may appear later in life as a taught behavior that eventually turns into an automatic habit.
This means that dog licking is completely natural. The only time you should be concerned is if you notice your dog engaging in compulsive or obsessive licking. Numerous factors can cause excessive licking. Listed below are a handful of the most typical ones:
If your dog was previously a completely well-behaved puppy but has now started to lick your blanket frequently, you need to look into the origin of the issue. Pay attention to any recent changes in your dog’s routine or daily activities.
It could be that you’ve started working long hours away from home or that there have been loud noises coming from the street construction outside your home. In either case, your dog will react to this drastic shift in routine and might possibly develop separation anxiety.
OCD, often known as obsessive compulsive disorder, is also rather frequent in animals. Numerous factors, most notably any significant environmental changes, may be the reason.
Putting your dog’s concerns at ease is the simplest method to treat separation anxiety. You should spend more time with your dog if it develops separation anxiety. Your dog will also need to be trained. OCD is helped by training as well.
Your pet has to be aware that you’ll be gone from home for a while. You should provide your dog lots of toys and engaging games to play when it is by itself so that it may stay mentally busy.
Numerous dog breeds experience digestive system problems. Therefore, if your dog begins to lick itself excessively, it could be a sign of nausea or gastrointestinal pain.
The majority of dogs today have allergies to soy, wheat, and even corn. However, as a filler, grains are used in dog food by the majority of manufacturers. Therefore, excessive licking will be the result if you give your animal companion something to which it might be allergic.
Home cures do not work as a stomach distress treatment. Make moderate changes to your dog’s food after consulting with your veterinarian. When your pet has a weak stomach, you must only choose non-GMO, grain-free, and organic items.
Allergies may be evidently indicated by impulsive and excessive licking, as well as red skin or discomfort. You must visit a vet if your dog does experience some allergies. In the interim, allergy relief can be achieved by keeping your dog away from dust, pollution, any kind of harsh chemicals, and even grains.
A bacterial or fungal infection, however, might also be indicated by excessive licking. The act of licking your dog’s skin causes the production of endorphins, which act as a dog’s natural painkiller. Technically speaking, your pet can be in a lot of discomfort and licking to try to get some relief.
If your dog does have an infection, there is no way to avoid the doctor. A canine’s underlying disease needs to be addressed right away, or it could worsen and become incurable. It is advisable to examine your dog’s body for any lumps, lesions, or cuts.
Your dog may be licking your blanket because it enjoys doing so if you’ve checked out any medical concerns and you don’t think your dog is experiencing separation anxiety. Humans leave a lot of skin and dead cells on their bedding while they sleep.
Your dog keeps licking your blanket because they can smell your scent on it and it reminds them of you because, as you may know, a dog’s tongue is one of its most sensitive organs. Dogs also take pleasure in licking themselves because it releases endorphins into their bodies.
This feel-good enzyme makes your dog happy and content. Therefore, when you aren’t home, your dog may combine licking your blanket with licking itself to pass the time.
You might find it disturbing to always go to bed with a blanket covered in dog spit. But it’s not an issue without a fix. Your dog can be rapidly trained to stop doing this. If you don’t have any experience with basic dog training, you can always contact a dog trainer or animal behaviorist for assistance.
A lot of dog owners don’t know why their dogs occasionally lick their bedding. But they actually miss the fact that they might be the ones to blame for such inappropriate behavior. Pet parents frequently like cuddling up to their animals, watching movies, and munching on snacks.
Now, if you drop some of your favorite snack—one that you and your dog both enjoy—on the blanket, your dog will be able to scent it out.
Sometimes dogs find tiny food particles embedded in the fabric of the blanket and lick at them to acquire a taste of the food. However, even if there isn’t any food on your blanket and all that’s left is the aroma of your dog’s favorite snack, they will contentedly lick at it for hours on end.
Hygiene is the only answer to this issue. Just like your pet maintains their own hygiene, you also need to get used to the concept of doing the same. There is no danger in watching a movie with your pet, but if you have consumed any goodies, you must clean the couch and wash the blanket you used.
Mineral Or Vitamin Deficiency
Additionally, there is a very strong chance that your dog, if he or she is practicing excessive licking, may be severely deficient in vitamins or minerals. Many pet owners take extra precautions when it comes to their dogs’ diets. However, occasionally some breeds are born lacking in particular vitamins or minerals, like as calcium.
Going to the doctor is the only way to be certain that your dog does not have a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Additionally, starting your pets on vitamins without a vet’s advice is never a good idea.
What draws dogs to blankets and sheets?
Licking is a behavior that dogs naturally engage in, but depending on where your dog is licking, the effect can range from barely perceptible to a significant annoyance.
Have you ever been about to climb into bed when you noticed that your linens were covered in a sizable puddle of thick, slimy dog saliva where your dog had been licking?
However, following such an incident, you must be wondering, “Why do dogs lick sheets?”
There are various innocuous reasons why dogs lick blankets. Your dog is drawn to your blankets because they smell like you. Tempting tastes like sweat salt or food crumbs may also be present on your linens. However, there’s a chance that conditions like anxiety, OCD, or even pica are at blame.
The majority of the time, the most common causes for your dog to lick your bedding are harmless ones, but this behavior may also be an indication of something more serious.
We’ll go over each of the most likely causes of your dog’s sheet-licking behavior since as a dog owner, you’ll need to know which you’re dealing with. We’ll also go over some ways you may assist stop it.
What should I do to stop my dog from licking the couch?
There are numerous explanations for why your dog might be compulsively licking the couch, as we’ve already covered. It’s up to you to dig around and see if you can identify the root of your dog’s behavior. You can start taking action to stop your dog from licking once you’ve determined why they’re doing it. You can stop your dog from licking the couch by using the following techniques. While some of these techniques are almost universal, others are exclusively suitable for specific underlying problems.
Regardless of the cause, using a bitter spray is one of the simplest and quickest ways to convince your dog to quit licking the couch. A training tool is bitter spray. This spray has a bitter flavor, so your dog won’t want to lick the affected area. Naturally, these sprays are completely safe for pets and won’t hurt your dog.
In all honesty, our experiences with bitter sprays have been hit or miss, but Grannick’s Bitter Apple Original Taste Deterrent Dog Spray has always appeared to work well for us. Simply mist it on the couch where your dog is licking to stop the activity. Nothing could be simpler!
Up the Exercise
Dogs frequently lick furniture when they are bored or have too much stored up energy. It’s understandable how this occurs considering that many of these canines spend the most of their days confined to the home. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to solve by simply giving your dog more exercise and physical activity.
You can begin by taking your dog for one or two daily walks or runs. Try giving your dog extra time outside if you have a yard. Aside from preventing boredom, getting your dog some new toys might help him burn off some of his excess energy. It’s a good idea to buy your dog engaging toys like puzzle boxes that need him to work for treats because they will keep him occupied both cognitively and physically, completely removing his ennui.
You have a lot of options for toys. Certain toys can be used to conceal rewards, and your dog will work to retrieve them.
Try using a tool like the iFetch Mini Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy if your dog needs more exercise but you lack the time or energy to provide it to them. With the help of this fantastic gadget, you may play fetch with your dog. Your dog only needs to learn how to throw the ball into the deep hole. The ball will then be launched by the iFetch for your dog to catch. To stay in your yard, you can change the launching distance. This will provide your dog with hours of wonderful entertainment that is both cognitively and physically taxing.
Have the Vet Check for Underlying Conditions
It can be challenging to detect hidden issues with your dog because of its limited ability to communicate with you. Children can communicate their discomfort to you. Dogs can only communicate with you by their behaviours, which are frequently difficult to interpret.
You may require expert assistance if you are unable to identify the reason why your dog keeps licking the couch. You most likely won’t be able to identify the underlying medical condition if it is the cause of the issue. But since your veterinarian is a professional, they ought to be able to identify the underlying issue and recommend a course of action.
Behavior Modification Training
Sometimes issues like excessive licking are just behavioral ones. Since they are modifiable, behavior modification training can be used. Undoubtedly, there are a variety of approaches to behavior change training. You could use some sweets and encouraging words. You might also try giving your dog something else to lick instead of the couch.
It might be challenging to traverse the training process to change behavior. For this one, you might want to seek the expert assistance of a dog trainer. While watching videos about dog training online can teach you a lot, nothing compares to the experience a professional dog trainer gains from years of dealing with a variety of dogs. A qualified trainer will have a variety of resources at their disposal to help alter your dog’s behavior.