From our faces to our furniture to themselves, some dogs are in love with licking anything and everything. Although it can be cute at first, it quickly gets pretty coarse. So why do they do it?
Dog’s incessant licking is mostly their way of trying to show affection towards you. When we pick up our pups or give them attention, chances are we pat their heads, along with petting their fur. Their way to show love back to us is by licking.
However, there are other grounds your pup might be fanatically licking—including as a way to get attention. Licking can be a learned behavior for pups, as they see that when they lick their owner, they get more attention.
Licking is also a sensory means, so if your dog is licking random objects of your home, they are probably just exploring. It’s easier to get a feel for their environs if they can taste everything. But licking objects like your rug or furniture can also be indicative of boredom (which can often lead to negative behavior), and a recent study linked unnecessary licking of surfaces to certain gastrointestinal disorders.
Another reason for licking is your pup wanting to clean themselves and/or spots around them. They've seen it since they were born; animals lick things for cleaning and care. If your dog seems to be infatuated with licking themselves or one particular thing, they probably are. (Yes, dogs can have (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) OCD, too).
"Excessive" dog licking often only seems too much to the pup’s owner, not the pooch itself. But if it's bothersome adequate to you, a trainer can often help curb your pup's eagerness for giving wet, sloppy kisses. And while strange behavior is not rare for them, if your pup’s licking seems odd or in any way concerning, there is no harm in taking your pet to a vet for a checkup—even if it’s just for peace of mind.