Dogs tend to lick just about anything and everything, but excessive licking can be cause for concern.
If your dog is licking the floor, it is important to understand why. We will go into some of the possible reasons for this particular behavior. The more you know, the easier it will be to take the appropriate action.
Common Reasons for Floor Licking
1. Your Dog Might be Sick
There are a wide range of medical problems that can cause a dog to constantly lick the floor. This is a behavior that dogs often exhibit when they are in pain or distress. It is important that you take your pet to the vet to rule out this explanation.
Sometimes even just an upset stomach can cause a dog to keep licking. In fact, one study revealed that gastrointestinal upset was the most common reason for this behavior.
Pay attention for other signs of illness, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Urinating and/or defecating in the house
- Lethargic behavior
- Sleeping much more or less than usual
- Red or dry eyes
- Stiff movements
Illness can present in many different ways with a dog. You will need to make a point of going to see your veterinarian if there is any major change in your dog’s behavior or daily habits. It could be a sign of something very serious.
2. The Dog Wants to Get Your Attention
Sometimes a dog will start licking the floor as a way of getting their owner’s attention. If you have told them to stop licking before, it might have become a learned behavior for them. You should consider whether or not you are currently giving your dog enough attention on a daily basis.
Neglecting your dog can cause all sorts of undesirable behaviors to manifest, including obsessive floor licking. You might want to try playing with it more each day. Even just petting your dog a little bit could stop them from doing this. Never underestimate the power of affection when it comes to your pet.
If this is the case, it is important that you don’t reward your dog by giving it attention when it starts licking the floor. This will eliminate any motivation for doing this. You need to focus on giving your dog attention before it starts doing this.
3. Lack of Exercise
Dogs can get bored from lack of attention as well as inadequate physical exercise. Even very low-energy dogs need to get outside and stretch their legs each day. If you don’t walk your dog every single day, you should start doing so. In fact, most dogs need to be talked twice daily.
You need to make a point of walking your dog in the morning and again in the afternoon or evening. It’s also a good idea to take them to a dog part where they can play and socialize with other dogs. Being cooped up in the house all the time could be the reason for your dog’s excessive floor licking.
Dogs can have problems with anxiety just like humans, and it can manifest in many different ways. Some of these animals begin licking floors, furniture and other surfaces obsessively. Some dogs have separation anxiety, while others are anxious for no apparent reason.
Other signs of canine anxiety include excessive drooling, panting, pacing, and going to the bathroom in the house. If you suspect that your dog has this particular problem, you should see your vet. They may recommend that you give your dog prescription medication on a daily basis or as needed.
5. The Floor is Tasty
Your dog might be licking the floor because there are small food crumbs or other tasty remnants on it. Make sure that you are diligent about keeping your floors clean so your dog won’t be tempted to lick them.
Keep in mind that dogs have an incredible sense of smell that is much stronger than a human’s. You will need to be thorough when vacuuming or wiping down your floors at home.
They might even be licking the floor because they like the taste of the cleaning products you use on it. Try using a different, pet-friendly cleaning product. Traditional cleaning products can have certain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. This change in taste could be enough to get your dog to stop licking all the time.
6. A New Environment
If you have just moved into a new place, your dog could be licking the floor because it is stressed. Some dogs don’t respond well to a change in venue. This can lead to all sorts of odd behaviors, including constant licking.
The best thing that you can do for your dog is to make it as comfortable as possible in your new home. Make sure that your dog has its favorite toys nearby at all times. Try giving your dog some puzzle toys to keep it mentally and physical occupied.
You might also want to give it a little extra attention until it adjusts to its new environment.
Putting a Stop to Constant Floor Licking
A lot of dogs that won’t stop licking the floor are just in need of more attention, but it could be more than that. If you can’t seem to get them to quit, you should try using a taste deterrent.
Spraying a little bit on the floor can work well, especially if they usually lick a certain spot. In fact, you can make your own deterrent solution at home with some vinegar and/or lemon juice.
It is important to rule out illness and anxiety when trying to get down to the bottom of your dog’s floor licking. You should pay a visit to your vet just to make certain that there is nothing more going on. Remember to not give your dog attention when it starts licking the floor. This includes scolding it. Instead you will want to look at the big picture and come up with some effective solutions for stopping this behavior.