If you own a Pug, you may notice that they may be constantly licking themselves. If you’ve wondered “why do Pugs lick so much,” you’re not alone. As a new pet owner, it can be frustrating to see your dog constantly licking their feet, nose, lips, their bed and etc.
Unlike cats, dogs do not lick themselves to keep clean. If your Pug is constantly licking themselves in a particular area, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Your dog could be dealing with behavioral problems, underlying medical issues, attention, or can be dealing with boredom.
I’ll share some of the tell-tale signs of why your dog could be licking constantly. Hopefully, this will help you understand what your dog is trying to tell you.
Why Do Pugs Lick So Much
One of the things that I’ve learned is that dogs that lick so much may be struggling with behavioral issues, as opposed to dealing with medical issues. Yes, there are some medical issues that your pet can be dealing with and I’ll cover some of those later on in this article.
But first, let’s take a look at why Fido is licking your furniture, floor, constantly grooming themselves or even licking you to death. This article will explain why Pugs obsessively lick the floor and surfaces.
Your dog may be licking your legs, face, hands or face because they like the salty taste of your skin. Dogs also lick their owners as a sign of affection.
Let’s take a look at what some of the signs are if your dog is suffering from behavioral problems.
Behavioral Reasons That Cause Your Dog to Lick
- Boredom and or anxiousness
- Calming or soothing effects
- Developed bad habits
- Likes the salty taste
- Showing affection to people and other animals
- Injury (pay attention to whether or not they start limping)
If your dog is dealing with behavioral issues, you can train them to stop licking. Whenever they lick, use positive reinforcement to get them to stop.
You can curb their licking by rewarding them with treats or toys to get them to perform the desired behavior you want them to.
For example, when your dog starts licking and you tell them to stop, give them a toy instead. It’s important to reward your dog as soon as they stop licking.
Medical Reasons Your Dog Licks Too Much
Some Pugs will suffer from excessive licking if they are show signs of underlying medical issues. As a pet owner, it’s sometimes easy to spot.
Some dogs will develop hot spots or hair loss in the area that they’ve been licking. This is what happened with Mindy my black Pug.
Some dogs will acquire allergies that can cause their skin or paws to itch. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, they can come into contact with bacteria, fungus, or parasites that can cause them to become infected with allergies.
An older Pug can be experiencing underlying pain from arthritis or an injury that causes them to lick and eventually start limping. They lick their joints because it helps soothe the pain.
The licking releases endorphins which help are natural painkillers and helps them soothe their sore muscles or joints.
Other Medical Reasons You Should Be Aware Of
- GI issues (Gastrointestinal issues)
- Underlying pain (arthritis, pain)
4 Ways to Stop Obsessive Dog Licking
Licking is a natural compulsion for dogs (unless they become compulsive about it and can’t stop). So how do you get your dog to stop licking you or themselves without making them feel bad?
Well, I’ll share 4 things you can do that will instill positive reinforcement and remove the bad habits.
#1 Ignore Your Dog
A lot of dogs will start licking obsessively because they want attention. Some will even come up and give you a kiss because they know you’ll pet them.
When you pet them while they are licking, you are basically rewarding and encouraging bad behavior.
If you want Fido to stop, try ignoring them. If your Pug doesn’t receive attention when they are licking, there’s a good chance that they’ll stop doing it over time.
#2 Spend Time With Them
If you have a hectic schedule, you may not be spending enough time with your Pug. Make it a point to start spending more time with them, you’ll start to see what type of behaviors they have developed.
Pugs love human companionship and spending too much time alone can be stressful for them. Try to make it a point to visit your Pug during the day if possible.
If you can’t get away from work to drop by to see your Pug, see if you can have a family member or friend stop by. You will notice that just by having company can stop this bad habit.
#3 Teach Your Pug The No-Lick Command
Dogs are easy to train and just like teaching them how to sit, come or any other command, you can teach them how not to lick.
Start using the “No-Lick” command when you see them starting to lick. Use positive reinforcement to help them understand that you don’t approve of the obsessive licking.
As soon as they stop licking, reward them with a toy or treat. Once the command has been learned, you’ll find it easier to get them to stop licking whenever you see it happening.
#4 Get Them Some Exercise
Some dogs tend to lick when they are bored or just looking for something to do. They may have a bunch of pent-up energy that needs to be burnt off.
If your Pug is constantly licking, try taking them for a short walk. Exercising them on a daily basis will tire them out so they won’t want to lick.
When to Contact The Vet
If you’ve tried all the steps above to try to get your Pug to stop licking, and they won’t stop. There may be an underlying medical condition that you may not know about.
At this point, your best bet is to contact your vet. They will be able to test your pet for any skin irritations or other physical reasons that can be causing excessive licking.
Skin irritations are common in Pugs, so make sure that you address the issue if you nothing works for getting your Pug to stop licking.
One of the signs that your Pug is dealing with skin irritations is hair loss in patches, which are called hot spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Pugs Lick Their Bed?
If your dog is constantly licking their bed, there’s a good chance that their dog keeps chews or treats in their bed. Your dog may also have crumbs or pieces of food in their bed.
Are you feeding your dog while they are in their bed? It’s not unusual for a dog to grab a mouthful of food and take it back to their bed or crate.
If your dog is constantly licking their bed, it may be time to wash it. Here are some great pet beds that are easy to clean, when your dog licks it to death.
If you find that your dog is licking themselves too much, it’s time to pay attention. Are they trying to tell you they are bored or do they have allergies?
We had no clue that Mindy had allergies when she was constantly licking her feet. It wasn’t until we took her to the vet to find out why she was getting hot spots on her legs.
Your pet may not be dealing with any type of medical problems, but as a pet owner, it’s important to find out why your pet is miserable from licking so much.
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