Why Does My Dog Lick the Floor Constantly?


Dogs are funny little creatures. But, they are also very loyal, loving and forgiving. Your dog will be your best buddy, and a friend for life. This is why we can really enjoy when our dogs lick us. Whether it’s your hands or feet, getting a few sloppy kisses off your dog can make you really feel like they love you as much as you love them!

What is strange, though, is if your dog seems to lick everything. From their paws, the floors to your hands and toes, your dog may have a serious licking problem. Whilst licking may seem benign and not a problem for you, licking excessively and licking the floor constantly can be a real issue for some dogs.

So, why do they do it? That is what we are here for! If your dog licks the floor a lot, from dusk until dawn, before and after food then it may be a habit that is vexing not only you, but your dog too. So, why does your dog always lick the floor?

Why does my dog always lick the floor?

There are a myriad of reasons as to why your dog may be licking the floor. The first of these reasons is that your dog is a scavenger. By licking the floor, your dog is constantly scoping out crumbs of food and tasty treats that they may find lying around.

On the other hand, if your dog has recently begun excessively licking the floors and other surfaces, then this could be a sign of a deeper issue, such as their health and other gastrointestinal problems within your doggie.

Unlike humans, tongues are much more important to dogs. The tongue is a vital part of how a dog discovers the world, and they will use their tongue to lick, search for items, and understand things.

A tongue provides your dog with a means of tasting, but also a way of expressing itself, and cooling itself down when panting. So, the tongue is more important to a dog than you may think!

A dog’s tongue is how they experience the world around them, and it is just as important to them as their sense of smell, and sight. This is because dog’s tongues have so many sensory cells, making them able to detect and understand tastes that us humans could only imagine.

Therefore, naturally, a dog will use its tongue a lot anyway, but when a dog is excessively or obsessively licking, then this may be a sign of another issue. For instance, dogs can develop unhealthy behaviours and habits. One of the most common unhealthy habits that a dog may have is excessive licking.

Trust me, I know all about this. My dog will lick her paws for hours, almost in a trance-like state, and I will try and intervene, with my hands or my foot to stop her, and she will just lick that instead! Having an obsession such as this is not only stressful for the owner, but it can also be stressful for the doggie too.

Your dog may excessively lick because they are anxious, nervous or scared, but also when they are bored and need stimulation. However, too much licking can sometimes be a sign of a health problem inside of your furry friend.

Why is my dog licking the floor all of a sudden?

The most common reason a dog may start licking the floor is to discover food. This is often why some dogs hang around at the dinner table, or linger around small children because they know that they may drop something delicious for them to scrounge, munch and get their paws on!

If the licking seems excessive, then it may be a sign of ELS, which is short for a condition called Excessive Licking of Surfaces. This condition is not limited to just floors, your dog may lick walls, your skin, carpets, household furniture, their toys or even the pavements and floors outside. But not to worry, this is rather common, and can be treated medically.

Health reasons for licking the floor

For many dogs, excessive licking is a sign that there is something wrong inside of their bodies, such as in the GI tract or digestive system, which can give them the urge to lick.

If you think that this is the case for your dog, then you should take them to the veterinarian, to see what is the best course of action. Sometimes, it is a behavioural trait that will need training or rectifying, whereas other cases simply need some medication to help the digestive issues.

If you notice that your dog has begun licking the floor excessively out of nowhere, then it is best to take it to the local veterinarian, or a medical professional immediately. The same goes for if you notice any drastic changes in your dog’s wellbeing, behaviour and health at any given moment.

In addition, if your dog is also panting a lot, coughing, or licking too much, then you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. It could just be nothing, and there is no treatment for your dog’s behaviour, but you never want to take a chance when it comes to your furry friends.

How to stop your dog from licking the floor

As previously mentioned, some dogs (such as mine) can be perfectly healthy, but still obsessively lick the floor and other surfaces. In my pup’s case, she loves licking the floor when she is bored or has nothing to do!

For other dogs, they may be licking the floor because they are suffering from some nervousness, or anxiety. This is usually nothing to worry about, but sometimes the habit can become an obsession, or a compulsion that will not go away.

For instance, if a dog is left alone for long periods of time, it can find comfort and solitude in licking its paws or the floor. Over time, this can make the paws very sore, and can stress out the dog after excessive licking, so it is a behaviour that you will want to fix.

Sometimes, this is a problem that is easily rectified. If your dog seems to lick surfaces because they are bored, or anxious, then try to ensure that they are stimulated more often. This means giving them more attention, or offering them new toys to play with. Try to ensure that they have ample playtime, exercise and more walks than normal.

If your dog is bored to the point where they have to lick themselves, you or other surfaces to entertain themselves, then it may be time to buckle up and start taking them for more walks, and giving them more mental stimulation.

This can be hard if you work full time, and struggle to get the work/dog parent life balance. If this is the case, then why not hire a dog walker, or ask a friend to pop in and check on your dog from time to time when you are working.

This is even more vital if you have a dog that has high energy levels, such as a German Shepherd, or a Siberian Husky as they will need to be kept mentally and physically stimulated, or they could become anxious and depressed in the future.

If you have not got time to walk your dog when they begin licking, then try to take them out into your yard for a bit of playtime. For instance, you could take their favorite toy, and start playing tug of war, or throw the ball for them, so that they can run and fetch it back.

This will be very stimulating and enjoyable for them, and it gives you a break too! After a few rounds of fetch, your dog will be tired, and may want to take a quick nap when you go back indoors, instead of licking the floors and paws excessively.

If you think that your dog is an anxious licker, then it is important to notice when this is happening, and recognize this behaviour. When a dog is anxious, its tail may be tucked between its legs, or its ears may be pinned back. In addition, a stressed out doggie may be pacing, unsettled, shaking, and its eyes can be very wide, with the pupils dilated.

If you notice these signs in your dog’s behaviour, then they may be nervous or scared. Try to comfort your dog, and ensure them that they are safe, and okay, and try to prevent them from turning to anxious licking behaviours.

The best way to distract an anxious or nervous dog is to give them something else to concentrate on. For instance, you may need to introduce a routine of tricks and movements that they can do instead. Dogs naturally love to please their humans, and so giving them commands to follow is a great way of taking their minds off something, and placing their attention elsewhere.

For instance, you could try having a routine of heel, sit, and lie down, to get them to calm down by themselves if they are behaving anxiously. This will distract them from anything else, and make them more comfortable and soothed. What is even better is if you use treats as a reward, as this will definitely make them feel calmer and better!

Keep in mind that if your dog suffers from anxiety often, then it could be a deeper issue, and you should consult a professional, or take your canine companion to see a veterinarian.

Why does my dog lick me?

Dogs love to give their humans kisses. And secretly we love it, too! Dogs lick us whenever they can, all of the time, so you may be wondering why does my dog lick me? The most basic answer is that you taste so good to them. The particles, sweat, food and any other things that are on our skin are incredibly tasty to our dogs, and they love the salty taste of our skin!

You’ll be thrilled to hear that another reason dogs lick us is because it is a way for them to show their affections. Licking humans can be calming for dogs, and they can lick to show you that they are happy, and satisfied. I know for a fact, after I have fed my dog, she likes to come and give my ankles a quick lick…every single time. It is like a token of her gratitude!

In other senses, dogs are actually very smart, and they know how to get attention from us. Dogs know how well we respond to being licked, and that we will most likely offer them attention, belly rubs or pats in return for doggie kisses, and so dogs will lick us to gain our attention, too.

However, if you do not enjoy the constant licking and attention that you are getting from your furry friend, then there are a few ways that you can discourage this behaviour.

For instance, if your dog licks your hands, arms, feet and legs excessively, then this is probably because they love the way that you taste! To prevent this, you may want to wash in highly perfumed soaps and sprays that will not taste good when licked, which will stop your dog from licking you in future.

Keep in mind that even if you do wash in strong smelling scents, it will not completely discourage your dog from licking. As mentioned before, dogs enjoy and understand the world through the use of their tongues, and so they will probably still give you a kiss here and there.

It is for this reason that it is important not to scold them or get angry with them for licking, as they do not understand why licking is a problem. Just make sure that they are not licking excessively, or displaying any unnatural licking behaviours, and apply positive reinforcements for good behaviour.

Why do dogs lick so much?

Dogs lick so much because their tongues are vital to their health. The saliva on a dog’s tongue is full of good enzymes that work to kill bacteria and get rid of dirt from wounds, or places where it shouldn’t be. For instance, your dog will clean itself with its tongue after going outside to pee, so keep that in mind next time you let it lick your face!

Dogs lick with their tongues to remove harmful bacteria, dirt and grime build up to keep them healthy and happy. In addition, it is clear that most dogs lick to show their love, appreciation and affection.

Conclusion

Your dog may lick the floor from time to time. For the most part, this is completely normal, and nothing to worry about. However, if this licking becomes an obsessive behaviour, then it may be time to seek some assistance from a veterinarian.

Some dogs can lick because they are bored or anxious, so it is vital that you keep your dog happy, healthy and stimulated so that you bring as much joy to your furry friend’s life as they do to yours!

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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