Why Is My Dog Licking Himself So Much?

Many dogs' food allergies stem from protein.
Dogs' lives revolve around a few basic pleasures; they eat, sleep, run, and play. Oh yeah, and they lick themselves. A little bit of licking is normal for a dog. However, some dogs go above and beyond (maybe, this is your dog). Excessive licking can be a sign that there is a bigger problem looming, and something needs to be done. Some of the problems that may manifest themselves in excessive licking include:

Food Allergies
If you notice your pup chewing and incessantly licking his fur, this may be a sign of a food allergy. If your dog does have a food allergy, there is a good chance that it may be coming from the protein source in his diet. According to Modern Dog Magazine, "Food Allergies are the over-response of your dog's immune system to an invading protein. In the case of a food allergy, this protein is contained in your dog's food." Before you make any changes in your dog's diet, you will want to consult a veterinarian. Dogs are omnivores- meaning they eat everything- so taking protein out of their diet should only be done if it's absolutely necessary.

Cigarette smoke can irritate a dog's skin.
Airborne Allergies
Allergic reactions in dogs can also come from airborne toxins like chemicals, cigarette smoke, grass, and dust mites. These toxins will irritate and cause dogs to lick (in an effort to cool down the skin and bring temporary relief) and bite their fur. Sneezing, coughing, and swelling of certain areas of the body may also be signs that an allergic reaction is happening. To relieve these symptoms, dog owners should make sure to bathe their dog frequently and change the environmental surroundings of their pup.

Parasites
One of the most frequent irritants that causes dog licking is the presence of fleas and/or mites. Fleas are most frequent in warm, humid temperatures- their favorite being 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit and 75-85% humidity. Once again, bathing will play a pivotal role in your dog's battles. But, the primary source of relief comes from Advantage Flea Products. Advantage Flea Products have been proven to eliminate 98-100% of fleas within 12 hours of its application. To apply Advantage Flea Control, owners just have to apply the ointment in between the dog's shoulder blades.

If a dog licks ALL the time, it may be a sign of a health problem
Emotional Distress
A dog's excessive licking and chewing can also stem from emotional problems like depression, anxiety, and stress. Many times these problems are caused by an absent owner or a lack of stimulation. Also, it could be caused by an unknown health problem. To remedy this, owners should make sure that they are providing their pup with attention, love, stimulation, and vet visits.

Contrary to popular opinion, a dog that licks himself too much isn't the sign of a weird dog. Instead, it's often a sign of a dog that is struggling with some health issue. If you think that your pup is suffering, make sure you do a little bit of investigating to help him find relief.

By: Tim Snyder
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