Do you have a dog that likes to lick his crate? If so, you’re not alone. Many dogs enjoy licking their crates, and there are a few reasons why this might be the case. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons why dogs lick their crates and how to stop them from doing so.
Why Is My Dog Licking His Crate?
There may be a few reasons for this puzzling behavior, and here are the most common ones:
1. Your Dog May Be Bored and Is Looking For Something to Do.
When your dog is cooped up in a crate many days in a row for extended periods of time, it’s only natural that he may get bored. And when a dog is bored, he often looks for ways to entertain himself – even if that means licking his crate.
2. Your Dog May Be Trying to Get Your Attention.
Sometimes, a dog will lick his crate as a way to get your attention. If you normally come over to the crate while he is doing this behavior, or even yell at him for it, this reinforces that licking the crate is a way to get your attention.
3. Your Dog May Be Seeking Comfort or Security.
Another reason your dog may lick his crate is for comfort or security. Some dogs view their crates as their safe spaces, and licking the crate may help them feel more comfortable and secure in their space. There are territorial dogs that will also lick things that they view as their own, such as their crates or beds.
4. Your Dog May Be Anxious or Stressed.
If there has been a major change in the home or your dog has separation anxiety, this may be a reason why he is licking his crate. Dogs that are anxious or stressed often lick their bodies as a way to self-soothe, and this behavior may also extend to objects, such as crates.
5. There May Be Something Tasty on the Crate
Your dog may be licking his crate simply because there is something tasty on it – like a drop of food or water. If you feed your dog inside the crate, this may be a reason why he is licking it. Or, if the crate is in an area where your dog has access to water, he may be licking it because it’s wet.
6. Your Dog Is New to Crate Training
If your dog is new to crate training, he may be licking the crate because he’s not used to it yet. It’s important to give your dog time to adjust to the crate and get comfortable with it before expecting him not to lick it.
With time, patience, and a little bit of training, you can stop your dog from licking his crate.
How to Stop My Dog From Licking His Crate?
1. Mentally Stimulate Your Dog
If your dog is bored, try giving him more mental stimulation. This could include longer walks, interactive toys, and puzzle feeders. Even just giving your dog some more TLC including ear scratches or cuddle time could help to satisfy your dog’s needs and stop him from licking his crate.
2. Increase Your Dog’s Exercise
A tired dog is often a good dog. If your dog has more energy, he may be more likely to seek out ways to burn it off – like licking his crate. Try increasing your dog’s exercise by adding an extra walk or playtime session into his daily routine.
You can throw a ball in the backyard or go for a hike – anything to help tire your dog out both mentally and physically.
3. Move the Location of the Crate
Try to keep your dog’s crate in a place where he cannot see or reach you. If he is licking the crate because he is trying to get your attention, this will help to
4. Use a Calming Aid
If your dog is anxious or stressed, try using a calming aid such as Adaptil or Rescue Remedy. These products can help to ease your dog’s anxiety and make him more comfortable in his crate. Calming aids may take a few weeks to show full effect, so be patient while you are waiting for them to work.
You could also use a calming vest such as the Thundershirt to help reduce your dog’s anxiety. These work automatically without any training or medication and can be a great way to help an anxious dog.
4. Put a Toy in the Crate
If your dog is new to crate training or bored, try putting a toy in the crate with him. This will help him to associate the crate with positive things and make him more comfortable with it. Some good options include Kongs, Nylabones, and chew toys.
5. Contact a Behavioralist
If you’ve tried everything and your dog is still licking his crate, it’s time to contact a behavioralist. A behaviorist can help to identify the root of the problem and come up with a plan to stop the behavior. Then they will teach you how to implement the plan and provide support along the way.
6. Check in With Your Vet
If you think there is a medical reason for your dog’s licking behavior, it’s important to contact your vet. Often, licking can be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as allergies, anxiety, or gastrointestinal issues.
7. Don’t Do Anything
If the licking isn’t bothering you, there’s no reason to try and stop it. Some people don’t mind if their dog licks the crate as long as he’s not damaging it. If the licking isn’t causing any problems, you can just ignore it and let your dog do his thing.
8. Monitor Your Pup
Set up a camera for when you’re away to observe your dog’s crate licking behavior. This will help you to see if there are any patterns to his licking, such as when he does it or how long he does it.
You can use a baby monitor or pet camera to keep an eye on your dog while you’re away. This way, you can see what he’s up to and make sure he’s not licking his crate excessively.
9. Try a Different Crate
If you’re using a wire crate, try switching to a larger or soft-sided crate. This could make your dog more comfortable and less likely to lick the crate.
You could also try putting a sheet over the crate so your dog can’t see out. This could help to reduce his anxiety and stop him from licking the crate.