If your dog has been licking its toy, a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog lick its toy? Possible reasons why your dog licks its toy are that it is hungry or thirsty, it likes the taste, it is anxious or that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Since there are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been licking its toy, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.

Why your dog licks its toy

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Hunger or thirst

The cause could be that it is thirsty or hungry. This is because the door might have some moisture on it or because there is something such as food or drink stuck on the toy. This would be more likely if it does it more when it does not have access to water, it has not eaten for a while and if it does it more with toys that have treats in them.

It could also be a sign that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it is not being fed enough or it is being fed the wrong foods and it is not getting the nutrients that it needs. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its diet or if it does it when it eats certain foods.

It would help to discuss its diet with your local vet. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog.

It likes the taste

It could be the case that your dog has been doing it because it likes the taste of the toy. This would be more likely if it is a toy that has treats in it.

Exploration

Dogs will start to lick things before they’re even able to open their eyes so they will naturally begin to explore the world using their tongues. This habit can continue into adulthood causing it to naturally lick things quite often.

Anxiety

It might be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious and it has been licking the toy as a soothing behavior. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at a time when it is more likely to be anxious.

One reason why it might be anxoius is that it has separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of being anxious when you are about to leave home.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

It could be the case that it has been doing it due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to lick things and it does it constantly. If your dog has been licking the toy constantly, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first started doing it

If your dog has not always licked the toy, like it has been, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as something causing it to be anxious or hunger and dehydration.

What is different when your dog licks its toy

If your dog tends to lick its toy more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it more, when you are about to leave home, it could be the case that it has separation anxiety and it is licking the toy as a soothing behavior.

What to do about your dog licking its toy

Below are some options you have when dealing with your dog licking its toy a lot.

Ensure that it has access to water

As mentioned above, one of the causes could be that it is thirsty. It would help to ensure that your dog has access to water whenever it might want some.

Get help

If you cannot figure out why your dog has been doing it or it has been doing it constantly, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out medical causes.

Reduce reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to try to limit possible reasons why it might be anxious. Some ways to do so would include giving it exercise, feeding it and letting it pee before leaving it for long time periods.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.