If your dog has been licking metal a lot, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog lick metal? Likely reasons why your dog licks metal are diet issues or Pica, your dog likes the taste, boredom, compulsive behavior, there is food stuck there, thirst or anxiety.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog licks metal and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my dog lick metal?
Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.
Diet issues or Pica
The cause could be that your dog has a nutritional deficiency and your dog has been trying to make up for it by eating or licking on things that they should not be. This would be more likely if your dog has not only been licking metal but has also been eating things that they should not be.
It would also be more likely if your dog has been showing signs of illness such as weakness or vomiting a lot. In this case, the best option would be to take them to the vet for a checkup.
Your dog likes the taste
It might also simply be the case that your dog likes the taste of metal. This would be more likely if your dog has not been behaving unusually in other ways and if your dog does it at random times.
Anxiety could be what has been causing it to do it. This would be more likely if it has started doing it after something happened that could make it anxious or if it does it more at a time where it is likely to be anxious. Examples could be if it does it more when a certain person is around, when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises coming from outside.
It might also be the case that your dog is bored and looking for ways to stimulate themselves. This would be more likely if your dog does it more before having gotten exercise.
The reason might be that it is due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it has an irresistible urge to lick metal so it keeps doing it. This would be more likely if it has been licking metal constantly for a few weeks now. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.
There is food stuck there
It might also be the case that your dog has been doing it because food was dropped there. This would be more likely if your dog has been licking a certain area of metal where people were recently eating or drinking.
It could also be the case that your dog is thirsty. This would be more likely if your dog does it more when they do not have access to water and if they lick metal that is wet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog has started doing it suddenly
If your dog did not always lick metal, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to being anxious, ill, a diet issue or food being stuck to the metal. It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started to lick the metal.
The timing of when your dog does it
If your dog also lick metal at a certain time, it would also help to consider the timing. If it does it more at a certain time it would be more likely to be due to things such as being anxious, hungry or bored due to not getting exercise.
How often your dog does it
It would also help to consider how often your dog does it. If it has been licking the metal constantly then it would be more likely to be compulsive behavior and something you’ll want to get help on from a vet or dog behaviorist.
If it does it less often, it would help to consider what is different when it does do it.
How to get my dog to stop licking metal?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
If your dog has been licking metal a lot, it would likely help to take your dog for a checkup with the vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
Ensure they’re getting the right diet
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet that has been causing it to do it. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your dog. It would also likely help to consult with your local vet on its diet.
Give your dog other things to lick
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to lick metal. Things that you could give it could be toys, puzzle games or bones.
Ensure your dog has access to water
It would also help to ensure that it has access to water throughout the day since it could be the case that it has been licking metal due to being thirsty.