If your dog has been licking your hair, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog lick my hair? Possible reasons why your dog licks your hair are that it likes the taste, it is grooming you, it wants attention, it is showing affection or that it is anxious.
Your dog might actually lick your hair for a number of reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my dog lick my hair?
Below are some possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
It likes the taste
The reason why your dog licks your hair could be that your dog likes the way your hair tastes. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more at a certain time such as after you have used the shower and if your dog also chews your hair.
It is grooming you
Another possible cause is that your dog is grooming you. This would be more likely if your dog seems to be relaxed when it does it and if it does it more when you are sitting down with it.
It might also be the case that it does it for attention. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
When dogs are bored, they will often look for ways to stimulate themselves. The reason why your dog has been doing it might be that it is bored. This would be more likely if it does it more before getting exercise and less after. In this case, it would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
It could also be the case that it does it when it is anxious. This would be more likely if your dog does it more at a certain time such as when you are about to leave home or when there are loud noises outside.
It is showing affection
A part of the cause is likely to be that your dog is showing you affection. This would be more likely if your dog tends to lick your hair more when you are petting it.
Some illnesses can cause dogs to start licking things that are not food, including hair. The reason why your dog has been licking your hair could be that it has gotten a disease or illness. This would be more likely if your dog is elderly, it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been licking on other unusual things a lot as well. In this case, it would help to take your cat to a veterinarian for a checkup.
A diet issue
Sometimes, dogs will also start licking hair when they have an issue with their diet. This is because, when they are not getting the necessary nutrients in their diet, they will chew other things in order to try to get the necessary nutrients. An issue with its diet would be more likely to be the cause if your dog has been doing it since a change in its diet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your dog has always licked your hair
If your dog has not always licked your hair, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded, something causing it to become anxious, illness or a diet change.
The timing of when your dog licks your hair
If your dog also tends to do it more at a certain time, it would also help to consider the timing. For example, if your dog tends to do it when you have just used the shower, it would be more likely that your dog does it because it likes the taste.
How to get my dog to stop licking my hair?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
As mentioned earlier, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to stop it from licking your hair then to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention.
It would also help to redirect your dog’s focus towards something else when it seems likely to start licking your hair. Things to redirect its focus towards could be toys or bones or performing an action such as rolling over.
Give it distractions
It would also help to give your dog things such as toys or bones to be distracted by so that it is less likely to want to lick your hair.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, boredom could be a part of the reason. If it is healthy, it would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
If your dog has been doing it excessively, it would help to ask your vet about it when you see them next. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.