If your husky has a habit of licking everything you might be wanting to know why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
So, why does my husky lick everything? Possible reasons are that it is thirsty or hungry, trying to smell something better, it is excited, it wants attention or that it is actually a compulsive behavior.
There are actually a number of reasons why your husky might be doing it. Fortunately, there are also some things that you can consider that will help you in figuring out the exact reason why your husky does it. Once you have a good idea of why your Siberian husky has been licking everything it will become easier for you to get it to stop.
Why your husky licks everything
The different reasons why your husky has been licking things a lot will likely come with some clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will show you a number of possible reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It’s thirsty or hungry
The reason could be that it is thirsty or hungry. This would be more likely if it starts licking things more when it has not got access to water or it has not eaten in a while. It would also be more likely if it does it right after being active and it does not have access to water.
In this case, it would be important to make sure it has access to water whenever it might need it and that you are feeding it correctly.
It’s trying to smell
Huskies have a strong sense of smell and they use their noses a lot to gather information about things as discussed in this post. It might be the case that your Siberian husky isn’t actually licking things. Rather, it could be trying to smell things a lot which would be perfectly normal.
It’s greeting you
It is not uncommon for huskies to lick a lot when they are excited. If your husky tends to lick you in situations such as when you come home or when you are playing with it, being excited would be more likely to be the reason. If your husky does tend to lick you a lot, I have written more about why it might be the case in this post.
It wants attention
It could be the case that it does it because it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it starts licking things.
In this case, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it does it and to learn to recognize when it is likely to start licking and to redirect its focus.
It could be the case that your husky licks things due to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is where it does an action repeatedly and it cannot stop doing it. This would be more likely if it has been licking things excessively over the course of weeks or months.
It would also be more likely if your husky started licking things excessively when something happened that would cause it to develop behavioral issues.
Possible things that could have happened could include:
- Someone mistreated it
- Another dog was aggressive towards it
- It was separated from another dog
Look here for more information about compulsive behavior in dogs.
It has something in its fur
If it has been licking its fur a lot, the reason could be that it has something stuck in its fur. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly.
The reason why your husky has been licking things could be due to being anxious.
This would be more likely if it does it more in situations where it might be anxious or if it has started doing it more since something happened that could have caused it to be anxious.
It would also be more likely if something triggers it to do it such as the doorbell ringing. It would also be more likely if it does it repeatedly in the same area such as on the floor or the couch and there is no food there.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider that will help you in figuring out why your husky has been licking everything.
When it first started doing it
It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started licking things a lot since it might be that an event occurred that caused it to start doing it.
If it always has licked things a lot then it would be more likely to be natural behavior.
Whereas, if it started doing it suddenly then it would make it more likely to be due to being anxious, ill or it might have gotten something in its fur. It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started to lick everything.
When it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when it starts licking things more.
If it tends to lick things at a certain time it would be more likely to be due to things such as not having access to water, being hungry or being anxious. It would help to consider what else happens at around the same time that it starts licking things.
How to get your husky to stop licking everything
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Siberian husky to stop licking everything.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why your husky has been licking things a lot, it has been doing it excessively or it has been showing signs of illness the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular husky and to rule out the possibility of illness.
Use positive reinforcement training
It would also help to give your husky lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how it is meant to behave. Positive reinforcement training is where you reward good behaviors and avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
To use positive reinforcement training to get your husky to stop licking everything you would tell it to sit or come to you and reward it when it does not lick things when it normally would. I have written about how you can teach your husky to come here.
You can watch more on how to make use of positive reinforcement training to get your husky to stop licking in the video below.
Give it lots of exercise
Huskies are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise they will look for other things to stimulate them.
Generally, it is recommended for huskies to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your husky is not getting that much exercise, it would help to make sure that it does by walking it yourself or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Give it access to water
Since it might be licking things due to being thirsty it would also help to make sure that it has access to water whenever it needs it.
Give it distractions
In addition to the things mentioned above, it would also help to give your husky things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to want to stimulate itself by licking things.