We all love cuddle time with our dogs. However, when it comes to ‘’wet and smelly kisses’’, it’s not such a pleasant feeling even when it comes from your Chihuahua. If you’ve noticed that your Chihuahua licks on everything, then you gotta find out the reason behind it. Every Chihuahua owner has probably asked this question at some point: ‘’Why do Chihuahuas lick so much?’’ Finding your Chihuahua licking everything, from your face to your furniture, is certainly not pleasant to see.
Why does my Chihuahua lick everything?
As we all know, our dogs explore the world by their paws and noses. However, their tongues also play an important role. That’s how they communicate with us, show that something bothers them, and investigate their environment.
Here is a list of possible reasons why Chihuahuas lick so much:
1- Exploring the World
One reason why do Chihuahuas lick so much is to explore their surroundings. Dogs have a highly developed sense of taste. They use licking as a way to gather information about the objects and people in their environment.
2- Self-Cleaning Instinct
Dogs have an instinct to keep themselves clean. Excessive licking can be their way of maintaining personal hygiene. While they may not always succeed in staying clean, they certainly try.
If we go back to the dogs’ roots, keeping oneself clean had multiple advantages. Not only did it rid them of dirt and potential parasites. A clean coat also meant better insulation and protection.
3- Stress and Anxiety
When Chihuahuas are stressed or anxious, they may resort to licking as a way to self-soothe. This behavior can manifest in situations like thunderstorms, unfamiliar environments, or separation anxiety.
4- Seeking Attention
Chihuahuas are known for their affectionate nature, and excessive licking can be a way for them to seek attention from their owners. It’s their way of saying, “I love you” or “Pay attention to me.”
Possible health issues behind Chihuahua licking behavior
Licking behavior in Chihuahuas can be triggered by an underlying health issue. Unfortunately, dog owners often forget that Chihuahuas can lick their body parts due to dental problems, dermatitis, hot sores, and other skin problems.
Allergies to food or environmental factors can lead to skin irritations, which in turn may trigger excessive licking as the dog tries to relieve the itchiness.
Skin conditions such as dermatitis or hot spots can cause discomfort and excessive itchiness. To ease the symptoms, Chihuahuas can start licking affected areas excessively.
We also need to mention the possibility of the presence of some chemicals on your dog’s skin. By this, we think about walking barefoot in the winter.
Note that street salt is poisonous and can cause severe blisters, rashes, and burns on your Chihuahua’s paws.
To protect your Chi from such unpleasant situations, we advise you to put quality dog boots on its paws when going on winter strolls.
When does Chihhuahua’s licking become serious?
While some level of licking is normal for dogs, excessive licking can become a cause for concern. If you’re still not sure whether your Chi licks excessively, then answer to the following questions:
- Does your Chi licks its body parts only at specific times during the day? For example before you leave the house in the morning.
- What body parts does your Chihuahua lick?
- Is the place your Chi is licking irritated or looks red and swollen?
- Does your Chihuahua lick your face or hands every time you get back home?
Monitoring the Frequency
Keep an eye on how often your Chihuahua is licking. If it becomes a constant, obsessive behavior, it’s time to address it.
Signs of Discomfort
Watch for signs of discomfort, such as redness, swelling, or bald spots in the licked areas. These may indicate underlying health issues.
Consulting a Vet
If you’re unsure about the cause of your Chihuahua’s excessive licking or if it’s causing them distress, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian. A professional can help diagnose any underlying health problems and provide guidance on managing the behavior.
How to Prevent Your Chihuahua From Excessive Licking?
Well, we all know that preventing a dog from licking behavior may seem like a dead-end. However, you can still try some methods that help many dog owners. Even though it can be really hard to redirect such behavior, you can still try to do it. Just imagine how you would feel
Distraction and Interactive Toys
Provide your Chihuahua with toys that can keep them engaged and distracted from licking. Interactive toys that dispense treats can be especially effective and will keep them occupied for a long time. However, make sure your Chihuahua doesn’t take too many calories during the day because they can lead to obesity.
Maintain a regular grooming routine to ensure your Chihuahua’s skin and coat are healthy. This can help reduce the urge to lick due to skin irritations.
Training and Socialization
Enroll your Chihuahua in training classes to address behavioral issues, including excessive licking. Socialization with other dogs can also help reduce anxiety-related licking.
Addressing Health Concerns
If you suspect health issues are causing the excessive licking, work closely with your veterinarian to treat and manage those conditions. Dental cleanings, allergy management, and skin treatments may be necessary.
Dog-Friendly Bitter Sprays
Bitter sprays are a safe and effective way to deter your Chihuahua from licking specific objects or surfaces. These sprays are non-toxic and have a bitter taste that dogs find unpleasant. Here’s how to use them:
Choose a Dog-Friendly Bitter Spray: Look for bitter sprays specifically designed for dogs at your local pet store or online. Ensure it’s safe and non-harmful to pets.
Apply to Licked Objects: Spray a small amount of the bitter spray on the objects or areas your Chihuahua tends to lick. Be consistent in using it.
Supervise and Correct: Whenever you catch your Chihuahua attempting to lick a sprayed surface, gently correct them with a firm “no” and redirect their attention to an appropriate toy or activity.
Reward for Avoidance: When your Chihuahua refrains from licking the sprayed item, reward them with praise and treats. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce the desired behavior.
Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much? Wrapping up
As we mentioned above, there could be so many answers to the question: ‘’Why do Chihuahuas lick so much?’’. To make sure your pet is feeling well, it’s essential to react on time anytime you spot some unusual behavior. Since our dogs can’t tell us what bothers them, observing their body language is the key thing to consider. Maybe your Chihuahua only wants attention, wants to cuddle or show you that something bothers them.