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Licking is a part of a dog’s nature. Regardless of their breed, they will lick their face, their paws, and their bodies. But if your pug is licking the furniture, it’s usually caused by something deeper.
While licking is normal for pugs, it can also become an excessive habit. It will happen when you’re not sure if you should be alarmed. Could a health issue cause it, or does your dog just like the taste of things?
Here, we’ll be talking about pugs and their licking habit. Most specifically, what can you do if your pugs will not stop licking?
Why Does Your Pug Lick?
First off, you should know why dogs lick. What does it do for them?
Many dog owners believe that their pugs lick for hygienic purposes. You know, like cats. Felines can be seen licking themselves almost every waking hour. It’s their way of grooming themselves and getting rid of loose hair.
But dogs aren’t the same as cats.
The primary reason why dogs lick is to show affection. They will lick your hand to show their devotion to you. You’ll also see your pug licking their littermates or their parents to bond with them.
Licking can also be a stress reliever for your dog. It’s the same as chewing. They’ll lick themselves to soothe an itch or when they have a wound.
While licking doesn’t heal the wound itself, it can release happy hormones. Your dog will then feel more relaxed and will ease the pain a little.
It’s also possible for your pug to continue licking you because they like your taste. It doesn’t mean they’ll want to eat you. Your sweat can make your skin taste a little salty and dogs like that.
So, when should licking be alarming?
Allergy and Skin Problems
You might want to start worrying when your dog licks too much. When your pug starts licking themselves more than usual, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. Their wrinkly face and bodies are prone to infection.
Folds in their skin can house fungi and bacteria that can cause skin problems. They can get allergies real quick. These health issues will make them feel itchy all over.
Besides the itch, they may also feel pain. The licking will usually be accompanied by chewing. They’ll want to relieve themselves of the discomfort they feel.
Anxiety and Stress
Pugs can get separation anxiety. This happens especially when they’re used to having someone around. The moment they’re left alone, they’ll feel anxious and stressed. Besides destructive chewing, they might also lick the furniture to relieve stress.
One sign of separation anxiety is seeing your pug licking the couch or table. This normally happens when you’re about to leave.
They’ll accustom some of your actions to leaving. For example, picking up the keys or wearing your coat. Once they see you do it, they’ll start acting up as they know you’ll leave.
Mild separation anxiety can be fixed with training. Symptoms like whining, destructive chewing, and excessive licking will be gone.
But you’ll need the help of a professional trainer or animal behaviorist if the case is severe.
How to Stop Excessive Licking
Excessive licking isn’t necessarily harmful. What can be dangerous is the underlying cause. But it’s better to keep your dog’s licking to a minimum, especially when it bothers you.
Here are tips to stop your pug from licking too much:
Know the Root Cause
Before anything else, know the reason behind the habit. If you suspect it’s a health issue, visit your vet as soon as possible. Treatment of their allergy and skin problems will instantly stop the excessive licking.
Pay close attention to your dog. You’ll soon know what situations elicit such behavior. Once you know the cause, it’s time to plan the remedy.
Train Your Dog
Obedience and basic command training can help your dog. These can erase any unruly behavior. It also helps with bad habits like licking too much.
Teach them basic commands like “No” and “Stop.” When they hear the command, they’ll have to stop what they are doing.
Training your pug isn’t the hardest thing, but it can be a challenge. They tend to have a stubborn streak, but they’re highly intelligent dogs. Repetition and positive reinforcements will work better on them.
Chew toys don’t only help with their dental development and destructive chewing. It can also help with excessive licking.
Give your dog the toy when they start licking the furniture and objects around them. Instead of focusing on the furniture, they’ll focus on the toy instead.
It’s better to choose a toy where you can hide treats. Bone-shaped toys with a hollow inside is a great choice. You can fill it with peanut butter so they’ll enjoy chewing and licking it more.
If all else fails, it’s better to visit their vet. These professionals will help you find the best solution.