How to Stop Your Dog from Excessive Licking?

How to Stop Your Dog from Excessive Licking

Here’s how to address your dog’s excessive licking habits, plus key takeaways:

Why Dogs Lick Excessively

  • Affection: Showing love and seeking attention.
  • Anxiety: A coping mechanism for stress.
  • Taste: They enjoy the salty flavor of human sweat.
  • Allergies or Medical Issues: Licking can soothe irritated skin.

How to Stop Excessive Licking

  1. Identify the Cause:

    • Is it attention-seeking, anxiety, a medical issue, or just the taste they like?
  2. Ignore and Reward:

    • Ignore the licking and reward them when they stop. This teaches them that not licking gets positive attention.
  3. Strict Cues: If ignoring doesn’t work, use a firm “No!” or “Stop!”

  4. Provide Alternatives: Give your dog a chew toy or tasty treat to distract them.

  5. Citrus or Bitter Sprays: If the licking is taste-driven, apply safe deterrents to your skin.

  6. Address Underlying Issues:

    • For anxiety, create a calm environment and consider calming aids or behavioral training.
    • For medical issues, consult your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Is Licking Harmful?

  • Generally, dog saliva isn’t harmful to healthy human skin.
  • However, open wounds or skin conditions can be vulnerable to bacteria in dog saliva.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding why your dog licks is crucial for choosing the right solution.
  • Be patient and consistent with training and redirection techniques.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek veterinary advice if you suspect underlying health problems.
  • Remember, excessive licking can be a sign of a bigger issue, so address the root cause for your dog’s well-being.

Why Does Your Dog Try to Lick You?

The excessive licking of your dog can be due to many reasons. The nature of licking their favorite things is taught to your canine friend from a very early age.

They learn it from that moment when their mother used to lick them to show her love and affection towards the child.

If your canine friend is licking you repeatedly, then your attention can be the most common reason behind this.

Dogs often used to lick their owners when they want their attention, whereas the excessive licking of dogs can also be a sign of your dog’s anxiety.

So, you should first detect what is the exact reason behind your dog’s excessive licking and then take preventive measures according to the matter noticed.

How Can Excessive Licking of Dogs Become Harmful to Their Owners?

As per research, the saliva of the dog’s mouth doesn’t have that much toxicity to cause a reaction with the fighter cells present in the skin barrier. Some bacteria present in the mouth of the dogs are zoonotic, which means transmissible to humans.

The saliva of the dogs can cause any harm to the human having normal skin. Still, suppose the owner has been suffering from a skin disease.

In that case, the saliva of the dog can be very harmful to the owner as the reaction of the saliva to the mucous membrane of the owner can interrupt the mechanism happening in the epidermal layer of the skin to fight the pathogens entering the skin, leading to the cause of various skin infections.

Hence, we can say that excessive licking of dogs is harmful to the owners because it leads to the cause of various infections in the owner’s skin.

What are the Constituents of the Dog’s Saliva?

As per the salivary test done by the veterinarians on the dogs of different breeds, the results came out that the saliva of the dog’s mouth secreted by the salivary gland consists of a lot of chemical and proteinaceous compounds like lysozymes and immunoglobulins along with the assortment of antimicrobial enzymes and antimicrobial peptides

all these compounds plays a vital role in the lubrication of the food that enters through the dog’s mouth for digestion.

Now the question is, do they cause any harm to humans. As per the results of the research done by the microbiologist upon the constituents of the saliva of dogs, the liquid present in the dog’s mouth contains several microbial particles but the effects of these are typical to both the dog and its owner.

So, now we can clearly say that your dog’s licking is harmful to you only if you’re suffering from a severe skin infection. Whereas if you have normal skin, then your dog’s licking can be beneficial for the cuts and wounds on the skin.

The dog’s saliva possesses some healing properties, and the hesitation present in it fights against the bacteria causing infection.

Along with this, the enzymes present in the saliva of the dog destroy the cell wall of the dangerous bacteria and the transfer protease inhibitors and growth factors to the skin during the licking of the dog,

which promotes the healing of wounds on your skin and eventually reduces the irritation and itchiness of the scars.

How to Stop Your Dog from Excessive Licking?

Dog owners suffering from a severe skin disease often search for steps to stop their dogs from licking excessively to prevent themselves from skin complications in the future.

The actions that a dog owner can follow to stop the excessive licking of their canine friends are discussed below.

Ignore that Licking Behavior

If you are getting problems from the excessive licking behavior of your dog, then all you can do to avoid this behavior is ignore the dog when it licks. T

his can be an effective way to go with it because the dogs lick you to seek your attention, so getting ignorance after trying this licking method will make them understand that this is not the best way to go about seeking the attention of their owner.

Reward the Dog

Simply ignoring the dog is not enough to make your canine friend realize that licking is not a good thing.

After following the step mentioned above, when your dog stops licking you now, it’s your turn to make him happy.

To make the pet understand, all you can do is praise him when he doesn’t use to lick you and reward him with his favorite food when the canine friend stops licking you after getting your ignorance.

This will make the pet understand that avoiding the process of licking gets him rewards and the owner’s attention, too, and eventually, the pet will stop the behavior of excessive licking.

Use a Cue Word Strictly

We all know that all dogs possess different levels of understanding, so some pets might often take your ignorance as usual and continue to lick you to get your attention.

At this point, some strict behavior should be induced into the process.

For this, all you can do is use a cue word that your dog is familiar with and which resembles the meaning to stop.

In this situation, the best word to choose is “no” or “stop.” The use of this word will make the pet understand that you don’t want him to repeat this process.

Put an Alternative in the Dog’s Mouth

As per research, dogs also used to lick their owners because they like the taste of human sweat. You can identify the reason by applying the steps mentioned above.

If the dog continues to lick after your stop command and ignorance, he licks you because of your body’s taste.

In this case, to stop your dog from licking you excessively, all you can do is just put an oral alternative into the dog’s mouth,

but make sure that the taste of the choice should be one of your dog’s favorite foods. This will make the pet forget about the taste of your sweat, and eventually, the excessive licking of the dog will stop.

Use of Citrus

We all know that dogs always keep on avoiding things that taste bitter. So if you extract some lemon or something else that releases citric acid over that area of your body where your dog licks you,

then it can work in stopping your dog from licking you excessively, as the smell of the citrus will work as an anti-dog licking agent for you.

The use of bitter sprays, which are designed to spray on furniture to stop the dog from chewing, is also an excellent choice to go with, as these are made up of natural products and will cause no harm to your skin.

Take a Bath

Yes, there is nothing to get confused about. Your bath is wholly related to the excessive licking of your dog.

As we have already mentioned above, dogs are fond of the taste of human sweat, so the most effective option you can go within this condition is to take a bath with a cleansing shampoo or a soap.

This will remove the bacteria causing sweat and the salty taste from your body, and at last, the dog will stop licking you like the taste of the sweat will get removed from your body.

All these steps, as mentioned above, are based on the research done by cynologists on the behavior of dogs licking their owners excessively.

So if a dog owner is looking for steps to stop their dog from excessive licking, they can entirely rely upon the above-discussed efforts.

So here we are, done with the entire article, and have discussed all the information that can help you complete your search regarding how to stop your dog from excessive licking.

We hope that the article has helped you and has cleared all your doubts regarding the matter. Thanks for staying with us till the end and reading the entire article.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at

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