A good dog, like a best friend, are like four-leaf clovers, hard to find but lucky to have. In March we celebrate luck while we share licks and kisses with our four-legged friends. There are many reasons why our dogs lick, whether it is lucky or not is the question. First, let’s explore lucky licks!
Are you the lucky recipient of lucky puppy dog licks? Well, lucky you! So why so many licks? Proud Dog Mom explains the Licky Top Three!:
- Affection & Respect – Licks mean “I love you!” Canidae adds that licking shows
that they respect you as well. Licking expresses that they know that you are their leader.
- They Like the Taste of Your Skin – As strange as it may sound, dogs love the taste of your sweaty and/or salty skin. Rufus and Delilah adds that if you notice your dog licking you after you get out of the shower, it’s because you are wet and they want to investigate what smells so good. You probably notice this when you put on lotion too!
- Attention – Licking may also be a sign that your dog wants something like food, go potty or simply that they want to play. This is a way that dogs communicate so if you can’t figure out what they need, check if their water bowl is empty, the doggie door is closed or something of the like.
Now let’s flip that lucky penny over and look into the other, not so lucky side of licking. While licking may appear completely innocent and normal like for grooming his fur or for the purposes of healing wounds, pay close attention to this behavior as it may become compulsive and therefore a problem.
Proud Dog Mom suggests that if your dog is constantly licking and/or chewing his paws, it could be because of allergies, or atopic dermatitis. This is a chronic skin condition brought on by an inflammatory response from inhaled environmental exposure to allergens. Their skin is itchy so they are licking and chewing to relieve the feeling. It is caused by molds, grasses, pollen and dust mites. In addition to the licking and biting, look for red and inflamed paw pads, brown saliva stains, shaking head and ears and runny nose and watery eyes…just like any other allergy. If you notice any odors, open wounds or skin breakdown, this could be a sign of an infection so don’t hesitate to bring fido to see his veterinarian.
Since environmental causes are not easy to remove, your best bet is to limit exposure.
Unluckily, your pup will more than likely need to still go outside to go to the bathroom. You could try wiping off his paws after he is done outside every time he goes out, or you can remedy this issue with a lucky set of Saltsox or Lavasox depending on your climate needs. The booties will keep your dog’s paws safe from the elements, especially the allergens that are bothering his feet, as well as keep them warm from the snow or cool from the hot pavement.
Furthermore, Dogs Naturally Magazine explains that sometimes incessant licking has a psychological cause such as canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Persistent licking may trigger the release of endorphins, and so the dog learns to repeat the behavior to induce a pleasant sensation. Once the underlying case of the licking is determined, discuss what the best treatment would be with your veterinarian whether it be natural treatments, therapy or a special collar, Saltsox and/or Lavasox will always be better than just a bandage that your dog may just lick, chew off or even eat…leading to more unlucky circumstances.
Now that we’ve discussed the lucky and unlucky details of licks, let’s end with some licks that are nothing other that lucky: Peanut Butter and Banana Frozen Dog Treats by Waggin Tail Academy.
2 over ripe bananas
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a bowl, mash bananas until completely smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients, and stir until well incorporated.
Pour mixture into ice cube molds, and freeze overnight. Store in an air tight container, in freezer.
Microwave peanut butter briefly, to make it easier to work with.
*Always consult your vet when making your own food/treats.
“If you’re lucky…a dog will come into your life, steal your heart and change everything!” (Woof Posts)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at Saltsox!