What is the reason my dog suddenly start licking excessively?

The mother communicates with the newborn puppies through licking, and in household dogs, you can notice that puppies lick around the mother’s mouth as newborns, and they retain that instinct. In dogs, it also a submissive gesture. 

So, in all the way, licking is natural for dogs. They lick their owner to taste the salty skin that is a sign of domestic dogs’ affections out of a habit. Dog licking excessively suddenly means he is suffering from some problem, either it is behavioral or medical.

dog licking excessively suddenly

You might also like our recent review on the best dog training shock collars and dog food storage ideas, which are available on a separate page.

They are Rewarded for Licking

In dogs licking releases endorphin, which is pleasurable, and even they do it because of a behavioral problem or medical problem, they want comfort. It just like a human’s nail-biting that relieves stress. Always give a shut-up call and move away when your dog licks excessively; it will teach your dog that licking is not a good thing as the owner walks away.

The excessive licking reasons are grouped into two main categories: behavioral reasons and the second is medical. Here you can check them both in-depth.

Behavioral Reasons of Sudden and excessive licking

      1. Anxiety 
      2. Boredom
      3. To sooth or calm
      4. It may be a habit
      5. Love to lick again because of taste
      6. Affection for person/animal they licking
      7. Dog is poorly groomed
      8. Too Hungry
      9. Thirsty from a long time
      10. Want to explore outside 

Behavioral reasons are the most common reasons as compared to the medical reasons for excessive licking. Most of the time, and with most dogs, it is not a sign of serious illness; dogs may lick more to groom themselves. 

Many vets and pet experience pet parents agree that owners taste salty, which is why dogs love to feel them. The salty taste of the owner’s skin is a sign of affection for dogs, and it’s their way to express it when owners do not give a shut-up call the licking becomes a habit in dogs.

While on the other side, when there is no activity for a more extended period, these social animals become bored. 

To overcome their boredom, they start licking excessively and even on shut up calls, they do not stop. It can be calming and soothing, just like a massage for a human being. It’s relaxing for them, and when dogs licking excessively suddenly, that means they need some comfort.

If the sudden licking becomes excessive, that might become a cause of hot spots, hair loss, irritation. Do not punish your dogs in such conditions because this activity is attached to the behavior, and you need to deal with it technically. Provide them alternatives to stay busy, like toys that can keep them occupied.

Trainers and vets agreed on a point that positive reinforcement training also helps to curb the excessive licking. You can reward your dog for stopping their licking in such training, especially when you say leave it, and he honors your command.

It is easy to deal with the behavioral issue of your dog licking excessively suddenly. With just a little effort and training, you can teach your dog to control it.

dog licking excessively suddenly

Medical Reasons for excessive licking

      1. Due to unbearable pain
      2. Infection
      3. Allergies
      4. GI issues
      5. Something strange in mouth

These medical issues can become a cause of sudden excessive licking. Dogs cannot express their pain reasonably like humans, so they sue another way, and licking is at the top of the list. If your dog is suddenly started licking excessively and you cannot find any behavioral issues. That means he is suffering from some medical problem and its pain that cause excessive licking.

If you notice an increased licking, that means your pooch is suffering from any of the above listed medical issues. Signs of excessive licking can be hair loss, irritation, etc.

Due to allergies, skin and paws itch, and dogs start licking excessively. It is sometimes sudden. Infection also causes the same situation either from fungus or bacteria; it results in itchiness, and a dog starts licking excessively.

It is natural to lick. For example, to soothe our sore muscles, we rub that, and some dogs do when they feel pain due to arthritis or injury. In condition your dog licking excessively suddenly, you need to visit your vet to find a cure for your four-legged friend.

Sudden excessive licking also can be a sign of nausea in some dogs, especially when dogs are licking abnormal places like floors and walls. When he is licking his own lips, that means there is something serious in the intestinal. Some dogs smack their lips in nauseous.

You might also like our recent reviews on the best bark collar for dachshund, and muzzles that allow drinking and panting which is available on the separate pages.

Final Words

The biggest fact of dogs’ lives is they lick themselves, but when does it get to be an issue? But for our home dogs, excessive licking can be a behavioral or medical sign of a particular illness as listed above.

In most cases, allergies are the reason number you may notice that dogs start licking between toes; they may lick and chew at their inner things and hind. Allergies can be caused by anything like dander, pollen, dust, and might be airborne, which build upon the skin with the count of time; fleabites and certain proteins also can be an issue. Pet food also can be a serious cause sometimes.

Sometimes using a washcloth of wipes against allergies can be a competent solution; it can eliminate and decrease environmental allergies.

Dog licking excessively suddenly is not a serious problem if it is due to behavioral reasons. If you find any medical reason, then consult with the vet on an immediate basis to properly diagnose the problem’s roots. We recommend avoiding your dog when he starts licking you excessively, and it will help you teach him the lesson not to do it again and again.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are surprised because of his new actions and not experienced anything similar in the past, then investigate your dog seriously; it can be a medical issue, might be due to unbearable pain, Infection, Allergies, GI issues, Something strange in the mouth, or might there is a sudden shift in his behavior.

Such a sudden change clearly leads to a medical issue, you need to investigate your dog to find a reason for this change, maybe it's related to his mouth of another medical issue. In such a situation you need to pay a visit to your vet.