My Dog Keeps Licking Windows

Almost any time a dog excessively and repeatedly licks inanimate objects for no apparent reason—whether she's licking windows, the furniture, or the floor—it typically has little to do with the object being licked. In most cases, these obsessive lickers are acting out of anxiety. Dogs with excess energy get anxious and develop compulsions, which you can treat by giving your pup the attention she craves. If your pup has chosen windows as her obsessive object of choice, try the following tips.

Tip #1 - Visit a veterinarian. Your dog is licking the window for one of two reasons: anxiety or a neurological issue. Once you rule out neurological problems that can compel your dog to engage in unusual behaviors like window licking, you can address the likely fact of the matter: her anxious neuroses are making her develop an obsessive compulsion.

Tip #2 - Spray the area surrounding the window, like the window sill, with a dog deterrent spray. Different brands utilize different ingredients, but are designed to have an unpleasant odor for dogs that keeps them away from furniture and other unwanted areas. If you want to avoid leaving streaks on the window pane from the deterrent spray, the best you can hope for is to spray the surrounding area with a general deterrent, re-applying periodically according to the spray's instructions.

Tip #3 - Increase the amount of time you spend exercising and playing with your dog every day. When a dog gets bored, she channels her excess energy any way she can, including destructive behaviors and OCD. It's not that she likes the taste of the glass or anything, but rather that she just doesn't know what to do with herself, and has fallen into a routine that calms her nerves. Increasing her exercise and giving her adequate attention calms those nerves, which are at the root of her behavior.

Tip #4 - Give your dog alternative mouth toys. If exercising her mouth and tongue brings her relief, let her channel that into something more appropriate, like licking the peanut butter out of a hollow rubber toy or chewing a hard toy when she's feeling antsy.

By Tom Ryan

Cesar's Way: Obsessive Dog Licking
Petfinder: Why Does My Dog Lick Constantly?

About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.