Dogs lick everything, from your face to their own paws. While you may not understand the need, they also tend to lick areas which they frequent such as their own beds. If your Fido is obsessively licking his bed, there can be a number of underlying reasons behind this behavior. Understanding and knowing the causes can help better your pooch’s health and your peace of mind.
One reason your dog may be licking his bed is just that, it’s his bed. Just like animals like to pee in certain areas to mark their territories, licking their bed is another way to stake claim. If you notice your canine licks his bed when he initially lies down in it, this can be a sign that he’s simply just settling in, trying to clean the area and spread his scent. Don’t fret, he’s just making himself comfortable.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Just like humans, dogs have their own anxieties to deal with, and one way of dealing can be obsessively licking. If you notice your dog constantly licking his bed, not just when he hops in to settle down, but often during active times too, OCD could be the underlying issue.
Separation anxiety, like OCD, is another psychological contributor to constant bed licking. This sort of anxiety can start out from puppyhood or begin later in life. Take note of when your dog is licking; if you notice that if he begins licking around the time you normally leave or any time you prepare for an outing, separation anxiety may be the cause.
Age is another cause and factor to take into consideration. Much like their human counterparts, dogs' brains also suffer from old age, and dementia is one such ailment. Other symptoms that might go along with your dog’s bed licking due to old age can be loss of appetite, disobedience, slow response time, increased sleep and irritable behavior.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to determine the true cause and best treatment for your canine’s bed licking. Prior to the appointment, pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and the times in which he licks. Note what is going on in his environment when he begins licking, and note any other strange behaviors such as changes in diet, sleep patterns and activity. Bring your notes along to the vet to give him a better idea of your dog’s daily routine.
By Amy Davidson
About the Author
Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.