Did you often see your dog licking the floor and was wondering why he does that?
Well, there could be a variety of reasons for such behavior.
Your dog may lick the floor when there is any unfamiliar scent in his surroundings. It could be his bad habit to ease his boredom. He could be feeling sick, stressed or suffer from anxiety separation. Maybe there are food residues on the floor, and he wants to “clean up” or it’s due to diet deficiency.
It is important to find out if this is simply a temporary behavior or if it is a recurring problem. If it is a recurring behavior, you will need to find out what is causing it. This will help you to address the root causes.
You would also need to know how long that behavior lasted? Oftentimes, the length of time that your dog is behaving in this manner will give you some clues.
Since floor licking is usually a behavioral issue, the best way to stop your dog from licking the floor is to correct the behavior.
Table of Contents
New Scent Triggers His Licking?
Your dog may start licking on the floor as a reaction to something going on in his environment.
The first thing you need to do is get a good understanding of what is going on. It is important to check if there is anything new in the environment. For example, is someone using a new perfume? Is another person coming home from the gym?
It is important to check and see if there are new smells that could be triggering your dog licking symptoms.
Apparently, your dog is constantly smelling things. And when he smells something new or potentially interesting, he will lick the source of the smell.
Trying To Ease His Boredom?
Next, pay attention to your dog’s activities. Is he chewing or licking excessively or keeps staring at the ceiling or pacing around?
One of the most common reasons is that your dog is simply bored and needs some kind of stimulus.
Therefore, the first thing you should do is provide him with a new and interesting toy or object. This will get his mind off whatever it is that is making him feel uninterested. He will soon forget about the floor and return to his normal activities.
The second thing you can do is take him for a long walk. Let him run freely and tire himself out. This will take his mind off of everything when he is back to the house after releasing his excessive energy.
Or you can take him to a dog park, one where there are lots of interesting smells and sights that could help him to let off his pent-up energy.
He Is Sick?
One of the reasons why your dog licks the floor is the result of pain or discomfort in his digestive tract.
If you see your dog licking the floor and then vomiting, it may seem obvious that the dog is sick and needs to see a veterinarian.
You would also likely see him eating grass if you let him out in the yard. This is often the way your dog attempts to address his discomfort in the digestive tract.
This can be caused by a number of things such as worms, an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria, a tumor, or a foreign object.
The best way to tell if your dog has a health problem with his stomach or intestines is to take him to the vet and have him checked out.
He Is Suffering From Separation Anxiety?
Your dog could be suffering from an ailment known as separation anxiety?
This is especially common among dogs who are abandoned or who are left alone for long periods of time.
Your dog may become very confused and frightened whenever he is left alone, and he starts searching for some sort of human contact.
He might bark, whine or pace, chew on furniture and doors or licking the floor just to feel like he is still connected to something.
In fact, dog licking is a very common behavior. It is often a way that your dog used to calm his anxiety behavior.
Licking helps to release calming hormones and eases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
There is no pill or surgery that will cure the anxiety. It’s not uncommon for dogs to display some type of anxious behavior when left alone.
Your dog might also resort to an elimination accident. It’s important to address the anxiety so that your dog learns to be comfortable when you are gone.
How to address your dog’s separation anxiety?
Give your dog a special “place” in your home. It should be his personal space where he feels safe and secure. This should also be the place that he would want to be in whenever he feels anxiety.
I would suggest getting him a crate or playpen. Put some of his old toys and stuff he loves to make this “home” cozy and comfortable for him.
Give your dog a little reward when he behaves properly in his crate or playpen. It could be a small treat or a praise from you.
The point is to give him positive reinforcement for doing what you want him to do, which is to remain calm when he is alone.
Is He Feeling Stress?
If your dog is in a high stress environment, such as in an unfamiliar location, then he may be licking the floor to relieve their anxiety.
This is more prominent when you have just adopted him, and he found himself in a new environment with unfamiliar scent and sight.
In this case, try to give your dog a safe place to go to when he is stressed out and putting him in a crate will be an ideal choice.
Of course, you will have to start your dog on his crate training so that he will be comfortable staying in the crate.
He Sees Food Residues On The Floor?
Your dog is not licking the floor because he wants to clean it. He is licking the floor because he wants to get a taste of it.
WHY does he want to get a taste of the floor?
Well, because there are some food residues that are left on the floor. It could be the time when your kids are taking their meals or having a snack, and they left their food residues all over the floor.
This triggers your dog to lick the floor to taste and eat these residues.
When your dog licks the floor, what he’s really doing is trying to “eat” what’s on the floor. By using his tongue “like a fork” to get a sample, he can identify what’s on the floor before eating them.
What’s interesting is that most dog owners often think that the “licking floor” habit is just their dogs trying to keep the place “neat” and “clean.”
So make sure that you do your diligence and keep your house clean of any residue food and that should deter your dog from continuing his “licking floor” behavior.
To Get Rid Of The Taste In His Mouth?
Your dog may have a bad taste in his mouth and may be licking the floor trying to get rid of it. He may also be licking the floor to get rid of something from his mouth?
He may have swallowed something that got stuck in his mouth, and he is trying to get rid of it by licking the floor.
Just keep an eye out for any objects that may be stuck in your dog’s mouth and get them out as soon as you see them and see if this helps to stop his licking behavior.
Diet Deficiency Triggers His Licking?
Just like humans, dogs need vitamins and minerals for their bodies to function properly.
If your dog doesn’t have enough of these nutrients, he may start licking the floor as the minerals and clay-like smell of tiles triggers his crave to make up for his dietary deficiency.
He may even lick up his vomit as it contains the nutrients he needs.
So what kind of diet should your dog eat?
The answers depend on the age and lifestyle of your dog. A senior or an overweight dog will need different types of food than a puppy or a lean athletic dog.
I think most dog owners are confused by the term “complete and balanced” when it comes to dog food.
Say If your dog has a diet deficient in carbohydrates, you cannot simply add large amounts of high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, bread or pasta.
This will only cause your dog to become overweight or even diabetic.
So what should you feed your dog?
This depends on his age, activity level, and lifestyle. Here are some things to think about:
If your dog is a very sedentary (lazy) dog, he probably does not need much dietary fat at all. In this case, you get him some low-fat protein source such as chicken or turkey breasts or lean cut of beef.
If your dog is an active dog, he probably needs some fat in his diet. A good source of fat for an active dog is whole eggs, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines and seeds such as chia seeds or sesame seeds.
If your dog is a young puppy, you should feed him with a diet high in carbohydrates. As he gets older, you should slowly wean him off from the carbohydrate-rich food and start feeding him with a diet higher in protein.
I would suggest that you let your vet perform a complete nutritional evaluation on your dog to determine his dietary needs. This is especially important if your dog has any health problems such as arthritis, kidney disease, or obesity.
Licking To Address His Dental Issue?
If your dog licks the floor a lot, and especially if he’s doing it with a pattern that suggests he is trying to ask you for help, then you should check his teeth to make sure they are not loose.
This could be a sign that your dog is developing some dental problems, and he is chattering his teeth by licking the floor to get relief.
This is often something that many dog owners overlook. So make sure that you do a routine check on your dog’s mouth and teeth when you are spending time with him.
This might have helped you to uncover some health issue that your dog is suffering from.
To “Hide” His Potty Accident Through Licking
If you notice that your dog licks a certain area more often than other parts of the floor, pay special attention to this area.
This is because it probably means your dog has done his potty over there, and he is trying to “clean” up the evidence through licking his urine.
You may most likely find him just keep licking the same spot over and over. This is a very common behavior among dogs who have not been properly house-trained.
If you see your dog engaged in this behavior, stop him immediately. Don’t yell at him or punish him. Just make a hand “clap” to get his attention. When he looks up at you, say firmly and calmly “No!” and carry him away from the spot.
Make sure that his accident area is thoroughly cleaned up, and his urine scent is removed. This will prevent him from revisiting the spot for his potty.
You can make use of this dog urine remover to do the job:
Use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Mix together and then pour over the soiled area. Allow it to remain for a minimum of 20 minutes and then vacuum up.
As you have learned from this post, your dog can have a variety of reasons for licking the floor such as he is simply bored and needs a new toy or a different meal.
Maybe he is trying to get your attention. Maybe he is smelling something in his environment, or maybe he has a medical issue.
Whatever the reason, if your dog licks the floor a lot, I suggest you start paying more attention to what he is doing.
It may very well be that, if you pay attention, you will discover your dog has a much more important reason for licking or scratching the floor than he first set on.