Assuming that there’s nothing medically wrong with your fur baby, you can stop your dog from excessive licking by helping it with stress management, distracting it from licking, and increasing its exercise level.
In addition, kitchen staples, like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, may be used to control skin discomforts that cause excessive licking. Lastly, if these home remedies fail, you may want to get expert advice from an animal behaviorist.
If stress is the cause, managing the environment is the best solution to stop compulsive licking. Say, for example, if the culprit is a new pet, give your fur baby enough time to get accustomed by slowly encouraging brief moments of playtime. You can gradually increase until both of them are already in the ‘friend zone’.
And, while you are away, we recommend that you provide your pooch with forms of entertainment to relieve it of its stress. Leaving the television turned on or giving your pooch plenty of toys, especially the ones that you can fill with peanut butter are good home remedies to stop your pooch from licking the air.
Distracting Your Pooch From Licking
If you see your pooch licking the air or an object, say a fabric, distract it by throwing its favorite toy as far as possible. This will distract your pooch from excessive licking, instead, it will shift its attention to its favorite toy.
Another way to interrupt the licking behavior is to clap and say ‘no’ in an authoritative manner. Be consistent, each time you catch your dog licking an object, you should respond this way so your pooch will learn to associate licking with an unpleasant sound and your objection.
As we’ve seen earlier, anxiety and obsessive behaviors result in excessive licking. What you should do is to increase the physical activities of your pooch. If you run with your pooch before heading to the office, increase it by doing another round when you get home from work.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Skin disorders like paw pad infection lead to excessive licking. A staple in most households, apple cider is effective in combating bacterial infection, thus providing relief from itchiness.
Simply mix 2 parts of water and 1 part unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Soak your pet’s paw in this solution for 5 minutes. No need to rinse after and can be done twice a day until excessive licking is eliminated.
Vitamin E is effective in treating dry skin. Puncture the Vitamin E capsule to extract the oil. Rub directly on the dry portions of the skin and allow it to dry. You may do this procedure 2 to 3 times daily until you observe that compulsive licking behavior is significantly reduced.
The high-fat content of coconut oil helps in the healing process of dry skin. Simply apply a small amount of oil on the paw pads or other parts of the body and massage the oil for 1 minute. You don’t have to rinse off. May be safely done twice a day.
If the problem of compulsive behavior can’t be managed with home remedies, medications, like antidepressants, are usually prescribed to control its excessive licking behavior.