My dog licks his body all the time (buttocks, private parts, paws, etc.) why and how to handle this?

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Licking is a completely natural behavior in dogs, it allows them to clean themselves, sometimes even to calm down, but when it becomes excessive, it is indeed necessary to ask questions and above all to try to answer them quickly.

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Why does my dog ​​lick himself all the time?

There are several reasons that can cause a dog to excessively lick certain parts of the body, here are the most common:

  • Your dog licks himself because he is painful
  • Your dog licks himself because he is infested with parasites
  • Your dog licks himself because he has a sore
  • Your dog licks himself because he is bored
  • Your dog licks himself because he is anxious

Now let’s go through each cause and together see what you can (and should) do to fix the problem.


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My dog ​​licks himself because he is painful

In fact, a dog, when in pain, when in pain, can use licking to try to calm down and relieve his pain. Usually, this behavior is accompanied by lameness or other change in attitude and behavior in your dog.

In this case, quickly consult your veterinarian to take stock and actually allow your dog to relieve his pain (s).

My dog ​​licks himself because he is infested with parasites

A dog will also have a scratching reflex, of course, but also licking when an area itches like an area infested with fleas or other external parasites.

For this, it is obviously advisable to prevent rather than cure and use anti-parasitic products throughout the year, even during “slack” periods in order to prevent periods that are heavier in terms of vigilance.

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Then, if your dog is already infested, it will be a question of using products in this case more curative (shampoo for example) but also and especially to disinfect the whole of the environment of the dog (his basket as well as all the places it comes and goes) in order to completely eliminate pests.

Do not hesitate to call on a professional: veterinarian or pharmacist to guide you in the right steps to follow.


My dog ​​licks himself because he has a sore

Here again, the first thing to do will first be to visualize and identify the wound, to disinfect it but above all to take it to the vet so that he judges whether stitches are necessary, staples or a simple bandage for example.

Then, it is very important to know that, despite strong beliefs on this subject, letting a dog lick a wound will absolutely not help it to heal, on the contrary!

Indeed, a dog’s saliva can contain many bacteria which can therefore further infect the existing wound . Thus, if for example your dog has to keep a wound “in the open” it will absolutely be necessary to provide it with a collar during the entire healing period.

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My dog ​​licks himself because he is bored

A dog can also lick himself because he is bored . Indeed, boredom is the dog’s worst enemy and when it does not find an occupation, when it is not given occupation or even worse when it is not allowed to spend enough energy, the dog can then find activities which, often, are symptomatic of a real ill-being.


The main thing to do here is therefore to find occupations for your dog , to spend it and especially to stimulate him daily and not only on Sundays when the weather is good.

Here are some examples for spending your dog you can / should :

  • Take it out every day outside the garden
  • Play with him regularly
  • Offer him fun education sessions
  • Throw him treats / croquettes in the garden or living room to stimulate his sense of smell
  • Leave him a Kong-type toy
  • Give him a bone to chew on
  • Teach him new indications
  • Start a fun activity and why not sport with him

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My dog ​​licks himself because he is anxious

If it’s still excessive and you’ve ruled out all of the above reasons, your dog’s licking may be due to an anxiety-inducing state.

He will then use licking to calm himself down but sometimes his stress will be such that his licking can cause what are called licking sores.

In this case, you must quickly find the cause of the stress and general discomfort of your dog !

Maybe specific events? Triggers, people, other animals, congeners, places, etc. ? It is up to you to observe your dog carefully to understand the reason for his stress.

We can also observe this kind of behavior in dogs having experienced a “trauma” such as an accident or a sudden change of environment, the arrival or departure of a member within the social group (whether it is a human , an animal or a congener) , or a move, etc.

In this case, you should absolutely not prevent him from licking himself because this behavior , as mentioned previously, allows him to calm down and comfort himself. However, if he becomes excessive, we will have to take steps to help him cope better with this situation, which does not put him at ease.

To help him you can start by:

  • Consult a veterinarian
  • Consult a canine behavior professional
  • Give her natural aids like Bach Flowers

Final words and important recommendations

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