Joan: My friendís Dachshund continuously licks the
chair cover on the chair he sleeps in, and sometimes the
on how to deter him. He is an altered male, about 10
years old. ó Linda F., Bay Area
Linda: There are several reasons why dogs lick
furniture, and many other things. The first step would
be to take the dog to the vet for a checkup, because the
answer might involve illness or a deficiency.
thereís one thing we can be certain of, dogs are going
to lick. Thatís partly their way of experiencing their
surroundings. They like to feel and taste the
environment, and their tongues allow them to do that.
dog is licking only the chair where he sleeps and
sometimes the rug, there could be certain scents
embedded in the chairís fabric that he activates by
licking them. One scent could be his own smell,
reassuring him that heís in the right spot, or it
could be that of your friend, which the dog no doubt
also be accidental licking. My dog licks his feet and,
uh, other body parts, but heís a Chihuahua with skinny
legs. His tongue overlaps his legs and so he ends up
getting some lick on my chair. When my nephew was
younger, he complained of sitting in the ďdog
lickerís spot,Ē which I admit is not a pleasant
can be a way of relieving boredom. If the dog is left
alone for parts of the day and has no interest in his
toys, he might find a new hobby ó licking the
furniture, which can be comforting as well as
stimulating to his senses.
licking can also become a compulsion, but dogs with this
condition tend to lick anything within reach.
licking also could be a sign that something is missing
in the dogís diet, thus a trip to the vet is required.
Certain ailments or a nutrient deficiency can trigger
the licking, so the dog should be seen by a vet to make
sure heís OK.
suffering from stress or anxiety also will lick as a way
to comfort themselves. Dogs also lick areas on their
bodies that are hurting them.
the reason, too much furniture licking is not good for
the dog. It can ingest things better left outside of the
friend can pick up a spray-on deterrent at a pet food
store. It will make the taste of the chair and rug
unpleasant, but it could mean that the dog will just
find something else to lick, so itís better to address
the problem head-on.
friend sees her dog licking, she should try distracting
him with a toy or with attention. She also should try
increasing the amount of exercise through play the dog