If you’re wondering why do Chihuahuas lick so much, then this guide will have everything you need to know. There are many ways dogs can engage and learn things about the world. For example, they have powerful noses that can help them track down scents efficiently. They have good eyesight that can help them see things from far away, even in the dark. They have long tongues that can help them taste and sense both food and people. While all dogs have some level of licking compulsion, Chihuahuas can often use their tongue to lick both other dogs and you.
It’s a habit they can develop early on in their life, and it can be challenging to break that habit. They’ll end up licking your hands, your face, and so many more things if you’re not careful. Licking is a familiar feeling and practice for dogs, starting from their earliest days as their mother licked them up to clean them and show her love for them. Therefore, initially, this habit stems from the feeling of affection and tenderness, starting from their early puppy days. Sometimes, Chihuahuas licking is a playful, harmless behavior you may enjoy for a time or two.
However, licking can also spiral into a negative behavior pattern that indicates that some other emotional or mental health condition is going on. Therefore, understanding why a Chihuahua licks so much can help support their overall health and well-being. To help you provide the best care for your Chihuahua, whether they lick only occasionally or much more frequently, here we share some of the top reasons why Chihuahua lick so much. While some reasons raise no indication for concern, others may be part of a behavior pattern that it may be worth contacting your veterinarian for.
Reasons For Chihuahua Licking Behavior
For a dog, licking is a common way to sense other things and people. Along with their excellent eyesight and fantastic sense of smell, Chihuahuas also use their tongues as a way of identifying something or communicating something. Sometimes, this licking behavior can become quite excessive, causing us to wonder whether something else should be addressed. Here we share some of the common reasons why Chihuahuas tend to lick so much.
Chihuahuas are known for being very active and lively dogs. While they are one of the smallest dog breeds, they find entertainment and enjoyment from being involved in all sorts of adventures and activities. When they cannot play or go outside or enjoy an activity with someone or by themselves, they may become quite bored. And out of this boredom, they may begin to find enjoyment from licking themselves or other things.
Dog Toys For Less Boredom: Best Dog Toys To Keep Them Busy.
Suppose your Chihuahua struggles in their personality and behavior when you are not home. In that case, they may fall into licking themselves or other things out of an extension of their anxious behavior. The act of licking releases endorphins in their body that helps them feel more relaxed and at ease. It’s a practical way toward stress relief that your dog may engage in regularly. When this behavior becomes quite excessive, it can quickly turn into a compulsive disorder. Without thinking or being conscious of their actions, they may choose to lick themselves to get that necessary stress and anxiety relief. If they are feeling at all distressed or uncomfortable, the act of licking themselves can help them reduce their stress and overcome those negative feelings.
When you are around and find that your dog licks your hands, feet, and face several times throughout the day, they may be using the act of licking to demonstrate their affection and love for you. This is part of their innate desire to develop a connection with you. They may love and appreciate you and all you do and choose to display that love through licking. In addition to affection, licking can also be an indication of submission and respecting authority. They may do it out of a sign of respect for your control when they know where they fall in your family pack. This beneficial expression of licking can be a positive demonstration of how they see you and your family.
If a Chihuahua tends to lick other objects, whether inside or outside the home, they may be interested in exploring different things and tastes. Chihuahuas are generally curious dogs. They may use their tongue to help them discover new fun toys or things to bring home. If they smell something delicious in the kitchen, they may also lick the air to help them get a better sense of what is behind prepared and whether or not they’ll get a taste of it.
5. Medical Problems
Sometimes, excessive licking can also point to certain medical conditions that should be addressed. These can include an allergic reaction to something that the Chihuahua has come into contact with. It could also be an indication of other sources of pain and discomfort. It can even point to dental problems in which licking helps to alleviate their gum or teeth problems. If you suspect any of these conditions, it’s essential to connect with your veterinarian as soon as possible as you plan out the next steps for your Chihuahua.
What To Do When Your Chihuahua Licks Too Much
A licking Chihuahua can be an entertaining and adorable thing. Especially when it demonstrates their affection for you, you might be dealing with Chihuahua puppy kisses all day. However, there may come the point in which all that licking is just too much. Whether it is an expression of anxiety or other learned behavior, excessive licking can be addressed. Much of this changed behavior comes through in behavioral training. Through this intentional process, you’ll teach your dog that you do not support their licking.
For example, once they start licking you, you can choose to leave the room without them. This can teach your dog that when they lick you, you will leave. If your dog licks themselves excessively due to anxiety or compulsive disorder, it’s essential to understand and address the underlying reasons they feel anxious or stressed. Once you know why they feel and act nervous, you can handle that problem, rather than just the side effect of excessive licking.
In addition to expressing this behavior on you, self-licking can also develop into a problem when done excessively. With a lot of licking, your dog may develop skin that is irritated and other skin problems that can affect their physical health. Especially with their short coats, they don’t have much space in licking their fur versus licking their natural skin. They can also develop bald spots as their hair is worn down too much due to licking. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog if they are prone to excessive licking.
Conclusion For “Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much”
Licking for a Chihuahua can be caused by a variety of reasons. Whether it’s a harmless demonstration of affection or a more severe indication of anxiety, or a health-related issue, licking is a common practice, especially for Chihuahuas. Be sure to monitor their health and bring them to the veterinarian for regular visits and check-ups. Keep their licking to only in moderation if possible. Not only will you have to wash your hands and faceless due to their licking you, but reducing their licking can also help support their overall mental and emotional health. While most often, it is a normal reaction and not something to be concerned about, there may be some indications that you’ll need to connect with your veterinarian. Serve them and their tongue well by identifying the reasons for their excessive licking and working toward a solution together in a way that supports them and their well-being.
If you have any more Chihuahua questions or in need of answers, you can check out:
To learn more about this Chihuahua topic, you can watch “Why Does Your Dog Lick You” from Veterinary Secrets down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
Why Trust We Love Doodles?
At We Love Doodles, we’re a team of writers, veterinarians, and puppy trainers that love dogs. Our team of qualified experts researches and provides reliable information on a wide range of dog topics. Our reviews are based on customer feedback, hands-on testing, and in-depth analysis. We are fully transparent and honest to our community of dog owners and future owners.