Key Reasons Why Your Dog Is Licking The Couch
Dogs lick the couch many times due to behavioral or health-related issues. The reasons could range from spilled food crumbs to human scents to obsessive behavior and so on. So let’s try to pinpoint the exact reason behind this.
Your Dog Enjoys The Taste
You may have spilled some snacks while sitting on the couch and watching your favorite shows on TV. This results in the deposition of food crumbs, beverages, and other leftover bits and pieces of food on the sofa, pillow, or nearby areas.
Dogs with their heightened olfactory senses will get the scent and pounce on the same in no time. The tasty treats lying on the soft couch fabric are like a gold mine for them. Another possible scenario could be your body odor in the sofa fabric that attracts the pooch. If you are a couch potato, there are more chances of them being attracted to the scent of their beloved human.
Lack of Stimulation or Boredom
Licking is a way for them to interact and sense the things present in the outside world. If your dog does not receive adequate physical exercise and release of energy, they will be susceptible to demonstrating such unwanted idiosyncrasies.
This situation can cause your dog to get anxious due to the pent-up nervous energy. They will then tend to release this in unnatural ways that can include repeated licking of home furniture. This is a sign that you are not engaging them in enough outdoor activities like walking in the park, games, etc.
The licking can also be an attention-grabbing mechanism by the dogs to their owner. They may do this when feeling left out or being uncomfortable with the home and surroundings.
Once you have such physical activity sessions, the excess unused energy in the dog will get burned off.
Underlying Health Issues
When dogs go out of their way by doing something unnecessary, it may be an indication of a health problem. As canines are unable to communicate verbally about their issues, stress, and physical pain, they display such gestures to convey the message to the owner.
If you have noticed the licking behavior happening too frequently in the recent past, we highly recommend you seek the help of a medical professional/vet. Couch licking, chewing, scratching are all examples of such symptoms.
For instance, they may resort to licking the couch if they suffer from tooth pain, stomach issues, anxieties, etc. The chance of your buddy suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD) also can not be ruled out if the licking repeatedly happens over a period.
This coping mechanism of your pet can badly affect your quality of life. We will look into the preventive measures later in this article.
An Unwanted Habit
Sometimes there may not be any diagnosable medical condition your dog is suffering from. For example, couch licking may be just out of a bad habit. They may have licked the couch once, savored the taste, and continued to do so.
It would be best to try to prevent this behavior using reinforcement and training techniques, which we will discuss in the upcoming section. But, first, try to analyze the reason behind adopting this bad habit. It can be due to a change in environment or any other external stimulus that caused them some anxiety.
In addition, your pup may have enjoyed the texture of the couch. Some dogs find suede irresistible, and they start to lick on it due to its unique smell and taste. Dogs also find couches made from microfiber immensely attractive.
Compulsiveness can be one of the root causes behind such behavior, requiring immediate looking into and medical consultation.
We have so far seen some of the top reasons behind the licking behavior of dogs. However, before we head over to the preventive measures, we will list some factors to consider about your dog’s couch licking.