Why Does My Maltipoo Lick Everything So Much?

Is your Maltipoo constantly licking himself, you, or objects such as furniture, walls, floor,etc? Although we all know that dogs lick themselves as part of grooming, excessive licking can have great variety of other causes. Licking plays many different roles in your Maltipoo’s behavior and therefore has a great number of different interpretations.

If your Maltipoo is licking excessively the reason is either a medical disorder or something that can be treated with behavioral training.

Excessive licking might be caused by allergies, nausea, liver disorder, anemia, seizure problems, dental issues, upset stomach, pain ( backside or neck area).

In case the vet checked your Maltipoo and he seems perfectly healthy, excessive licking may indicate that he has a compulsive disorder such as Excessive Licking Disorder ( caused by stress, conflict ), separation anxiety or simply tries to get your attention.

If you want to know all about what is making your dog licking too much and how to help your dog read this article.

What Causes Excessive Licking in Maltipoos? ( Medical Disorders)

Licking was always a communication tool between pack members. Dogs kept this characteristic even though there is no pack around anymore. At least not in your house.

But dogs consider their owners as part of their family. Humans represent the safety net and security for dogs, they feel more confident when their owners are there, the same as kids do.

Like the dogs would lick other members of the pack, especially if they are ill or in pain, your Maltipoo wants to treat you the same way. If you lie down, your dog might think that you are not feeling very well and start licking you to alleviate your pain. Your Maltipoo can also lick you as he is trying to get more of your attention.

But what happens when you notice that your Maltipoo is licking things, persons, objects too much? It is natural to think that something isn’t right. Especially if this is a new habit. What went wrong and made your Maltipoo become obsessed with licking?

Allergies – Airborne or Food

If your Maltipoo licks his paws almost constantly, the cause could be the allergy. Allergies are the most common reason for excessive paws licking.

Seasonal airborne allergies are very usual in spring with all that pollen in the air. It’s not just pollen, also dust, dander, and other airborne particles may cause a build-up which in turn can cause itching.

Your Maltipoo might be also allergic to the food he eats, in that case, think about changing the food brand or to switch commercial food entirely to a raw diet. You should consult the vet about this matter.

However if your dog suffers from allergies, he will be licking his paws constantly. Allergies make your Maltipoo itch which will show up as excessive licking.

Constant licking of the skin will result in skin inflammation. Inflamed skin will result in a secondary problem- yeast infection can appear, causing even more itch to your dog.

Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM suggested the following homemade remedy which can help in relieving itchiness in case of allergies and yeast infection:

  • one cup of green tea ( it should be cool down enough to be comfortable for your hands )
  • two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • one tablespoon of salt
  • ten drops of lavender essential oil

Mix it all up in a bowl and soak your Maltipoo’s paws in it. You can do one by one. Each paw should be soaked for 4-5 minutes if possible. You can use this remedy twice daily for 7 days.

In case your Maltipoo has any wounds on his paws, don’t soak them in this solution as vinegar could cause discomfort.

Another simple recipe comes from Saro Boghozian, the dog trainer and owner of Jonah’s Ark Doggie Center in North Vancouver

Mr. Saro suggests you put your Maltipoo’s paws in lukewarm water in which you have added some iodine for additional help. Let the paws be soaked for 3-5 minutes each. Repeat several times.

If you regularly clean your Maltipoo’s paws with doggies wipes or wet towel after the walk, you can decrease the number of environmental allergens

If your dog has other allergy symptoms ( vomiting, diarrhea, swelling face, ears, lips, runny nose, sneezing, runny eyes…) visit the vet as it might be necessary to prescribe some allergy relief medications along with shampoos that could reduce itchiness. Also if you notice any change in skin color, crusts, pimples, presence of fleas, seek for vet’s help.

Nausea, Stomach Upset

If your Maltipoo tends to lick walls, floors, or his lips excessively, maybe the problem is nausea and gastrointestinal upset. If you notice excessive drooling along with licking, you can be sure that your dog feels nauseous.

Before you jump to this conclusion, make sure your floors are impeccable clean. Sometimes, dogs smell the food debris or some cleaning product residue and try to lick this specific thing.

But if you clean your floors on regular basis ( the best option is with water and vinegar or baking soda and then to rinse only with water) and your Maltipoo won’t stop with licking either floors or walls, then it could be nausea and upset stomach or even a lack of some nutrients.

The clay-like smell of the tiles and minerals may attract the dog with dietary deficiency to lick excessively these surfaces.

In case these signs last for more than 24 h along with some other symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, you should contact the vet as soon as possible.

The vet will most probably perform some diagnostic tests ( blood work, fecal panel, X-rays) to discover the cause of an upset stomach. If he finds it necessary, he can prescribe some medication that can control or even eliminate nausea.

On the other hand, if everything is all right with the stomach and the vet estimates that the problem is not nausea, maybe you should discuss your Maltipoo’s diet and possible nutrients deficiency.

Nausea that causes excessive licking, can appear due to the recent use of antibiotics. If this is the case, you can add some probiotics to your dog’s food which should help the digestive process and reduce nausea.

Anal Gland Issues

The anal glands are located on each side of your dog’s anus. They contain secretion important for scent marking.

Sometimes those glands become infected or excessively full (impacted). If this happens your Maltipoo will feel great discomfort and will lick his anus excessively. If you notice that he is doing this along with dragging his buttock over the floor and some fishy smell, you can be sure that the problem lies in his anal glands.

You can empty those glands by yourself and help your Maltipoo, or look for professional help. If you prefer to express your Maltipoo glands at your home, there are tons of videos on Youtube that explain this procedure step-by-step.

Dental Issues

If your Maltipoo licks his lips (especially after his meal) excessively he might have some dental problem. Although it doesn’t have to be but if lips licking is followed by excessive drooling, there is a red flag. You should visit the vet, so he can check your dog’s teeth.

If your Maltipoo has any issues with teeth ( painful tooth), gum problems, or any issue with a tongue he will be licking his lips obsessively.

Other Problems such as Anemia, Liver Issues, Seizure Problems, Pain

If your Maltipoo is licking abnormal things such as dirt, concrete, or brick he might be suffering from anemia. Maltipoos that have low red blood cell count, they feel that they have iron deficiency and look for it anywhere.

Other symptoms of anemia are fast heart rate, fast breathing, lethargy, and pale gums. If you notice any of these symptoms along with excessive licking of bricks and concrete, go to the vet. A simple blood test can reveal the truth.

If your Maltipoo has Cushing’s disease or Hyperadrenocorticism in which the adrenal gland produces more glucocorticoid that can harm various organs including the liver and kidneys. This illness also causes excessive floor licking.

Liver failure also causes excessive licking.

Partial seizures may result in lip or nose licking or air licking in some dogs. Some others will look like they are trying to catch the bug.

It is very well known that dogs will lick the place in which they feel the pain. But did you know that dogs that feel pain in the backside (a hip area or lower back area) will lick the front paws? When your Maltipoo has problems and feels pain in the neck area, most probably will lick his hind paws.

Dogs will also lick the air when they feel pain. That pain can come from the gastrointestinal tract ( inflammatory bowel disease, foreign objects, pancreatitis)

Neurological and Behavior – Related Causes of Excessive Licking in Maltipoos

As we already mentioned, licking is way of asking for more attention.

Excessive floor licking may also be an indicator of a neurological disorder such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is commonly accepted as a behavioral problem and people often try to solve this issue with additional mental stimulation.

The truth is that OCD is not a behavioral but a neurological issue so that is why you need to seek for vet’s help. He will most probably treat your dog with medications.

Maltipoo that suffers from anxiety also will lick excessively (most probably floors or baseboards). The act of licking increases endorphins in the brain which calms the dog.

You will have to find out the cause of anxiety. What causes stress to your pet? Maybe some very loud noise, separation anxiety, or some environmental changes.

There are several products on the market that can help you to calm your dog. Variety of calming drops for water and calming treats.

Bear in mind that these products cannot do the magic but they are very useful if you give them to your dog short term along with some training techniques for long-term results.

Bored and depressed Maltipoos, that don’t have enough physical and mental stimulation will also lick excessively. This can be fixed quite easily, an adult Maltipoo needs only 10-15 minutes of daily exercise. For mental stimulation, you have tons of different toys on the market.

The most popular are Kong toys that you can fill in with yogurt or peanut butter (unsalted one) and then freeze. This way you are giving a great toy to your Maltipoo which will do the perfect job for mental stimulation but even more important, you allow him to lick, but teach him to lick the right thing.

If you have checked your Maltipoo’s health and you don’t think there is a reason for anxiety, then maybe your dog has a bad habit only. In that case, you need to teach him not to lick items he shouldn’t. You can attach a short leash and when he licks something forbidden, give him a short tug and say one firm ”NO”. Every time when he doesn’t lick the item that he used to lick before, reward him.

Some people use DAP collars. DAP collar releases pheromone similar to one a mother that produces to calm her nursing puppies. This collar can help dogs that suffer from anxiety.

What you should never allow is that your Maltipoo licks your face. Some people consider this licking as kissing but it’s not safe at all.

Your Maltipoo’s mouth is full of different bacteria and parasites and his disease-carrying saliva will be absorbed easily through membranes on your mouth, nose, and eyes. Better to skip this kiss.

Final Thought

Excessive licking is something that needs to be treated, no matter what was the cause. If you don’t intervene and let your Maltipoo continue with this abnormal behavior, he might seriously hurt himself. Excessively licked part of the fur will lead to skin infection, chronic abrasions, skin inflammation. As secondary issues, different yeast and bacterial infections may occur.

To conclude, you just need to pay attention to your dog. If you are not able to find the cause of excessive licking, seek professional help. It is very important to have an accurate diagnose. Fortunately for all issues, there is a cure or therapy but you have to know what exactly is wrong with your Maltipoo.

Good luck !

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