Why Do Pugs Lick?

Why is my pug acting “lick-crazy”: reasons pugs lick excessively and their cure

If you have a dog you know that it is common for them to lick your feet and even face, from time to time. It is a very common way for dogs to show affection. But when it comes to pugs, they are a bit of licking fanatics. And by fanatics we mean, cleaning-your-computer-screen to washing-the-dishes-with-their-tongues clean. We have had many pug owners complain that their pugs were behaving “erratic” and “crazy”. The pugs simply won’t stop licking!

sleeping pug
We have seen pugs run out of new surfaces to lick and continue licking the air. While some people find this reflex hilarious, some are concerned with the ceaseless tongue-action.

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Pugs or licking machines?

Pugs can lick for a variety of reasons and once you get them sorted out, it will be very easy for you to reduce their licking motions to minimum.

In most of the cases we see around us, almost all dog breeds use licking to convey affection and care. But, if your pug is licking couches, walls and his own skin, the reason must be something else. Dogs hardly engage in self-grooming like the way our feline friends do. So when your dog is repeatedly licking his own skin it can be a sign of irritation. It is up to you to determine the exact location and type of infection to reduce and stop the unusual self-licking patterns.

Why is my pug licking me all the time?

If you pug is licking you excessively, don’t be alarmed. Your dog may just be looking for some extra salt. This is usually seen in the summer months when you are more likely to leave a salty residue due to perspiration. Point to be noted, your dog’s favorite licking spot might just be your feet. Foot odor isn’t something we are particularly fond of. But it is like an aphrodisiac to dogs and they will cease every opportunity to take an extra lick. In short, keep yourself clean to keep your pug from licking you obsessively.

Why is my pug licking the air?

Obsessive licking in pugs may seem very funny, but it can signify quite a few serious discomforts plaguing your pooch. Here are the two major reasons most pugs lick the air or their own skin over and over again –

Pugs are one breed of dogs that have an exaggerated flat face. Their nostrils are really fat and it is very common for them to build up colonies of bacteria around their nose. This usually seems asymptomatic to us, but can be characterized by constant licking to keep the nose area wet and bacteria-free.

pug tongue out and red hat

If your pug is constantly “licking air” he or she might actually be swallowing saliva buildup in their mouth. Now the excessive saliva production and buildup can be due to digestive disorders (which is very common in pugs) or the presence of worms in his GT tract.

Improper de-worming can be a reason for excessive saliva production, and we suggest a visit with your vet in case you missed his last de-worming session.

Pugs are very sensitive to smoke and common proteins found in food. We have seen pugs develop allergies from grains present in dog food marketed by respected companies. This is usually caused by the hyper-sensitive skin pugs have developed due to selective breeding. You can start your pug on a more natural diet comprising of uncured, non-processed meat to reduce allergies.

All the reasons are absent but my pug won’t stop licking –

This is quite the nightmare everyone wishes to avoid. But then again, this is truer that you would want to believe. Sometimes your pugs simply lick because the action makes them feel calm for a while till they are internally stimulated to repeat the action. This is quite similar to the manifestations of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders or OCD as seen in human beings.

Can our pugs be treated for OCD?

Treating human beings for OCD is quite challenging, so you can imagine what a herculean task it will be to treat your pug for OCD. We don’t mean to dissuade you, but we’d like you to know the magnitude of the task you will be taking on.

Sometimes it is possible to teach your pug to stop licking on command. This takes months of training and practicing. Most of the studies conducted on pugs till now have shown that, licking is brought on by anxiety issues. Anxiety in dogs can seep in due to a variety of reasons. The foremost reason is separation from their owners and/or loneliness. If you think that you are staying away from your dog too long or that he is spending too much time on his own where he can obsess about cleaning/licking himself, you should think about changing your schedule or getting his a companion.

Getting a second pug has proven to be quite helpful in certain cases. You can also get a different small breed dog that will be compatible with your pooch. The right company can bring about immense positive changes in the attitude and habit of your pug.

Should I talk to my vet?

If you have tried to analyze all the causes and you are running out of new tricks, then you should visit your vet. Just because you are visiting your vet doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your dog.

pug with yellow costume

You will be surprised to see how many pugs all around the world are a victim of anxiety and OCD induced licking. They are usually put on medication to stop their compulsive licking. If your pug is particularly stubborn about his licking habits and goes on to the extent of hiding it from you, it is indeed time to talk to his vet as well as his trainer.

You should always remember that you dog loves you and most dogs show their affection by means of licking. So before you go onto conclude that your pug is licking “excessively” or “compulsively” pay attention to his/her needs. Your dog might just be trying to draw your attention. You need to correctly assess the frequency, timings and nature of his/her licking habits to understand what your dog is saying.

Keep yourself informed! We have gathered tons of useful pug tips , frequently asked questions and trivia for you here. Read on and get to know your pug better. Coz’ everything has a scientific explanation.