Licking is an instinctual, natural behavior for Cavapoo dogs. Cavapoos (Cavoodles) will lick themselves, their humans, and sometimes anything within reach. But what causes all the licking? Below we break down a variety of possible reasons why your Cavapoo likes to lick so much.
Cavapoos lick for affection, attention, to groom, when excited, when bored, out of empathy, habit, exploration, when they are thirsty, hungry, want to taste, to communicate, medical reasons such as obsessive-compulsive behavior, anxiety, allergies, fleas, stress, pain, mouth issues, infection and GI problems.
Let’s look at each one in more detail, finishing with some tips to reduce excessive licking from your Cavapoo.
Cavapoos Lick to Show Affection
One way that Cavapoos show their owners affection is by licking them!
This is a common Cavapoo trait, so if you’re receiving licks then there’s a good chance it is just your Cavapoo’s way of telling you they love you.
They learn to affectionately lick from their mothers and will lick other dogs and humans they care about.
Cavapoos Lick for Attention
Your Cavapoo will quickly learn to lick you if you reward the licking with praise.
Dogs will learn that licking you gets your attention, affection, and praise.
This will lead to the Cavapoo licking you when they are looking for some pets or playtime.
Cavapoos Lick to Groom Themselves
Similar to affection, Cavapoos also lick to groom themselves and their owners.
Another trait learned from their mother when they are puppies, it is a positive action that Cavapoos enjoy.
Dogs groom to give themselves a quick little bath if they feel they have gotten dirty.
If the grooming appears to become excessive it can hint at underlying problems, which we will cover later on.
Cavapoos Lick When They Are Excited
Sometimes a Cavapoo will get very excited and be unsure of where to direct that energy.
This leads to them licking themselves, you, or anything else out of high energy and excitement!
This can happen when a Cavapoo gets overstimulated, and if it becomes extreme then try redirecting the Cavapoo to play with toys or go for a walk.
This will help them channel their energy and offer healthy alternatives to any excessive licking.
Cavapoos Lick Out of Boredom
Tying into the excitement section, if a Cavapoo has a lot of energy to burn and finds itself quite bored, it may turn to licking.
The licking keeps the Cavapoo occupied and acts as an outlet for the energy.
To avoid having licking from boredom become a habit, work on providing your Cavapoo with a lot of stimulation, toys, playtime, and opportunities to exercise each day.
Cavapoos Lick Out of Empathy
When a Cavapoo notices that you are feeling upset or down, they may attempt to cheer you up by licking you.
Since Cavapoos use licking to show affection, they may lick you when you are sad to comfort you.
Cavapoos Lick Out of Habit
Sometimes Cavapoos just lick because they have formed a habit of licking.
This may provide comfort to your dog or be an evolving obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Your Cavapoo’s licking may be nothing more than a habitual act formed from positive reinforcement (attention and praising).
Cavapoos Lick to Explore
Cavapoos, particularly Cavapoo puppies, are naturally curious and like to explore and investigate their surroundings.
Sometimes this can lead to dogs licking new objects or surroundings to satisfy that curiosity.
Cavapoos Lick When They Are Thirsty
Your Cavapoo may be dehydrated and trying to stimulate the salivary glands by licking.
Licking can also help the Cavapoo’s dry tongue feel better.
If your dog is licking you, they may be letting you know the water bowl is empty or that they need a water break.
Cavapoos Lick When They Are Hungry
If you catch your Cavapoo licking its lips or the food bowl, then your Cavapoo is hungry and letting you know it!
If you have a feeding routine, then your Cavapoo most likely knows it is time for a meal.
Your Cavapoo may lick the bowl in excitement and anticipation.
Cavapoos Lick to Taste
If your Cavapoo sees food out, it will most likely lick it to give it a taste. Likewise, many Cavapoos like to lick humans due to the salt content on our skin.
Your Cavapoo may also lick your hands or face after you have eaten to taste whatever food you just ate!
Cavapoos Lick to Communicate
One reason Cavapoos lick is to communicate with us.
They may lick you to let you know it is time for a walk, or that it is time for dinner. Doggies may simply lick you to communicate happiness and contentment.
Look for additional context clues to figure out if your Cavapoo is trying to tell you something through licks.
Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Causes Cavapoos to Lick
If your Cavapoo’s licking becomes excessive, it may be due to obsessive-compulsive behavior.
This condition is rare and is typically brought on by prolonged stress, anxiety, and/or illness. Your Cavapoo would be constantly licking itself and its surroundings.
Solutions include seeing an animal behaviorist for correctional therapy and help.
Your veterinarian may also be able to prescribe medication to help with anxiety.
Best practices to combat obsessive-compulsive behavior include a combination of anxiety-reducing medication alongside positive training.
Anxiety Can Lead to Cavapoos Licking
If your Cavapoo is consistently anxious, it may start licking to comfort itself.
The best way to help your Cavapoo with anxiety is to make sure your Cavapoo is getting adequate exercise.
This will help calm your Cavapoo and mitigate anxious actions.
If adequate exercise is not alleviating your Cavapoo’s anxious licking, visit your veterinarian for professional treatment.
Allergies Cause Cavapoos to Lick
Cavapoos can suffer from allergies. Allergies can result in itchiness, which leads to Cavapoos licking their paws, body, and/or tail.
The allergies may be due to external contaminants that irritated the skin. The licking could also be the result of food allergies.
If the licking is chronic and your Cavapoo seems distressed, have your veterinarian diagnose the problem and treat the allergy source.
Fleas Cause Cavapoos to Lick
Like allergies, if your Cavapoo has fleas then it may resort to licking itself to soothe the itchiness.
Ensure your Cavapoo is regularly checked and treated for fleas and ticks to prevent itchiness and the associated urge to lick.
Cavapoos May Lick Due to Stress or Pain
Excessive, constant licking may be a sign of an underlying illness, pain, or general stress.
Your Cavapoo is licking to comfort itself. Where it licks itself may not be the area causing it pain.
The licking just provides an outlet for your Cavapoo to manage the pain.
If you are unsure of the reason for the licking, always have your veterinarian investigate the problem.
Mouth Problems Can Cause Cavapoos To Lick
If there is something stuck in your Cavapoo’s mouth, your Cavapoo may try licking that spot to remove the object.
Dental disease may lead your Cavapoo to lick as well.
Brushing your Cavapoo’s teeth and regular dental cleanings will greatly reduce these mouth problems.
Infections Can Cause Cavapoos To Lick
Any type of infection may lead to stress and associated licking in dogs. It is important to monitor your Cavapoo for signs of illness and any areas on the body that look red and inflamed.
GI Issues Can Increase Cavapoo Licking
If your Cavapoo ate something that upset its stomach, it may lick itself to alleviate discomfort.
More serious, chronic gastrointestinal issues may also lead to licking as a way to manage the pain.
Avoid leaving food out to reduce the chances of your Cavapoo eating something it shouldn’t.
Monitor your Cavapoo and go in for regular veterinarian visits to reduce the chance of GI issues.
Cavapoos Can Lick Just Because
Cavapoos are curious, friendly dogs that have a lot of energy to burn.
Sometimes they like to lick for no reason in particular!
Tips to Control Excessive Licking
There are multiple best practices available to help reduce constant licking.
Try to distract your Cavapoo with games, toys, or other energy outlets.
Implement consistent training. The training will help the Cavapoo learn commands like sit while helping them control urges to lick.
Provide plenty of exercise and activities to help your Cavapoo avoid boredom and anxiety.
Give a lot of praise when they are successfully redirected from excessive licking and avoid praising the excessive licking itself.
Cavapoos are energetic, affectionate dogs. Many times, licking is how your Cavapoo shows affection and communicates with you. If your Cavapoo’s licking is constant and worrisome, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian. This will ensure your Cavapoo stays happy and healthy!
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