Why Is My Dog Licking The Floor?

You’re not alone if you’ve ever noticed your dog licking the floor and wondered what they were doing.

Many dog owners question themselves: Why is my dog licking the floor?

However, a lot can be learned from a dog’s licking habits.

Read on to learn more about why your dog might be licking the floor.

And what it could mean for their health and well-being.

Why Is My Dog Licking The Floor? – The Reasons

It Could Be That Your Dog Is Trying To Get Rid Of A Bad Taste In Their Mouth

Dogs enjoy regular dental care and proper nutrition just like humans do.

So if your dog is licking the floor regularly, it could be because their diet isn’t sufficient or their oral hygiene is lacking.

If you suspect this is the case, consider visiting your local veterinarian for an examination and advice on providing your pup with healthy nutrition and dental care.

Related: How To Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing – 10 Easy Ways

They May Be Experiencing Allergies And Are Trying To Relieve Itchiness

Allergies can manifest in many ways, one being your pup trying to relieve the itching sensation by licking their paws or the floor.

Unbeknownst to us, they could be feeling discomfort due to an allergy.

This is just their way of relieving it, as pets have limited tools for communicating distress.

It’s essential to monitor these behaviors to determine if a visit to the vet might be appropriate to understand what your pup is experiencing and develop a treatment plan.

It Could Also Be A Sign Of Hunger, As Dogs Sometimes Lick When They’re Looking For Food

When dogs are looking for food, they might start licking the floor in hopes of finding any remnants of food that may have fallen.

This behavior can be seen more often in dogs who are not fed a regular meal schedule, or who are not given enough food to satisfy their hunger.

If Your Dog Starts Licking More Frequently Or Obsessively, It Could Be A Sign Of Anxiety Or Boredom

Often dogs lick when they become overwhelmed or anxious.

Although licking may calm them down, their reaction is concerning as long licking can lead to soreness and even bald patches on their skin.

Similarly, dogs often lick the floor as a result of feeling bored with nothing else to do and seeking stimulation.

This type of behavior, while usually harmless, could signify a health concern if it’s frequent and not curbed.

Be sure to inspect your pup for any abrasions from excessive licking, as this could cause alarm requiring medical attention from a professional veterinarian.

Dogs Lick The Floor Because They’re Thirsty And Want To Drink Water 

Dogs commonly lick the floor to get hydrated, especially on hot days.

This behavior may be disconcerting to pet owners unaware of their pup’s habits, but it is intuitive and beneficial for dogs.

By licking the ground, dogs can cool themselves off and extract moisture from the floor’s surface.

This can also help them satisfy their thirst in places with limited access to water, such as outdoors.

If your pup constantly laps up from an unsanitary surface, consult a vet to ensure they’re getting proper nutrition and hydration levels.

Because They’re Trying To Communicate With Other Dogs

One of the ways that dogs may communicate with each other is through scent.

When a dog licks the floor, they may be trying to pick up the scent of other dogs that have been in the area.

This behavior is especially common in dogs who are highly social and enjoy interacting with other dogs.

By licking the floor, they may be trying to gather information about other dogs, such as their gender, age, or health status.

This behavior can be seen in dogs in a variety of social situations, such as in dog parks or during dog-to-dog introductions. 

Because It’s A Habit Or Instinctive Behavior 

Studies have shown that dogs are drawn to the mineral deposits found on hard surfaces and the taste of certain household cleaners.

On top of that, some dogs will lick their lips or whiskers when they’re feeling curious or bored.

Some experts even suggest that licking the floor is an ancestral trait from dogs’ wild relatives who slurped up debris to stay hydrated.

While you can discourage this behavior by providing plenty of water and distraction, understanding why your pup does it can help put your mind at ease.

As A Way Of Showing Dominance Over Other Dogs 

That way, they’re actually engaging in a behavior rooted deep in their canine ancestry.

The act is triggered by visual cues left by other animals and serves as a method for establishing social order within the pack.

By licking the floor near or around another dog, dogs can assert their higher rank than others and keep disputes among pack members from escalating.

It’s an automatic form of communication that has served wild dogs faithfully since ancient times and is still used today.

How To Stop A Dog From Licking The Floor?

Keeping your pup from licking the floors can often be a challenge.

However, you can use a few basic steps to help break this habit.

First, identifying why they are licking the floors is critical.

It could be because of boredom or to gain your attention.

No matter the impetus, make sure to provide them with plenty of toys and adequate stimulation throughout their day.

Second, if they start going for the floor, give them a puzzle toy or something tasty like frozen dog-friendly treats like cheese or peanut butter cubes.

Last, use positive reinforcement instead of letting them lick the floor when they do what you want them to do.

This will help strengthen the bond between you and your pup while making it more likely that she will appropriately satisfy her needs!

When To Visit A Vet

Fortunately, there are a few clear-cut causes why your dog might be licking the floor.

While it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or simply an expression of boredom and anxiety, the best approach is to err on caution. 

Consult with your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your four-legged pal’s habits.

They can pinpoint the exact cause and recommend changes to their diet or behavior.

Although licking the floor is common in many dogs, remember that it could signal something more severe than curiosity or hunger.

Be sure to take action as soon as possible to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy!

Before You Go…

Now you know why your dog licks the floor.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.