Why Does My Dog.....?
These are the questions all of us dog parents ask.
Dogs are so great. I often wonder what I did with my life before I had dogs, I definitely had more free time, a cleaner house, and a lot more money, but who needs time and money and cleanliness when you have a snoring, furry pillow?
Every dog owner will have wondered certain things about their dogs, I’m sure, like mine, your google search has frequently been "why does my dog…" So I have compiled some of my favourites that I have researched or asked my vet or other dog owners have imparted their knowledge unto myself, to pass on to you.
So here you are… Why does my dog…
Follow Me Everywhere?
If your dog has learnt that certain positive things come from you e.g.: Strokes, treats, food, attention… they are more likely to follow you around in hopes of these things happening.
On a less fickle note, dogs love companionship, they are, after all, pack animals. If they spend most of their time with you and are closely bonded to you, the chances are they just like your company. My dogs both like to sit next to the desk if either my partner or I are working on music, my pug, taking it to all new extremes will sit on my feet as I wash up, or on the bath mat while I shower, he also sits at the end of the bed because he can’t jump up, but if he knows I am asleep he will lay at the foot of the bed and wait for me to pick him up Side note: Our dogs do not sleep on the bed. That is a story for a separate post. Coming on the bed is a very, very special treat and is generally reserved for the days we are about to wash the sheets or special occasions (birthday, Christmas).
One reason your dog may lick you is, if from an early age you have praised this behaviour. With my pug, when he licked me as a puppy I would say "KISSES" and give him extra attention, now when you say "kisses," he will instantly lick you. My pug spends A LOT of his time licking me, my face, my legs, my hands.
It isn’t always an affectionate thing though, our skin can taste interesting; in the summer our sweat is salty. If you’ve just moisturised you may notice your dog trying to lick your skin, as the smell may be sweet to them which in their mind = good taste.
Dogs also use licking to get your attention. I bet it works too, how many times have to been able to ignore a wet slobbering tongue on your face or feet or hands?
Finally, dogs can't talk this is a way of communicating and can be a sign of showing submission, a way of showing they are not a threat to you. Awww, how cute.
Generally, a dog licks himself to clean his body, but unlike cats, dogs do not wash themselves quite so thoroughly or consistently. If you notice your dog is licking a particular area over and over it could be a sign of infection, irritation, or pain. Frequent licking of the paws is also worth notifying your vet about.
A little bit of harmless licking is usually nothing to worry about.
Dogs are a mixture of incredibly smart but also incredibly stupid. Most dogs will eat anything and everything, this includes, and is not limited to, their own poo, other animals' poo, anything from the bin, bits of their toys and pretty much anything that is on the floor…. and some of them STILL have the audacity to turn their nose up at their expensive dog food.
However, eating whatever the hell you like has consequences, if you eat from the bin or another animal's toilet, you will likely not feel very well afterwards. If your dog has a bad belly, you may notice them eating grass. Grass will generally make the dog throw up whatever nastiness they have eaten, if it doesn’t, it could also act as a question for something they are having trouble digesting, like a little piece of bone.
Some research suggests that your furry friend is chomping on logs because of a nutrient deficiency in his own diet. It is worth asking your vet about this; we have changed our English Bull Terriers diet many times and yet he still loves to eat poo. His favourite is our pug's poo, fresh out the butt is best (gross). Whether this is now a learned behaviour/ habit is beyond me but I am pretty sure it can’t be to do with his diet.
Unfortunately there hasn’t been much conclusive research on this topic, your dog may just like the taste of other dog's expressed food. He may just be a poo muncher for life (I’m pretty sure ours in on that route).