My dog has developed a habit of licking her bed. She's a 12 year old collie cross. She's also started to lick the floor! Anyone have any idea why she's doing this? Is she trying to clean her tongue? She also spends a lot of time licking her legs and paws! She has plenty of water available to her. Apart from this her bahaviour is fine.

peasant Moderator

could be several reasons

1) boredom (especially with licking herself)
2) lack of certain minerals (not that likely, really)
3) or she could have the first signs of dementia (bit young at 12, but possible)

1) could be fixed with something to do

2 & 3) are worth mentioning at the vets


peasant said:
could be several reasons

1) boredom (especially with licking herself)

She's always taken care of her legs and paws ever since she was young. She likes to keep herself clean!

peasant Moderator

To some dogs intensive licking (beyond what is needed for cleanliness) is similar to a soother for kids. They just keep licking because it feels nice.

In extreme cases they can lick themselves raw (or they start licking other things)

Lauragoesmad Registered User

My king charles (nearly 14) started to do this when she was diagnosed with arthritis last year. The vet told me that lots of dogs do this when they are in pain. She is on tablets now and is much happier. Bring her to the vets and see if she has arthritis.
She also licks her bed after the cat has been in it. (I think to get the smell of the cat off it.)


Thanks, I do think she has arthritis, she's a bit creaky in the morning. Will get her checked out.

bobbytwo Registered User

Yes, I was going to say she is in pain too. They often lick their paws even if the pain is elsewhere. ie anal gland problems so dont be suprised what the vet says.


My Westie does this a lot too. When call his name firmly and he stops though.

Lauragoesmad Registered User

You shouldn't give out to your dog for licking their paws. Its a comfort thing that they do when they are in pain but I'd say your westies paws are going red, yeah?
Its because white hair on a dog isn't actually white. Its transparant and the dogs saliva dyes it a red or browny colour. Get your dog to the vet and if you stop their pain, they will stop licking their paws.


Yeah we took him to the vet when we got him a year ago (he's about 8 years old) and the vet suggested we give him a special diet as it may be eczema. We got him some different foods, and his licking seems to have calmed down a lot but i thing he still does it on the odd occasion out of habit ( he also licks his bed and the carpets/furniture, etc) So I thought it's probably a bad habit more than anything but it gets quite repetitive, thats when I tell him to stop.

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