Dogs are known for licking people when they are happy or even hungry. However, when your Shih Tzu licks a lot, you may start to wonder how it is doing it.
Below we outline why your dog is licking you so much and the effects of it, as well as what you can do about it and watch for.
Do Shih Tzu Lick A Lot?
There are many reasons your Shih Tzu may be licking a lot. It is best to keep track of your dog’s habits to make sure that if the licking is abnormal, you can act quickly to alleviate any discomfort, or, if necessary, take your dog to the vet.
- 1 Do Shih Tzu Lick A Lot?
- 2 Is Dog Saliva Safe For Humans [Germs, Bacteria, Virus, Poop]?
- 3 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Me So Much?
- 4 What Does It Mean When Your Shih Tzu Licks You?
- 5 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Face?
- 6 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Hands?
- 7 Why Does My Dog Lick Me Every Night?
- 8 Why Does My Shih Tzu Keep Licking Me?
- 9 Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed & Furniture?
- 10 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Everything?
- 11 Why Do Some Dogs Seem Obsessed With Licking The Ears Of Other Dogs?
- 12 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick His Nose So Much
- 13 Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick The Air So Much
- 14 Why Is My Shih Tzu Always Licking His Paws?
- 15 Is There Any Reason Why My Shih Tzu Keeps Licking His Lips?
- 16 Why Is My Shih Tzu Licking His Private Area And Chew On The Butt Area?
- 17 Why Is My Shih Tzu Is Itching And Licking
- 18 Why Is Excessive Licking A Sign Of Pain In Dogs?
- 19 Why Do Dogs Lick?
- 20 Does Your Shih Tzu Lick All The Time?
- 21 Should You Prevent Excessive Licking?
- 22 Medical Conditions That May Cause A Shih Tzu To Lick Excessively
- 23 Behavioral Issues That May Cause A Shih Tzu To Lick Excessively
Is Dog Saliva Safe For Humans [Germs, Bacteria, Virus, Poop]?
Dog saliva is usually not harmful to people or other animals, as it doesn’t have any harmful ingredients.
The only time you should be concerned about a dog’s saliva is if he has rabies or some other disease that can be transmitted to people. While this is rare, it is something that makes licking more dangerous.
Never let your dog lick you near an open wound, as that has a small chance of causing infection.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Me So Much?
There are many reasons that your Shih Tzu might lick you a lot. Some are just doing it because they don’t know any other way to show affection. Others might actually have problems.
The best way to tell if your dog is licking for fun or licking because he has a problem is to carefully watch what other behavior accompanies the licking, as well as looking the dog over carefully for visible signs that something is wrong.
What Does It Mean When Your Shih Tzu Licks You?
The two most common reasons dogs lick is to show affection or to request food. Try petting your dog or feeding him. If the licking doesn’t stop, look for signs of other problems.
If your dog licks you more than usual, he may taste or smell another dog or a delicious snack. This is nothing to worry about, just command your dog to sit or stay, or just ignore them.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Face?
Many times, if your puppy licks your face, that means he is trying to groom you or grab attention. This usually only happens if your dog can reach your face.
Sometimes, if you are sitting on a couch or a chair and your dog is in your lap, he may lick your face just because it is the easiest part of you to reach at that moment.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick My Hands?
If your dog is extra smart, they may lick your hands to signal they are hungry. This is because they recognize your hand is what scoops the food for them to eat.
Another reason is that they may be asking for petting or scratching, or even playtime. If you aren’t careful, the licking may progress to biting if they don’t get their wish.
Why Does My Dog Lick Me Every Night?
If your dog licks you for a few minutes every night and goes to sleep afterward, you can be certain they are using a natural self-soothing movement.
This is especially likely if your dog has anxiety problems. If your dog needs sleep, he will most likely lick you to calm himself before going to sleep.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Keep Licking Me?
There are several reasons your dog is continually licking you. He may be hungry or thirsty and doesn’t have any other way of signaling it.
He may be telling you he likes you or maybe asking for petting. Have you ever noticed that a new dog will lick you and then let you pet him? Licking can signal comfort or relaxation.
If your dog licks excessively, he may have skin problems or even internal problems and may be trying to calm his nerves or tell you.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Bed & Furniture?
If your dog licks furniture or your bed, he could be bored and trying to fill his time with anything possible.
Sometimes, if your dog licks your bed, it means he has anxiety problems and is trying to self-soothe. It is possible he is trying to distract himself from pain, but this is unlikely.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick Everything?
The main reason your dog will lick random things is boredom. Every dog is different, even within the Shih Tzu breed, and different dogs will show their boredom in different ways.
A rare case that your dog is licking everything is to relieve serious stress, nausea, or even mouth problems. Other symptoms often accompany this behavior, however, and it is usually not the case.
Why Do Some Dogs Seem Obsessed With Licking The Ears Of Other Dogs?
There is no reason to be alarmed if your dog is licking the ears of other dogs. If you go to dog shows or areas with many dogs, you will notice this behavior a lot, especially with the youngest or newest of the pack.
This is mainly a form of affection and welcoming, often used to integrate a new dog into the pack.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick His Nose So Much
The most common reason a dog licks his nose is to keep cool on hot days. They also do it to retain their sense of smell, which is extremely important to a dog.
If other unusual signs are accompanying the licking, then there may be a health problem involved, although this is unlikely.
Why Does My Shih Tzu Lick The Air So Much
Usually, unless there is something else worrying going on, the dog that is ‘licking the air’ is trying to take in a scent. This is similar to the Flehmen Response in horses.
Many male, unfixed dogs do this when they smell a female in heat. Other dogs do this when they smell something unusual or especially potent.
Potential problems this may signal is a mouth or tooth problem, or even nausea. This is not very common and is usually easy to tell apart.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Always Licking His Paws?
The act of licking their paws is usually just a part of the self-grooming process. Watch your dog to see if they are grooming other parts of themselves before determining if there is a problem.
Another common reason is that your dog may have injured his paw or may have a sticker stuck to a pad. Check to make sure that the paw is healthy.
Some dogs will lick their paws from boredom. This is also self-soothing, which is not too much of a concern, although you should probably help your dog forget his boredom by playing.
Possible health issues include allergies or skin issues, abnormal growths, or parasites, and bacteria.
Is There Any Reason Why My Shih Tzu Keeps Licking His Lips?
Dogs will lick their lips to signal they are nervous or trying to appease a threat. Sometimes they will also do it if they are hungry or see food.
Other possible reasons are that they are stressed or uncomfortable, or may have mouth problems. Health and mouth problems aren’t as common, however, and it is more likely your dog is just nervous or unsure of something.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Licking His Private Area And Chew On The Butt Area?
Normally, your dog is licking his private parts to clean himself. If your dog is doing this excessively, he may have a rash, skin problems, or even irritations in the reproductive system.
In young dogs, biting themselves, even on the butt, is normal behavior. Even older dogs that spend a lot of time with puppies do this.
However, this can signal more serious problems, such as yeast problems or infections. This is usually easy to look for. If there are signs of a problem, contact your veterinarian right away.
Why Is My Shih Tzu Is Itching And Licking
If your dog is itching along with his licking, that most likely means that he has an irritation somewhere.
Normally, this just means that he has an itch and needs to relieve it and then clean it. However, if the itching and licking continue, then there is most likely a more serious problem.
He may have an irritation or a bug that is biting. He may have also had internal problems. In this case, you should make sure there are no outer problems quickly, to ensure you get your dog to the vet fast.
Why Is Excessive Licking A Sign Of Pain In Dogs?
While it is rare, sometimes licking is a sign of pain. If the licking is accompanied by things like scratching, whining, drooling, or panic, then there may be a pain.
Certain types of pain that licking can indicate an allergy, nausea, parasites, or even internal problems, although that is more rare. Licking is an automatic response to try and fix the pain, so it is often the first way a dog indicates pain.
Why Do Dogs Lick?
There are several reasons a dog will lick, as listed above. Here, we will compile a list of the reasons your Shih Tzu may be licking.
- Soothing or relaxing.
- Showing affection.
- Asking for food or treats.
- Asking for petting or attention.
- Boredom or anxiety.
- Skin irritation or allergy.
- Nausea or internal problems.
Does Your Shih Tzu Lick All The Time?
Before freaking out about why your dog is licking, make sure to determine if it is really abnormal. A few questions you can ask yourselves are:
- Have you been watching for licking?
- Are there any visible irritations or audible whining?
- Does your dog have an all-around healthy appearance?
After answering these questions, you may discover the licking is not unusual at all but may have just gone unnoticed for a few days.
Should You Prevent Excessive Licking?
If you don’t like your dog licking you or others or even furniture excessively, the best way is to determine the cause and then make sure that the licking does not accomplish the purpose, thus discouraging the dog from doing it again.
If your dog is licking himself, don’t try to stop him. Licking is natural and will indicate health problems if the need arises.
Medical Conditions That May Cause A Shih Tzu To Lick Excessively
- Allergies -Skin allergies can cause your dog to lick himself to relieve the itching or irritations. Scratching usually accompanies this as well.
- Arthritic Pain -Dogs have a natural response to lick themselves to relieve pain. Older dogs will try to relieve their joint pain by licking the joints or chewing on certain areas. Other things that accompany this pain are loss of hair or inflamed areas.
- Dry Skin – If your dog has dry skin, especially in the summer heat, they will often lick the dry areas to relieve pain or moisturize themselves.
- Gastrointestinal Problems – Excessive licking, especially on surfaces or furniture, can indicate a dog has gastrointestinal problems. They may also have other signs like vomiting, excessive gas, lack of appetite, or fever.
- Injuries -A common reason dogs lick themselves is if they have an injury. Especially if it’s an open wound. Dogs will lick injuries to relieve pain or soothe themselves, or even clean it.
- Lick Granuloma -This is a condition where a dog will excessively lick themselves, often on leg joints like the carpal joint of the front limb. This can stem from physical or physiological problems.
- Parasitic Infections – When dogs have parasitic infections, it can be painful or itchy, and the dog will lick to try and remove parasites or relieve pain. Dogs sometimes will scratch, as well.
- Post Surgery Pain -This is one of the only instances where you should prevent your dog from licking himself. Post-surgery pain or itches can make a dog want to lick, and this is sometimes bad for the site of a surgery. Usually, people will put a cone on the dog’s head to prevent licking, or command them to stop.
- Skin Irritation -A common reason dogs lick themselves is skin irritation. This can come in many forms, but all will make your dog lick himself to relieve the irritation. Make sure to check your dog all over to find the source of the irritation.
- Thyroid Problems -Dogs will often lick themselves if they have thyroid problems, often in the area of pain. Other symptoms that accompany the licking are things like cold intolerance, lack of appetite, weight gain, and dry skin or hair.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) -A dog will lick himself in the private areas if he has a UTI. It is usually easy to tell if he has this infection, and if it is the case, the dog should be taken to the vet right away to relieve discomfort.
Behavioral Issues That May Cause A Shih Tzu To Lick Excessively
- Anxiety – Anxious dogs often lick themselves or people to soothe themselves and try to ease their anxiety.
- Boredom – Bored dogs will lick anything from themselves to people to furniture. This is more common in small, house dogs that don’t have a lot of avenues for entertaining themselves and do not get much exercise.
- Loneliness – Since licking is seen both as a self-soothing gesture and a comforting gesture from other dogs, lone dogs will lick themselves more to make up for the lack of other dogs.
- Self Comforting –
Because of various reasons, dogs will lick themselves solely to achieve comfort. This is also done at night before bed, to help them calm down. They also lick people or other animals for this purpose.
- Stress -If a dog is stressed, he will start licking himself excessively. He may also lick other dogs, furniture, or you and other people. Stressed dogs will also pace or bark, and even drool more.