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Dog Licking Couch: Why It Happens

Renee Whitmore
Last Updated on
by Renee Whitmore

Wondering why does my dog lick the couch? It could be due to stress, anxiety or boredom.

We all know that dogs have a particular affinity for licking things in general. Dogs will lick random objects, you, and even things around the house, such as the sofa or carpet.

Moreover, they use their tongues to groom themselves, to display affection, or because they like the taste of something delicious.

However, if you observe that your dog is constantly licking your furniture, there may be a more alarming reason as to why.

Let’s look at the behavior and some underlying causes to why does my dog lick the couch all the time.

So, Why Does My Dog Lick The Couch?

Dogs Lick Couch

A dog that licks furniture excessively might be indicating stress, anxiety, or even some kind of medical condition. A dog may lick furniture out of boredom, and repetitive licking is enjoyable for dogs because it releases endorphins allowing them to self-soothe.

In many cases, licking the couch can be an occasional response to loneliness, boredom, or stress.

Related: Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Covers and Between My Legs?

Why Do Dogs Lick Couches?

If your companion is licking furniture, there may be several logical reasons as to why. For example, if your pet was at home alone bored with their toys, then licking the furniture just may have been something they did to pass the time until you arrived home.

Something to consider is the texture of the sofa, chair, or whatever piece of furniture that they are licking. Licking these surfaces may remind your dog of licking your skin, and it provides comfort until you return home.

However, if your dog begins to lick the furniture too much, it could be that they are nervous or stressed. The feeling of licking the soft fabrics may help your dog cope with feelings that may be troubling them. That can be good for them but obviously not for your furniture.

Here are a few other reasons, explained in more detail:

Scents

Dog Smelling Me

Dog’s have the amazing ability to sniff out the smallest particles of food. It could be that your dog found some small pieces of food lodged in the fabric of your couch.

Maybe he was driven by an enticing scent to seek out that morsel of food. So your dog licked and licked the furniture while being able to track down the source of the irresistible smell.

Vitamin Deficiency

You may want to consider that your dog is missing something essential in its diet.

Dogs are known to lick at furniture when they have a vitamin or mineral deficiency in their diet. And because the dog has no other means to get the deficient vitamins in their diet, they will get it by any means—even if it involves licking your furniture.

Sickness

When dogs do odd things, it could be your dog’s attempt to cure themselves of abdominal pains or just feeling sick in general. Dogs eating grass are an example of this.

Furthermore, if your dog doesn’t have access to grass, they will find a substitute such as licking your furniture.

Boredom

Make sure that your dog isn’t licking your furniture out of pure boredom. Be sure to provide your dog with stimulating activities and toys that they are interested in.

If your dog is bored, there is a good chance that your dog can resort to something like licking the furniture to simply pass the time. If the licking isn’t constant and you can make your dog stop at the moment, then it’s probably nothing to worry about.

Anxiety

You may be surprised to know that stress and anxiety are also reasons that your dog will start obsessively licking furniture. If you just moved to a new house or in a new neighborhood, even brought in a new pet, they may be telling you that they’re uneasy about the change.

Much like us, dogs are used to routines and they develop habits and attachments along the way. This can get remedied by adding in a little more physical exercise, socialization, and other forms of stimulation for your pup.

You could, you’re up to it, try playing with them a little more. They will enjoy puzzles, playdates with other dogs, and just good old-fashioned running around in circles.

Exercise is known to be an effective stress reliever and it’s a remedy that’s good for your dog even if they aren’t experiencing any stress or anxiety.

Related: Why Does My Dog Cuddle With Me And Not My Husband?

Does My Dog Have OCD?

There are some circumstances of excessive licking that may lead you to believe that your dog has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). If you find that you’re unable to distract your dog from licking the furniture, or they lick aggressively and intensely, almost in a routine fashion, it may be OCD.

To help paint a clearer picture, imagine if it were a person that constantly bit her nails when she felt anxious.

A veterinarian will be able to determine the best course of action if he or she thinks that the anxiety is mild and can get treated with distraction tactics. In more severe circumstances it might require corticosteroids. Either way, the best solution will always include your continued love and support.

Can I Stop My Dog From Licking the Couches?

If you somehow figured out why your dog was licking your furniture, you can probably stop them from doing it.

Start with something as easy to fix as boredom. Introduce them to new toys, games, and pals. Check to see if anything is upsetting him in the environment, and see if removing it helps.

If none of those methods work and you still feel like something isn’t quite right,  think about getting your dog examined for dementia, or GI (gastrointestinal) issues. If the vet doesn’t think that there’s an underlying health problem, they may start your dog off on some basic anxiety medication.

Final Thoughts

Why does my dog lick the couch? As long as it isn’t chronic or excessive, it’s probably nothing to worry about. I know as an owner you may not be too thrilled about your couches having dog slobber all over them, but from a health perspective, your dog is fine.

Dogs generally tend to lick things as a method of exploration and to learn their new environment. If ever your furniture is soaking wet and you can’t get your dog to stop licking for a long period, consult the advice of a veterinarian right away.

About Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore
Renee Whitmore is an American college professor and freelance writer from North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in English Education. When she is not driving her teenage son to wrestling practice or learning the ins and outs of Fortnite from her younger son, she is working on her first book to be published soon.
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