Is it normal for dogs to groom themselves? The Ultimate Guide

Check The Paws

Since your dog is walking and standing, it is inevitable that his paws would get dirty. However, dogs are effective in cleaning their paws too. They can simply lick away all unnecessary dirt and debris from their paws. But that doesn’t mean you just ignore the paw. You also need to check them yourself.

There are parasites that are so good at hiding. They can go to the inner creases and folds of your dog’s paws where they can hide and silently feed on your furry friend. Check your pooch’s paws and check the in-between of their claws.

While you’re at it, check your dog’s claws as well. They should be short and intact. Dogs scratch surfaces to keep their claws clean and trim. However, if you see they are already too long, frayed or broken, it’s time for you to step in and trim the claw using the right dog nail clipper.

Bonus: Why Does Your Dog Lick You (and Other Animals)?

Now that we’ve covered why dogs lick themselves, why do they lick other dogs or their humans?

One good reason is that this is your dog’s way of showing his affection. When your dog licks you affectionately, his body releases endorphins that calm, comfort, and please him.

There’s also the fact that sometimes humans just taste good. There are likely teeny tiny traces of food on your skin, and your dog likes that flavor. Even if there isn’t food, dogs like the saltiness of human skin.

Dogs also lick as another way to communicate. Your dog might lick you as a way to say anything from “please fill my water bowl” to “I love you.” He may lick other dogs or animals to ask to be friends or for another reason.

Is it normal for dogs to groom themselves?

What Is Considered Excessive Licking or Grooming in Dogs?

Most dogs lick a few common areas—between their toes, along their forearms, over joints, and on their belly. They may lightly lick or even bite or chew these areas intensely.

Excessive licking, however, occurs when a dog experiences negative effects from constant licking. This may include hair loss or bald patches, red areas on the skin, pimple-like lesions, dandruff, skin or coat discoloration, yellow or green discharge, or even limping.

Some pets may also show obvious signs of discomfort while licking or grooming. Signs may include vocalizing, whimpering, moaning, or groaning.

If you notice the following issues, the licking may be excessive:

  • Your dog has hair loss, skin redness, or oozing anywhere on their body.
  • Your dog is unable to sleep or frequently awoken because of the urge to lick or chew.
  • Your dog moans or whines when focused on an area.
  • Your dog stops playing to lick or groom frequently.
  • Your dog has mats in their fur close to the skin.
  • Your dog is otherwise unable to live their life normally.
  • 14 Critical Signs Your Dog Is Begging For Help

    There are a few key canine behaviors most people think of. One is wagging their tail when happy and another is licking humans to give us “kisses.” But dogs also lick themselves. Some licking is normal, but you don’t want your pup to do so excessively. Discover why dogs lick themselves and what to do about it.

    For dogs that are intent on licking, chewing, or biting at themselves, while there are many reasons for this behavior, most of them include grooming, boredom, dry skin, or allergies. Sometimes it is environmentally or food based.