How do I get my dog to stop licking my cats? Whenever a dog and cat come in front of each other in the same place, there are chances that things might become a bit awkward at first. In fact, these pets can turn aggressive at any time, so proper supervision is necessary.
However, a puppy can accept a kitten when raised together, which can lead to a peaceful house. The canine fellow usually licks all over the feline face without any reservation. Before going into detail about stopping the dog from licking a cat, it is essential to know what it means when a dog licks a feline friend.
Experts have many theories about the behaviour of a dog with a cat. The dog licks a cat all over the face for the following reasons:
Understanding Canine Behavior
To effectively address the issue of your dog incessantly licking your cat, it’s important to first understand the innate behavior of dogs. Dogs use their tongues as a tool for various purposes. From grooming to expressing affection, a dog’s licking habit can serve many roles in their social interactions.
In the wild, dogs lick each other as part of their hierarchical structure. Submissive dogs often lick the dominant ones to show their place in the pack hierarchy. When it comes to domesticated dogs, licking is a sign of submission or deference towards a person or another animal they consider as a leader or superior.
Moreover, licking is also a form of social bonding and communication for dogs. They lick to show affection, to solicit attention, or simply because they find the taste or smell appealing. Some dogs also lick other animals or humans as a soothing mechanism or when they feel anxious.
When a dog licks a cat, it might be trying to express its affection or acknowledge the cat’s dominance. However, it could also be due to the dog finding the cat’s scent or taste intriguing. This is all a part of a dog’s behavioral repertoire and is often normal unless it’s causing distress to the cat or leading to compulsive behavior in the dog.
Tips How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Licking My Cats
Most dogs lick humans or other animals as a response to positive reinforcement. For example, if the owner praises the dog, the dog may lick him more frequently.
The same rule applies to the cat. If the feline fellow responds positively to the dog’s licking, the dog will repeat it several times in the future. This licking of dog shows affection for the cats.
Smelling sense is one of the primary reasons for a dog’s popularity. Their sense of smell is superior compared to for a dog’s popularity. Their sense of smell is superior compared to humans, and they can detect the scent from a distance with ease. When the dog’s nose picks up a scent of their interest, then they like to taste that thing.
Thus, in this case, the puppy will lick the kitten repeatedly and is responsible for the puppy’s behavior. Furthermore, the puppy can lick anything that carries the smell of the cat.
In the wild, dogs and cats live in packs, so it is clear that pets can sustain pack behaviour even after going into domestication. Dogs usually lick to show submission towards ones they consider superior, including humans, fellow dogs, and other animals. Hence, licking a cat can indicate that the dog feels the feline friend is superior.
Dogs, like cats, groom themselves in addition to the ones they keep away from humans.Thus, if a puppy licks a kitten, the canine friend considers the feline fellow a member of its family.
On the other hand, cats are keen groomers, and they usually return the favour by licking their canine friend back.
How To Prevent A Dog From Licking
There is a need to stop dogs from licking, whether they are obsessively licking themselves or cats, and it has become an embarrassing behavior. However, it is always important to know the actual cause of excessive licking.
If the excessive licking is in the initial stage or has increased dramatically, this could be a reason for the underlying health issue. Thus, it is a good idea to visit the vet immediately.
One of the leading causes of excessive dog licking is boredom. Some dogs lick when they are frightened or out of affection. To curb such behavior, the owner should try the following few tips:
It is critical to teach the puppy to only lick cats a few times.This training can be done by distracting puppies from excessive licking by assigning them other tasks. Another way to train the puppy is to make sure that it obeys the “leave it” command. When the puppy begins to lick excessively, work on it.
Boredom can also lead a puppy to lick more. They may lick the feline friend during boredom or may like other objects like toys, etc. The owner should provide extra time for the puppy and enhance the playtime to remove the boredom.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to separate the puppy and kitten to stop the puppy from licking the kitten. The separation should be for at least seven days. However, try to avoid boredom while separating them by providing extra toys and more playable things.
Licking can become a serious issue that an owner may not understand. Seeking veterinary help can help identify the problem and treat it.
A toy stuffed with treats or a new dog bone will help the dog stop licking. This toy will help to redirect the energy into another, more appropriate behavior, such as chewing. These are some of the most common methods for reducing puppy licking on the cat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my dog keep licking my cat?
Dogs often lick other animals as a way of showing affection, acknowledging dominance, or due to interest in the other animal’s scent or taste. However, excessive licking could also indicate stress or anxiety in your dog.
Is it bad for a dog to lick a cat?
Generally, it’s not harmful if a dog licks a cat occasionally. However, if the cat becomes distressed or if the licking becomes excessive and compulsive, it might be a cause for concern and should be addressed.
How can I stop my dog from licking my cat excessively?
It’s crucial to supervise their interactions and distract or redirect your dog when it starts to lick the cat excessively. Training commands like “leave it” or “stop” can also be beneficial. In some cases, seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist may be necessary.
Is my cat getting annoyed when my dog licks it?
Cats may not appreciate excessive licking from a dog. Signs of discomfort include swatting the dog away, running away, hissing, or growling. Always monitor their interactions to ensure both animals are comfortable.
Do dogs and cats express affection differently?
Yes, dogs and cats have different ways of showing affection due to their different species-specific behaviors. While dogs might show affection through licking or tail wagging, cats often prefer grooming themselves or others, purring, or gentle headbutting. It’s crucial to understand these differences to maintain harmony in a multi-pet household.
Can a dog’s licking cause any health issues to my cat?
While occasional licking is generally harmless, excessive licking can cause skin irritation or infections. It’s essential to keep a check on your dog’s licking behavior and intervene if necessary.
Can I use training to stop my dog from licking my cat?
Yes, training commands like “leave it” or “stop” can be used to control your dog’s licking behavior. It may be beneficial to seek help from a professional trainer if the behavior persists.
Why does my dog seem obsessed with my cat?
Dogs might develop an obsession with cats due to their strong prey drive or because they find the cat’s behavior intriguing. If your dog is excessively focused on your cat, causing distress to either pet, it’s essential to consult with a pet behaviorist or vet.
My dog is licking my cat’s ear excessively. Should I be worried?
If your dog is frequently licking your cat’s ears, it might lead to irritation or infection. It’s best to consult with a vet if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or health.
My dog and cat are good friends. Should I still stop the licking behavior?
If both your dog and cat are comfortable with the licking and it doesn’t lead to any health or behavioral issues, it can be part of their bonding and social interaction. However, it’s always a good idea to monitor their behavior to ensure it doesn’t become excessive or problematic.
In conclusion, understanding the behavioral nuances of your dog is crucial in maintaining a peaceful coexistence with your feline companion. While dogs might see licking as a form of social interaction or affection, it’s essential to ensure this doesn’t become a nuisance or pose a potential threat to your cat. If your dog is consistently trying to lick your cats, it’s vital to address this behavior through training, distraction, or professional help. Always ensure the comfort and welfare of all your pets to create a harmonious living environment.