Jul 11, 2016 - Here's the truth about why dogs and cats lick
Most people don’t realize dogs and cats get allergies too, and how they respond is very different than the human allergic response. Allergies are usually not noticeable in kittens or puppies because most don’t develop reactions until 1 to 4years of age. The good news is rather than your pet suffering in discomfort, and you going nuts listening to them lick all night long, you can find out what substance is causing the issue and how to control your pet’s allergic reaction.
When normal behaviors become repetitive or sustained and don’t seem to make any sense, a dog or cat is often diagnosed with compulsive disorder. Common repetitive behaviors in dogs include licking to the point of causing a wound known as a lick granuloma, tail-chasing or spinning to the point of exhaustion, and chasing shadows or light rays. Cats are known to suck on wool, groom excessively or chase their tails.
A certain level of scratching or licking is considered normal in all animals. Also, both cats and dogs groom themselves with their tongues. Therefore, it is important to determine whether your pet is scratching or licking excessively, or whether he or she is engaging in normal behavior.First, let’s debunk the myth that cats are aloof and asocial. In fact (although cats tend to be more solitary than dogs) they are highly social animals who are just as capable of showing their owners affection as their canine counterparts. Cats, however, are not pack animals—for this reason, their licking does not signal submission. Here are the cats lick their owners:Domesticated dogs and cats lick each other—but they also lick their human owners—in the face, as well as on the hands and feet—who often wonder why. The reasons dogs and cats lick humans are similar, but there are also important differences. Licking behavior is normal, and even healthy, for both cats and dogs. It's build into their DNA, an expression of their love for their owners and the establishment of social bonding. If however your dog's or cat's licking behavior suddenly changes, and certainly if it's associated with any sign of illness, you should contact your family vet immediately. If you have questions about your pet's behavior or are concerned there might be a medical problem, today.As is the case with dogs, sudden, excessive licking in cats can signal a medical problem. For example, it could mean there’s a skin irritation from fleas, an insect bite or an infection. If your cat’s licking behavior suddenly increases, and especially when the licking is confined to one area, contact your vet.T shirts and onsies can also work to help block licking. Gather the t-shirt over the back near your dog’s waist, to keep it from hanging, and wrap the gathered bunch with white tape (do not tape to your pet!). Onsies need to be 12-24 months, and these work well on little dogs and some cats. Snap between your pet’s back legs and tail between snaps. Unsnap and roll forward at potty time. For male dogs, sometimes toddler underwear or pull-ups can be used. Finally, for some smaller pets including cats, you can take a tube sock and modify it by cutting holes for head and legs—just make sure it is long enough to cover the affected area.Wound licking does not have magical healing properties; dogs and cats lick their injuries because they are uncomfortable. Licking is not a substitute for appropriate wound care.House paint, art paint, varnishes and other decorative or protective solvents come in many varieties… and most are dangerous to dogs and cats. Water-based paints, the most common, include latex, tempera, and poster paints. Other paints are solvent-based or oil-based. Varnish is essentially a clear oil-based paint used to finish surfaces (often wood). Older buildings and products may contain lead-based paint, even though the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a ban on lead-containing paint (and items coated with such paint) in 1977, and Canada limited lead by law, starting in 1976. Plus some artist paints still contain lead, which is needed to provide certain yellow tints. Pets are naturally curious and may walk through your painting supplies, work area, or a freshly painted surface. Your dog or cat may then ingest a small amount of paint while grooming or licking off paint.
"Please keep pets away from paints and varnishes at all times if possible! If your dog or cat is exposed to paint (through licking, etc.) or is trapped in a room with such solvents, serious symptoms could occur."
"Lead paint exposure has been known to be extremely harmful and can cause symptoms right away, or it may take a while before symptoms appear. It should be avoided completely."