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13 Shocking & Alarming Reasons Why Chihuahuas Lick So Much

Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much

Your Chihuahua licks a lot.

They do it daily. Not just for a couple of minutes.

It can last for hours.

You begin to wonder:

“Is this normal?” “Should I worry?”

“Do other Chihuahuas do this?”

Keep reading to find out:

  • Tips on how to stop them from licking.
  • 13 reasons why Chihuahuas lick so much.
  • How to know if the licking is related to an illness. 
  • And a lot more…

Why do Chihuahuas lick so much?

Chihuahuas lick so much when they’re bored, anxious, or frustrated. It’s also because of their curious nature or just simply cleaning themselves up. Your Chihuahua can also lick themselves a lot if they have wounds or ticks. Another reason is that it’s their way of communicating with you.

13 reasons why Chihuahuas lick so much

#1: Your Chihuahua is bored

The main thing you should know about Chihuahuas is that they’re a very active breed.

They love playing and exercising. When a Chihuahua lacks stimulation, they get bored.

Licking is their way to distract themselves. It’s their way of saying, “I’m bored. Play with me.”

Your Chihuahua likes to play or run outdoors. Indoors, you can also do a lot of activities.

Being stuck in the house doesn’t mean you cannot do games with your pup.

Try these indoor games with your Chihuahua:

  • Chasing.
  • Tug of war.
  • Find the treat.
  • Learning tricks.
  • Hide-and-seek.
  • Blowing bubbles.
  • Climbing the stairs.
  • DIY obstacle course.

But, how do you know if the licking is connected with your Chihuahua being bored?

A bored dog will exhibit different signs. How can you tell?

Aside from licking, your canine may do these things:

  • Pacing.
  • Barking.
  • Digging.
  • Chewing.
  • Escaping.
  • Scratching.

If you notice these things, the best thing to do is to take your Chihuahua for a walk or play with them.

Check out this article: Top 10 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Burrow (Under Blankets)

#2: Your Chihuahua has anxiety

Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans. There are four types of anxiety that our canine friends may experience.

Let’s start with separation anxiety. It’s the most common reason why your dog is anxious.

You’ve been working from home for many months, and now you need to go back to the office.

Your Chihuahua got used to your presence at home. Suddenly, you have to be away for several hours.

When you arrive at home, you notice them licking themselves a lot.

Licking releases endorphins that make them feel relaxed. It’s a form of self-soothing, especially when you’re away.

Another type of anxiety is common with rescue dogs. Their bad experiences make them generally anxious.

Exposure to an unpredictable and not secured environment may lead them to lick a lot.

When they encounter new and alarming events, they quickly get anxious. As a result, it causes them to lick non-stop. 

At times, anxiety is also related to an illness. Your Chihuahua may have an underlying condition.

If your dog isn’t normally anxious and suddenly exhibits signs of anxiety, it could be that they’re sick.

There are also instances wherein we don’t know why our canine friends are anxious.

Many factors can contribute to their anxiety, such as loud noises, bigger dogs, and rowdy kids.

The thing is, you need to be observant to determine what causes their anxiety.

How does an anxious dog act?

You can tell if your Chihuahua is anxious when licking comes with these behaviors:

  • Pacing.
  • Barking.
  • Panting.
  • Whining.
  • Shaking.
  • Escaping.
  • Shedding.
  • Wide eyes.
  • Blinking often.
  • Pinned back ears.

Of course, we don’t want our furry friends to be anxious.

We know you’re looking for ways to help out your Chihuahua.

No worries, we’ve got some tips for you.

If the reason for their anxiety is being separated from you, don’t make leaving and coming back a big deal.

Avoid cuddling too much before you go out. Leave them with toys to enjoy while you’re away.

How about with other causes of anxiety?

The first step is to observe what triggers them.

If you already know what’s triggering them, remove the trigger first.

You can slowly expose them to their anxiety triggers little by little.

But if you suspect that they have an underlying condition, don’t hesitate to take your Chihuahua to the vet.

Reading tip: Why Do Chihuahuas Shake? Here’s The 17 Reasons

#3: Your Chihuahua is affectionate

Your Affectionate Chihuahua Licks So Much

Does your Chihuahua lick your hands, feet, and face?

Do they do it with an excited and happy face?

No worries, fur parents. It simply means your furry friend loves you.

Chihuahuas show their love and affection to those they see as important to them.

Licking for them is associated with caregiving. It’s a behavior that they inherit from their mothers.

They lick their puppies to clean them, and to help them to pee and poop.

If the licking comes with a wagging tail, relaxed eyes and ears, and even a rollover, your Chihuahua is saying, “I adore you, hoooman.”

Most fur parents interpret it as a kiss from their canine friends.

So what do you need to do? Respond by petting or cuddling them.

Show your Chihuahua that you adore them too. 

Reading recommendation: 9 Cute Reasons Why Chihuahuas Like To Cuddle + 5 Signs

#4: They’re curious

Chihuahuas are curious and intelligent. They love to explore.

They use their tongue to help them discover new things around them.

Due to their curiosity, they tend to lick anything that amuses their eyes.

When they are unsure if they can eat something, they tend to lick it to check.

It helps them to determine if it’s worth eating or playing with.

Some Chihuahuas even bite or lick their dog parent’s used garments.

Their owners’ smell and sweat attract them. They lick it to feed their curiosity.

Is your Chihuahua licking the air?

They might have smelled something exciting and wanted to explore it further.

Perhaps the smell of freshly baked goods in the kitchen or a boiling pot of stew.

Our dogs are born to be curious. You’ll know that they’re in their explorer mode when they exhibit these behaviors:

  • Staring.
  • Sniffing.
  • Barking.
  • Growling.
  • Raised Tail.
  • Raised Ears.

But what if your Chihuahua gets overexcited? Walking can be challenging because they stop, sniff, and lick everything.

Curiosity is embedded in a dog’s DNA, but there are ways to manage it,

If they like smelling your visitors, advise them to ignore your pooch. They’ll most likely stop from licking.

You can also teach them commands such as “leave it.” Praise and reward them when they follow.

Allow your Chihuahua to be curious within reason. Once they lick anything harmful, that’s the time you need to take control.

#5: They’re nursing their wounds

Have you heard of the saying “lick your wounds?”

It’s literally true for our canine friends.

Most dogs lick their wounds.

It’s because their saliva has blood clotting and antibacterial components.

They lick it to tend their wounds and ease the pain they feel.

Observing your Chihuahua will help you pinpoint particularly on which part of their body gives them pain.

Licking all over the body and at the back of their paws may indicate that they’re in pain.

Chihuahuas are prone to have skin allergies. It can be due to the weather, food allergy, or genetics.

It can be a challenge to determine what is the actual cause of the skin allergy. 

As for environmental factors, your Chihuahua can be allergic to dust, molds, mites, and pollen.

When it comes to food allergies, it’s best to consult your vet about it. They can help determine the specific food that your pup is allergic to.

You can also try feeding your Chihuahua one type of food at a time. The most accurate timeline is eight weeks.

Make sure as well that food is fresh. Observe their reaction after meals.

How do you know if they have allergies?

Check if the licking comes with other signs such as:

  • Crusting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Hair loss.
  • Dull coat.
  • Dandruff.
  • Vomiting.
  • Flaky skin.
  • Scratching.

#6: Your Chihuahua has dental problems

Do you see your Chihuahua often licking their lips and mouth?

It may mean that your dog has a dental problem.

Chihuahuas have small mouths. It can overcrowd their teeth.

Due to this, they’re prone to teeth and gum problems.

It’s quite a challenge to clean your Chihuahua’s teeth. 

What can you do about it? 

Give your Chihuahua proper dental care.

When brushing, make sure to use a canine toothbrush since it’s made to match your dog’s mouth and tooth shape.

Also, use canine toothpaste and not the ones for humans. 

It’s always good to start them young. As a puppy, set aside at least 10 minutes per day for dental care.

Stick to a schedule so your pup will know what to expect. They will quickly get used to it when done on schedule.

It can be a new experience for your pooch, but when you’re calm and collected, they will relax as well.

When brushing, ensure to clean all parts such as the top, front, and back of teeth. You can do it in just 2 minutes.

Wipe your Chihuahua’s mouth with a damp cloth. Praise them for being obedient while brushing.

Do you want additional tips?

Make sure to buy dental chews for your dog that are natural. Read the label so you can avoid chemicals.

Natural ingredients such as mint and parsley are great for your Chihuahua.

Our dog Snow enjoys green tea dental chews. It smells amazing. 

Caring for your dog’s teeth is part of being a fur parent. When they have good dental hygiene, bonding time is fresher and sweeter.

#7: They are cleaning themselves

A dog licking themselves is a way to clean themselves up.

Does it sound weird? We humans can’t equate licking to cleaning ourselves.

But for our canine friends, it’s a different story.

Do you know that a human’s mouth has more bacteria than a dog’s?

Research states that although a dog’s mouth has more bacteria, it’s cleaner than ours.

If your saliva has antibacterial properties, wouldn’t you make use of it?

Chihuahuas are a type of breed that likes to groom themselves.

Have you noticed that when you go inside after a muddy or dusty walk, your dog licks themselves?

It’s their natural way of grooming. If you want to keep licking at a minimum, help your Chihuahua by wiping them with a damp cloth.

Don’t forget to keep your Chihuahua clean by bathing them weekly. 

If you don’t see any skin problems or wounds, there’s no need to worry if your Chihuahua licks themselves.

#8: Your Chihuahua is nauseous

Does your Chihuahua lick the floors or walls? It could be because they’re nauseous.

If your dog licks unusual places aside from their lips, they may have tummy problems.

Digestive problems can happen if your dog eats something that has parasites, hard-to-digest food, chemicals, or foreign objects.

Observing your dog for 24 hours is the first step to check if they do have tummy problems.

Check for other signs of digestive issues like:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Drooling.
  • Weakness.
  • Lack of appetite.

If your Chihuahua exhibits these signs along with licking unusual areas, bring them to the vet.

The vet can do tests such as blood or fecal examination to determine the cause of the digestive problem.

Medication can help your beloved dog get healthy again.

You might also like: Why does my dog drink so much water at night?

#9: Your Chihuahua has a tick problem

Some of the most common reasons dogs lick themselves are ticks, fleas, and mites.

How will you know that they have it? When they scratch too much. At times they even bite and chew on the affected area.

Upon inspecting their fur, you can see the culprits. Fur parents know ticks are annoying and a problem for our lovely dogs.

You need to remove the tick as soon as you see them. The longer they stay on your Chihuahua, the harder it is to remove them.

The parts that are mostly affected by these parasites are the following:

  • Collar.
  • Eyelids.
  • Around the tail.
  • Between the toes.
  • Under the front legs.
  • In and around the ears.
  • Between the back legs.

We don’t want our furry friends to suffer from these blood-sucking creatures.

How do we prevent our doggies from getting these parasites? 

  • Use tick powder for dogs.
  • Clean and trim your lawn.
  • Do tick checks after walks.
  • Use a tick collar on your dog.
  • Use tick prevention shampoo.
  • Avoid letting them out for a long time.
  • Avoid areas with too many shrubs and grasses.

Your Chihuahua can be free from ticks when we do preventive measures.

If your doggo’s already infected, remove the ticks and dissolve them in a jar with isopropyl alcohol.

Sounds disgusting? I know, right. But it’s the best way to identify what type of treatment your dog needs.

Show the ticks to your vet, and they’ll know what to do.

#10: Your dog is frustrated

How do you act when you get frustrated? If you ask me, a heavy sigh of relief is my number one sign.

Do you know that your dog can get frustrated too?

They sometimes get annoyed, and licking can also be a sign.

Have you seen your Chihuahua rolling their eyes?

Was there a time that they walked away from you? There are various reasons for your Chihuahua’s frustration.

Just like us humans, they can get frustrated about something. 

Instances such as being unable to reach a toy or a treat can cause their frustration.

Senior dogs can get frustrated with noisy and rowdy kids.

Others can get irritated with too much attention when they want to rest.

It can also be the other way around. They’re seeking your attention, but you turned your Chihuahua away.

How to tell if your Chihuahua is annoyed? They may not stomp or flip their hair. 

Your dog can show you signs of frustration such as:

  • Hiding.
  • Growling.
  • Walking away.
  • Flattened ears.
  • Staring blankly.
  • Not affectionate.
  • Avoiding contact.
  • Rolling their eyes.
  • Smacking your leg.

Life is filled with situations that can frustrate us. The same is true for our canine friends.

But if we can handle our frustrations, you can help your Chihuahua manage theirs too.

The safest would be to eliminate causes of frustration. If you already know what irks them, do not subject them to it.

If your goal is to get them used to it, then help your furry friend by being calm when they act out.

Obedience classes are also available to help train your dog.

#11: Your dog has hormonal imbalance

Our endocrine system is responsible for producing hormones. Hormones are responsible for keeping our temperature or blood sugar levels at a normal range.

When there’s an imbalance, it will result in diseases such as diabetes and thyroid problems.

It can happen to you and your dog. Licking can be a sign of hormonal imbalance.

If your Chihuahua has a hormonal imbalance, they may show signs such as:

  • Panting.
  • Weakness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Weight gain.
  • Drinking often.
  • Skin problems.
  • Frequent urination.

When you notice that your dog has these symptoms, It’s best to take them to the vet.

Hormonal imbalance can be corrected with certain medications. 

#12: Your Chihuahua is aging

Aging brings a lot of discomforts. Not only for humans but our lovely dogs as well.

When we age, we experience a lot of illnesses. We quickly get tired or sick.

At times, the things we usually enjoy doing become too exhausting to do.

Your aging Chihuahua feels the same way. Licking can be a way to comfort themselves.

There can be a lot of things that stress them as they age. 

How should we take care of our senior Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas dislike cold temperatures. How much more when they get old?

Make sure that the senior dog gets warm with blankets and a comfy doggy bed.

A healthy diet is a must for our aging canines. Avoid treats with too much sugar as well.

Lastly, exercising should continue but avoid doing it too much.

Your Chihuahua’s bones may not be fit for a long walk or a hike.

Visit your vet for regular checkups. You can also give them supplements to keep them healthy.

Enjoy laidback moments with your senior dog. It’s the time of their lives where we can sit on the couch and enjoy cuddling with them.

Do you need more tips on how to take care of your aging Chihuahua?

Watch this video and learn some more.

#13: Your Chihuahua is communicating with you

Our lovely canines communicate with us in many ways. They may not be able to say anything, but they care.

Your Chihuahua can sense your moods. All dogs can, especially with the fur parent they’re closely bonded to

Research says that when a Chihuahua licks their mouth, they’re reacting to your angry face.

The negative emotion causes your dog to lick their mouth. What are they saying?

It can be, “Mom, Dad, I know you’re angry. I’m here to cheer you up.”

or “Hooman, I’m getting tense because you’re angry.”

As for me, I prefer the former. 

When your Chihuahua licks your face when you’re sad, it’s their way of comforting you.

Dogs have the intelligence and emotional abilities of a toddler.

They definitely know what we’re feeling. 

When I’m down in the dumps, my dog climbs to my bed and starts licking me.

How does your dog comfort you when you’re sad?

There are a lot of ways. Aside from licking, they may put their head on your lap.

Whining or whimpering can also be a sign of comforting you.

You can respond that you understand their efforts by petting them, scratching their belly, and cuddling.