Licking is a normal dog behavior. They use it as a means to communicate with the outside world and what they are feeling inside. While licking is normal for a Maltipoo, excessive licking is not.
Why does my Maltipoo lick so much?
Your Maltipoo licks so much because they are stressed, bored, or when they want to show that they love you. There can be other reasons why a Maltipoo licks so much, like when they have nervous energy and nowhere to go with it.
Maltipoos, like other dogs, can lick if they have skin or other types of allergies. They can also lick to find comfort as it gives them a relaxing sensation.
Licking is a healthy part of a dog’s life; it’s something they do as a dog and should normally be no cause for alarm. In certain instances, thought licking can become excessive or obsessive, and the parent needs to sit down and discover the underlying issue causing the licking.
Licking is a natural habit for your dog that helps them keep themselves clean and healthy. From the moment they are born, their mother takes care of them. Once they get older, littermates and other dogs can be seen doing that to each other as a way of showing affection.
While this isn’t a predominant thing in our modern society with our dogs, traditionally, licking was a way of show submissiveness to the dominant dog or pack leader. This attitude was important during their ancestors’ time for survival and maintaining order within the pack. Since dogs don’t talk, they use body language to communicate.
Communication didn’t just include licking. It also included other body language and even sounds like growling and barking.
Today Maltipoos don’t need to do that, but it is still a part of their internal makeup. It will come up as behavior they use to communicate with the outside world around them and soothe themselves inside.
Now we all suffer stress sometimes, and our dogs are no different. Dogs that lick obsessively may be doing so because they are under stress and need an outlet for their emotions. Again, they can’t talk but licking, and other behaviors like hiding or whimpering can be signs of excessive stress in their home environment.
Find your Maltipoo is licking nonstop. It can be helpful to first look at the household and see if anything might be causing any unnecessary stress.
Another reason a Maltipoo might lick a lot is when they are bored again if you will notice a pattern. Licking is a subtle way for the dog to communicate their thoughts and feelings about the world around them and what’s inside.
Yes, even your Maltipoo gets bored sometimes. They’ve taken a lap around the yard for the tenth time, and nothing exciting is happening. Mom is busy, and the food is all gone. The neighbor’s cat isn’t out climbing a tree, and the toys are old. Boredom sets in just like it does with children and adults.
Unlike humans, dogs can’t just hop in the car and take a drive to find something to do. Nor can they plead with their parents for a new toy like a human child would do. So the Maltipoo might lick or display other negative behaviors to soothe their internal turmoil and boredom until something new comes along or they find something exciting again.
Maltipoos show each other affection in many ways. They sniff each other and lick; they might touch noses or snuggle up. They will do this with their humans as a way of showing the humans that they are loved.
Your adorable Maltipoo might sit on your lap and lick your hand or face to show affection. It might also happen when they need more attention than you are giving at the time. They might give that lick in hopes they will be noticed, and you will start petting them and snuggling.
These issues can become obsessive or excessive If left unchecked. That means if your Maltipoo is stressed, the issue is not noticed or addressed, so the behavior continues and increases. If the Maltipoo is bored, that also may not be addressed either. The same can be said for attention.
When normal behaviors become excessive or obsessive, the original trigger, boredom, stress, or lack of attention are not addressed, and the behavior is overlooked. The behavior isn’t addressed, and the trigger isn’t dealt with for whatever reason.
The same can be said for licking due to nervous energy. Maltipoos are energetic dogs; if they don’t have enough energy expelled in a day engagingly, it can spell trouble. They might start licking to soothe that stress and expel their nervous energy.
If the Maltipoo has allergies of any kind, if they are left unchecked or not treated properly, it can show up as excessive licking to soothe the internal health issue. It could also mean they have an allergy that isn’t yet diagnosed, and the excessive licking is a symptom the parent can visibly see that tells them something is wrong.
Finally, Maltipoos and other dogs lick to soothe and relax even when there is no trigger. At the end of the night, if the Maltipoo is tired and wants to fall asleep or they have just eaten a big meal and are comfortable, they might lick but not usually excessively.
What should I do if my Maltipoo is licking nonstop?
If your Maltipoo is licking nonstop, the best thing for you to do is sit back and take notice of their behaviors. Spend the day or a few days watching them and see if a trigger or stressor comes up.
Make sure they exercise enough and that their life is comfortable and easy. Engage and play with them, so they don’t get bored, and pay attention to what they eat and how they react. We are often so busy that we don’t notice the subtle, little things that happen in our dogs’ lives that show us what’s wrong.
If, after a few days, you can’t pinpoint anything that needs changing or triggers that need to be managed, it is time to take your Maltipoo to the veterinarian. At the very least, a phone call is necessary to inform the veterinarian of the issue, and they can tell you how to proceed.
Suppose during the process, a trigger or issue is discovered many times. In that case, it will reduce the licking, and the Maltipoo may find peace. Licking is a natural part of a dog’s life, but it should never be obsessive.
It would help if you never allowed your Maltipoo to lick obsessively, as it can cause skin issues like bacterial infections. If you suspect this issue, it is best to take your Maltipoo to the veterinarian if they need medication to treat it.