June 1, 2010 "Ask Seth"

My adopted 8-year old Shih Tzu licks everything. Why does she do this and is there anything I can do to stop it?



I adopted an 8 year old female Shih Tzu and she licks everything quite frequently: the couch, the chair, and my pants and shirt when she is in my lap. Can you tell me any reason for her doing this? Is there any solution for stopping her?

Thank you,

Connie Rex Smith

This may be behavioral or medical in origin.  I recommend speaking with your veterinarian abut this issue.  I have heard of similar cases where animals with this condition were diagnosed with trace mineral deficiencies. Talk with your veterinarian about adding a trace mineral supplement to your dog’s diet. These nutrients can often be found at a natural food market. If adding the nutrients to the dog's diet does not work, a consultation with a dog behaviorist may be very beneficial. This might also be a compulsive behavior that may require medical treatment. Excessive licking can turn into a very big problem if she accidentally swallows something that causes gastrointestinal problems. 

Seth Mayersohn, CVT


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