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Question
Posted by: Mandy | 2012-03-28

Dog Nibbling and Licking

Hi there,

Since December my poodle puppy (now about a year and six months old) has been in the habit of nibbling and licking her paws, as well as by the base of her tail, a spot on her back, etc.

Whenever she does it in front of me, I stop her from doing it by nudging her- I don''t smack her or anything for doing it. I even do it during the night, because she wakes me up at night she does it so much and is so vigorous in doing it. But of course, I am not there during the day.

I can’ t think of any specific reason why she is doing this- I haven’ t changed her food, she went to the parlor in January so she isn’ t too hot, her skin isn’ t dry as far as I can see. I take her for walks but I always steer her away from broken glass, little stones, etc.

How do I get her out this habit? Since the moment she started it in December I’ ve discouraged it, but three months down the line she’ s still doing it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Mandy, if you are keeping in place a good flea/mite prevention routine, then it sounds as if your dog may have an intolerance to her food as one of the main signs is itchiness and licking and from what you say above, it does not sound like she engages in this behaviour to get attention.

I would suggest you talk to your vet and even take her in so he can see the condition and he may do further tests. He may suggest you try her out on another food that is geared to food intolerances to see what happens then. do bear in mind that when changing food it needs to be done gradually over about a week to determine if the dog has any reaction to the new food. Although there are good products on the market for allergies, my personal favourite is the Maxhealth brand, as apart from being affordable it has an excellent protein content being fish caught off the West Coast of SA and I have found that dogs with food intolerances seem to do better with a fish protein than others. Do check her out with his vet and then follow the recommendations he gives you. If you would like the website info on the food above, just Google it as Maxhealth Dog Food.

What has to be brought to mind with starting a new food that caters for allergies, is that it is not always an overnight change for the dog, it can take a bit of time. Good luck!

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012-03-29

Hi Mandy, if you are keeping in place a good flea/mite prevention routine, then it sounds as if your dog may have an intolerance to her food as one of the main signs is itchiness and licking and from what you say above, it does not sound like she engages in this behaviour to get attention.

I would suggest you talk to your vet and even take her in so he can see the condition and he may do further tests. He may suggest you try her out on another food that is geared to food intolerances to see what happens then. do bear in mind that when changing food it needs to be done gradually over about a week to determine if the dog has any reaction to the new food. Although there are good products on the market for allergies, my personal favourite is the Maxhealth brand, as apart from being affordable it has an excellent protein content being fish caught off the West Coast of SA and I have found that dogs with food intolerances seem to do better with a fish protein than others. Do check her out with his vet and then follow the recommendations he gives you. If you would like the website info on the food above, just Google it as Maxhealth Dog Food.

What has to be brought to mind with starting a new food that caters for allergies, is that it is not always an overnight change for the dog, it can take a bit of time. Good luck!

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