Pet insurance policies are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company.
Follow Us

Dogs and floor licking

Q: For the past two months, my 9-year-old spayed female Westie/Japanese Chin mix has been licking everything in sight, from my legs to the floors, baseboards and various fixtures. I’ve started to call her “Licky.” Could she have a vitamin or other deficiency?

A: Dogs develop a penchant for excessive licking of surfaces (ELS), the clinical term for what Licky is doing, for a few reasons.

According to research, the most common reason by far that dogs lick floors and other unusual surfaces is dysfunction or pain of the stomach or intestines. Fortunately, treating the gastrointestinal problem resolves or significantly reduces the ELS behavior in most dogs.

Alternatively, Licky’s behavior may be due to a compulsive disorder, for example, related to anxiety, or to a nutrient deficiency.

The only way to find out is to take Licky to her veterinarian for an exam and lab work. Submit a fresh fecal sample so your vet can test for intestinal parasites.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at askdrlee@insurefigo.com

Q: During our cat’s last...

Q: Jake, our retriever...

More From Figo Blog
Max Fox: A Pet Insurance Emergency Story | Figo Pet Insurance

When California resident Sunshine Fox took her...

Anxious cat sits on a bookshelf

Cats have earned a reputation for being...

Cozy Cats: Too Comfortable For Words | Figo Pet Insurance

Mornings are the worst. You spend all night...

Scarf'd Pet Recipes: Crunchy Munchy Popcorn Treats | Figo Pet Insurance

This simple-to-make treat is everything we...

Animal shelter volunteer pets a dog adoptee

Are you passionate about pets? So are we! I...

Halloween pet safety: Dog in costume

Halloween is a favorite family holiday:...

Man sitting on beach with dog in sun

Dogs make a good vacation even better, and...

Westie eyeing macaroons on the kitchen counter

Q: Our dogs, Stiller and...

HELP