16 answers

My Dog Licks the Carpet

My 12.5 year old Rottie has started licking the carpet constantly. We have hardwood floors and throws, so she only licks the area where she lays.

I googled this and other dogs do it and they appear to be up in age. Many posts say they have taken their dog to the vet and the vet didn't know why and the dogs check out fine. Does anyone know if this is a sign of her time? Her hips are going quickly and I know she won't last forever, but she is still in good spirits, just tired.

Any thoughts would be wonderful.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I don't believe she is licking up treats. We don't eat in that room, although the dog could have crumbled some food in there, but I never see her eat in there either.

When she licks the carpet, she stands up and pretty much covers it square foot by square foot. She definitely licking the carpet.

She is my dog, as in, Rottie's are often a one man dog. She gave that up for a while and learned to love everyone. Lately, she has begged for my attention. She looks in my eyes and just nudges my hand if I take my hand off of her.

Thank you for all of the responses.

Featured Answers

Older dogs develop quirks, it doesn't necessarily mean that is a sign of her time. It could be behavioral, mental (kind of like old dog dementia) or a physical symptom of illness. Mine is 11 and she also licks the carpet. She usually starts by licking her paws, then she likes to go and lick the carpet where she is laying. She is definitely a mental case, I think it is just a soothing activity for her.

A good, expert answer:
http://www.justanswer.com/pet-dog/0xpa0-older-dog-keeps-l...

I read this article the other day about why old dogs are the best dogs, it's so sweet:
http://theweek.com/article/index/89914/the-last-word-why-...

1 mom found this helpful

I can sort of commiserate. One of my cats, Daisy, carries on licking one of my couches and the throw pillows. We joke that she's mothering the couch. It's more likely that someone spilled something and she's tasting it.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

my 10 yr old lab always licks the same spot on the carpet we couldnt figure out why and then after giving him a jumbone one day it hit me that he alwasy takes the bone over to the same spot to eat it and its the exact spot on the rug that he licks.. theres alot of times when we think hes doing it but then look closer and realize hes licking his leg or foot and happens to catch some of the rug with it .. my dog is also noticable getting stiffer in his hips .. i say as long as your dog is happy and doesnt seem to be in pain all the time dont even think like that.. my dad and fiance get so irritated with me when i call my dog old man i get - HES NOT OLD HES FINE DONT SAY THAT.. just think positive shes old i say let her do what she wants and enjoy the time she has left to be with you

2 moms found this helpful

Dog Mop!

Our dogs have always done this for spills, sweat/scent stains/ if the need a bath (trying to remove their own scent from the den is something all wolves, and some subspecies do).

Dogs get a HUGE serotonin / dopamine/ endorphin release (happy orgasma happy pain killing happy) neurotransmitters from their pack leader's scent. Aka, it makes them a bit high. Makes sense older dogs would do it more for the natural painkiller aspect / antidepressant qualities. That's just a guess, but it makes sense, physiologically speaking as a theory.

2 moms found this helpful

My dog started doing this at exactly the same age. He also licked concrete. I don't want to be a downer but he got really sick soon after and passed (had a growth into his spine, we thought it was his hips since he was a big dog.) I'm not saying your dog is really sick like mine, just wonder what the connection is? I'm wondering if some nutrient is missing from their diet or they are unable to absorb it for some reason and it drives them to do this? Worth a trip to the vet regardless since she is your baby and getting older.

1 mom found this helpful

Older dogs develop quirks, it doesn't necessarily mean that is a sign of her time. It could be behavioral, mental (kind of like old dog dementia) or a physical symptom of illness. Mine is 11 and she also licks the carpet. She usually starts by licking her paws, then she likes to go and lick the carpet where she is laying. She is definitely a mental case, I think it is just a soothing activity for her.

A good, expert answer:
http://www.justanswer.com/pet-dog/0xpa0-older-dog-keeps-l...

I read this article the other day about why old dogs are the best dogs, it's so sweet:
http://theweek.com/article/index/89914/the-last-word-why-...

1 mom found this helpful

Our dog ate several holes in our carpet. I think sometimes dogs just do stupid things that make no sense to us. I'm not sure I'd overanalyze it.

1 mom found this helpful

I have heard that excessive paw licking is a kind of anxiety/OCD doggie thing....
I think some dogs are lickier than others. MY friend has a dog whose tongue just "goes" ALL the time...he licks anything and everything--animal, vegetable or mineral.
But what you're describing is a change in your dog's behavior--so talk to the vet.
My Siberian, at 16, developed and incessant "pacing around" behavior....so maybe that was a sign of her mind going down hill? Not sure.
Good luck to you and the pooch!

1 mom found this helpful

Has she been eating any treats on her rug? Maybe she smells a good smell and thinks she can get a taste.

One of my labs use to like the sliding glass door when he was outside. Almost if he thought he could lick his way through it.

Glad your old girl is still is good spirits and hopefully has a good appetite.

One of my dogs sprained his hips from jumping, the vet recommended baby one asperin. (This dog weighed about 20 pounds, so I guess you would dose by weight)...It worked and I didn't have to pay a big vet bill.

1 mom found this helpful

My dog is 6 & he not only licks the carpet, he humps it as well. LOL! Yes, he's fixed.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, this could be an initial symptom of Canine Cognitive Disorder, which is common in older dogs. It has a longer fancier name and if I think of it I will let you know by supplementing this. You can probably Google it. Might be Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or something similar. My JRT developed it at age 16. There are a variety of symptoms, but this is one of them. It starts gradually and gets worse. It's kind of doggy Alzheimer's. The good news is that there is a medication available to treat it and it helped our dog make it to 17 1/2. The bad news is it's kind of pricey. It wasn't too bad for us because he was a small dog, but bigger dog bigger dosage. I can't remember the name of the med either (this was a couple of years ago), but it might start with the letter A and it takes at least three weeks for the med to get into their system and start helping. Good luck and PM me if you want more info about the symptoms my dog exhibited. As I type things are coming back to me. The name of the med might be Anipryl. He was on several meds at the end so I don't know if I'm confusing it with one of his other meds, but that one rings a bell.

Just Googled it. It is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction and it is Anipryl (or at least that's the brand name, not the generic name.) Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I would take her to the vet for some blood tests.

You said she is begging for attention, looks in your eyes & nudges your hand when you take it off of her. Sounds like she is trying to tell you something. She may be in pain & is silently trying to convey this to you.

I would take her in for an exam & blood tests. I wish you all the best for you and your poochie, sweetie.

Best wishes. Let us know how she is doing.

1 mom found this helpful

Our dog has allergies and constantly licks his legs,paws & tail. We have tried lots of different foods for him excluding corn and others. We are paying $50 for a bag of food and it isn't helping. When we give her Caritin it helps with a flare up but we don't to give her them all the time. There are wet spots on the floor from her licking her legs all the time.

1 mom found this helpful

I can sort of commiserate. One of my cats, Daisy, carries on licking one of my couches and the throw pillows. We joke that she's mothering the couch. It's more likely that someone spilled something and she's tasting it.

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds like it is a habit she has created to deal with something else. Maybe a pain that can't be detected. It is possible that the end is coming near for her and she wants to be comforted more. Obviously, she knows something is going on.
Take care!

1 mom found this helpful

I see from some of the other answers, that it may not be that unusual for older dogs. But my initial thought was: Are you sure she is intentionally licking the floor? When my dog does an intense lick-fest of her feet or some other "part" she often gets the floor as a by-product. And I'll find wet spots on the carpet if she has been lying in the same spot for awhile licking. She just gets the carpet along with the side of her foot or whatever. And bigger dogs, have bigger tongues which equals more slobbery surface area.

1 mom found this helpful

I read somewhere that "excessive licking" is due to boredom. My 7 yr old "rescue" also licks a lot (mainly our couch and / or our feet!). Whenever I catch her doing it, I distract her with a toy. She loves playing "fetch"! I wish you many more years of "doggy love".

Maybe the dog smells something. Maybe have the carpet cleaned and see if she still does it? My cat licks plastic so I understand how you feel. No one knows why she does it. It drives us crazy. Good luck!

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