Why Do Dogs Lick Metal? Causes+5 Best Tips to Stop This Behavior

Why do dogs lick metal? Dogs are known to lick various strange objects, some of which are more dangerous than others. Metal, for example, is a popular licking material among dogs, but it can be a sign of a dangerous condition known as Pica. On the other hand, a dog licking metal may be nothing more than curiosity and thus no cause for concern. So, why is it that my dog licks metal?

Because some dogs lick metal due to a medical condition, it’s critical to figure out why they do so. If you don’t, your dog could harm or kill itself right before your eyes. Continue reading to learn more about why your dog licks metal objects and whether or not you should be concerned.

 

Causes: Why Do Dogs Lick Metal?

1. Curiosity

Why Do Dogs Lick Metal

It’s probably nothing more than curiosity if you catch your dog licking a piece of metal now and then. If your dog only licks the metal once or twice, this is especially true. Dogs perceive the world through their mouths in the same way humans perceive it through their hands.

Dogs will lick just about any object once or twice out of curiosity due to this fact. Most of the time, your dog is licking metal out of curiosity. They are attracted to the metal because it smells or tastes good, but they are not attracted to it. It might be helpful to think of your dog licking metal once or twice as a taste test. You shouldn’t be concerned if your dog is licking metal out of curiosity. Your dog’s curiosity indicates that it is healthy and content. Keep an eye on your dog to make sure they aren’t licking metal objects all the time, which could indicate that something else is causing the problem.

 

2. Your Dog Has Pica

 

Pica is a condition that causes dogs to ingest non-food items regularly. Some dogs are drawn to a single object, while others are drawn to various objects. Your dog may be fixated on metal and licking it. The cause of Pica is challenging to pinpoint. It could be anything from nutritional deficiencies to health issues such as thyroid disease or diabetes.

 

To deal with Pica, you can take one of two approaches: identify any underlying illness or behavioral problem or prevent the Pica if none exists. Nutritional deficiencies in your dog’s diet can be treated simply by making a few dietary changes. On the other hand, behavioral issues can be addressed by providing stimulation in a chew toy, such as the Durable Dog Chew Toy, to keep your dog occupied. If there isn’t an underlying cause for your dog’s Pica, you can prevent it by removing the metal that your dog likes to lick.

 

3. Your dog likes the taste.

 

It’s also possible that your dog enjoys the taste of metal. This is more likely if your dog hasn’t acted strangely in other ways, and it happens randomly.

 

4. Anxiety

 

Why do dogs lick metal? Anxiety may be what’s been driving it to do it. This is more likely if it began doing it after something that could make it anxious or does it more frequently when it is likely to be anxious. If it does it more when a particular individual is there, when you will leave the house, or when loud sounds are coming from outside, these are some examples.

 

5. Boredom

 

It might also be the case that your dog is bored and looking for ways to stimulate themselves. This would be more likely if your dog does it more before getting exercise.

 

6. Compulsive behavior

 

It may be because of an obsessive-compulsive condition. This is where it has an insatiable need to lick metal and will continue to do so. This is more plausible if it has been licking metal nonstop for a few weeks. In this instance, consulting a veterinarian is the best alternative.

 

7. There is food stuck there.

 

It’s also possible that your dog has been doing it because food has been spilt nearby. If your dog has been licking a specific area of metal where humans have just eaten or drunk, this is more probable.

 

8. Thirst

 

It’s also possible that your dog is thirsty. This is more probable if your dog does it more often when they don’t have access to water and licks damp metal.

 

9. Lead Paint

 

Your dog’s obsession with metal could also be because it contains lead or is painted with lead paint. Lead paint is now illegal due to the severe health risks, but it can still be found in many places. Unfortunately, because the paint tastes like strawberries, it is quickly eaten by children and dogs.

As a result, many dogs lick lead-painted objects, including metal, obsessively because the paint tastes like strawberries. Because lead paint is so dangerous, don’t let your dog lick it. Severe symptoms of lead poisoning, such as GI problems, are signs that the paint contains lead.

5 Tips to Stop Your Dog from Licking Metal

 

1. Treat Pica

Why do dogs lick metal? If your dog does not have an underlying health condition, you can treat the behavioural issue of Pica with the steps below. Make sure your dog is getting enough mental and physical stimulation.

If you are gone for an extended period, consider setting up food puzzles and games to keep your dog entertained. Remove any items that your dog licks and that is toxic to him. When your dog tries to eat something, teach it to “leave it.” Reward it with tasty treats like Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats if it obeys your command.

2. Provide More Chew Toys or Stimulating toys

If you come home from work to find your dog licking and biting things out of boredom, you can train him to play with interactive toys like Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toys while you’re gone. This will divert your dog’s attention away from licking and toward the fun toy. A healthy dog is tired. A dog’s pent-up energy is released when it sleeps peacefully at night, and a good night’s sleep keeps your dog healthy.

 

For better mental and physical stimulation, Paws recommends interactive and distractive toys. Balls and rope toys, for example, require your participation. When you don’t have time to spend with your dog, use distraction toys to keep him occupied. Puzzles and chew toys are among these toys.

 

Here’s a list of 8 easy & affordable ways to stimulate your dog:

  1. Provide tug toys
  2. Play fetch games with your dog
  3.  Engage your dog with a stuffed Kong
  4.  Give them frozen treats once in a while
  5.  Make them a digging box and bury toys in it for your dog to find
  6.  For freshness, change your walk routine.
  7.  Excite your dog by teaching them a new trick
  8. Socialize them by arranging a play date or going to a dog park

 

3. Play with Your Dog More Often

 

So that you’re pet does not feel lonely or develop separation anxiety, show it affection whenever you are around. According to a study, separation anxiety is more common in male dogs, particularly those who were separated from their litter at a young age.

Give your dog proper attention regularly because dogs require love to live a healthy life. Not only that, but studies have shown that dog owners live longer than the general population. If you don’t play active games with your dog to meet its daily exercise needs, the pent-up energy will be rereleased in unfavorable ways.

 

4. Remove or Cover the Metal

 

Remove the metal object from the area where your dog is licking it excessively, or cover it so that your dog cannot find it. After several fruitless attempts, your dog will give up looking for the metal object.

 

If your dog becomes agitated after hiding the metal piece, it may have obsessive-compulsive disorder. To correct this behavior, you should seek advice from your veterinarian.

 

5. Make the Metal Unappealing

 

You can try spraying the metal with an unpleasant substance that smells or tastes terrible to make it unappealing. If your dog associates the metal object with a negative experience, it will not lick it again. If that doesn’t work, take your dog to the vet to be checked for an underlying health problem.

 

Train Your Dog 

If your dog is licking metal out of curiosity, you won’t have to do much to get them to stay away. They will most likely stop licking and not return once they realize the metal does not taste very good.

You might be concerned that the object contains lead and want to keep your dog from licking it. Most dogs who don’t have a compulsion problem will respond to the word no if that’s the case. There will be a learning curve if you are still training your dog. Redirect your dog’s attention away from the metal to reward them. Training your dog with Pica or other compulsive issues will be more difficult. If the dog licks out of compulsion, yelling at them is a bad idea because it will scare and stress them out even more. Instead, try distracting your dog by throwing their favorite ball or paying attention to them.

Consult your veterinarian to see if Pica, a compulsive disorder, or lead is to blame. Getting to the root of the problem can help treat the problem rather than just masking the symptom. Following your veterinarian’s instructions while also diverting their attention away from the metal can make a big difference.

 

Final thoughts: Why Do Dogs Lick Metal?

 

Why do dogs lick metal? The bottom line on dogs licking metal is that it usually occurs due to a medical condition. You should always consult a veterinarian before assuming that your dog is licking paint or other objects out of boredom. It’s never a good idea to overlook potentially severe problems in favour of a quick fix. The majority of conditions associated with a dog’s interest in metal are very treatable. Vitamins or a series of shots are usually used to treat Pica and anaemia. Some of the more severe conditions associated with licking metal may be more difficult to treat, but your veterinarian will work with you to find solutions.

Seeing a vet first, whether your dog is licking metal due to a physical or mental condition, is always a good rule. If there isn’t a medical issue, you can seek the assistance of a dog trainer. Keeping your dog happy and healthy can sometimes be difficult, but our canine companions will love us unconditionally. It’s a minor detail to ensure that they receive the best possible care.

 

FAQs

Why is my dog licking me so much?
Obsessive licking may indicate that they are agitated or nervous, as well as that they are in discomfort, sick, uneasy, or itching. Dogs find licking relaxing, and it may help them feel better. Dogs may lick themselves so much that their skin becomes damaged.
Why is my dog licking everything all of a sudden?
If your dog is compulsively licking themselves, you, or things to the extent that it seems to be self-stimulatory, it might indicate nervousness, boredom, or discomfort. Self-licking as a habit might indicate allergies or other health issues.

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