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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Why does my dog lick metal

Customer Question

My miniature Dash hound obsessively licks metal. Such as: the track for my closet door, aluminum baseball bats and razors. Sometimes I can not tear him away from the tracks to my closet.

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  crimson_axe replied 11 years ago.

The razors can be dangerous, so treatment should begin with a trip to your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical problems. Once these are ruled out, the next step is to identify the cause of the behavior. The behavior may be the result of anxiety. Once determined, remove or correct the cause, in this case remove the cause of the anxiety. Punishment should not be used to 'treat the problem.'

In fact, punishment often times is a contributing factor and will only make matters worse. Diversion is a good alternative, replacing the odd behavior with something more pleasant.

Since this is a 'metal' object it seems that there could be a viatmin defiency in the dogs food.

Review your dogs diet, and be sure it is a high quality kibble in the very least. Add some 'treats' to a buster cube, or kong treat toy to occupy your dogs mind.

Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
There are a few things that might cause these problems in a dog including Cushing's disease, or other adrenal gland disease, liver failure, obsessive-compulsive disorders, seizures, hydrocephalus and other neurologic disease that have occasionally been linked with this behavior.
If the closet tracks are greased that might be the attraction there - the oily taste. If you use the bat a lot and if its used razors he licks (really dangerous for him) on those he may be licking your skin scent or sweat off the objects.
You should have your vet check him for signs of disease with a full exam and bloodwork.
If no sign of disease is found then you may want to consult with a veterinary behaviorist to get help with what may be an obsessive compulsive disorder. Your vet may be able to refer you to one for help.
As this is a dachshund liver disease is known to show up in that breed so that might be a place to start.
Hope this helps you!

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