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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
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Experience:  19 years working as a full time veterinarian
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Why does my dog excessively lick fabric?

Resolved Question:

Why does my dog excessively lick fabric?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 5 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for asking your question on just answer. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

1. Was he licking fabric before he started the Reconcile?

2. How often does he do it?

3. When he is licking the fabric, can you call his name and get him to stop? Or does he seem in "a trance" that you can not break?

4. How is his appetite?

5. Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

1. Don't know. He was rescued from shelter as stray. Put on Reconcile very quickly for acute separation anxiety ( barked incessantly and urinated in house when we would leave).

2. 99% of time on our bed (ie, the bedspread) right before falling asleep. Other 5% (sofa, his mat, etc.) when my husband is away on business trips.

3. He's totally deaf. When licking, w gently try to stop him, but immediately continues. Seems very content while licking.

4.He's VERY, doesn't eat much of wet dog food, but will gobble-up occasional table scraps.

5. No vomiting or diarrhea.

Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 5 years ago.

Thank you,

It sounds behavioral and due to anxiety. It sounds like something that helps him relax because after he does it, he goes to sleep. He also does it on something that has a lot of your scent on it being your bedspread. We already know that he has separation anxiety so something with you scent on it most likely makes him feel comforted. If the Reconcile is not helping, and this behavior is really bothering you, you could try a different anti-anxiety medication and see if that helps. If it really makes him that happy, I would buy a cheap bedspread and put that over the good one, or instead of the good one, and just let him do it. If it is bothering you, You can try to train him to stop. You can give him a rubber kong-toy with yummy food inside so he can lick that instead. Put the canned food, or peanut butter, plus treats into the kong toy and then put it in the freezer. It should take him 20-30 minutes to get the treats out if it is frozen. Or you can distract him with another toy, a walk, a training session to learn a new trick , or any activity that keeps his mind busy.


I do not think this is a the cause but dogs who are nauseous lick non-food objects.


Also there is a type of seizure where the dog licks non-food objects. That is why I was asking if you can stop him when he is doing it. If you can stop him in the middle of the licking, it is not a seizure. When they are experiencing seizure activity, there is nothing you can do to stop them.

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