Why Dogs Lick Their Toys?

Why Dogs Lick Their Toys? : 8 Reasons You Didn’t Know

How many times have you found your dog licking its favorite toy? Dogs may lick their toys, but why do they do it?  And if you’re wondering if it’s normal, don’t worry—it is! As we discuss below, there are some physiological and psychological reasons that can explain why dogs lick their toys so much.

Here are 8 reasons why dogs lick their toys and what you can do about it if it happens to your dog. You’ll never look at your pet the same way again!

8 Reasons Why Dogs Lick Their Toys

As a dog owner, it’s common to see your pet licking his toys or even other inanimate objects like furniture or rugs. While this can seem odd, there are actually several reasons why dogs lick their toys and other items, so let’s take a look at some of the most common ones.

1. Dogs use licking as a grooming tool

Sometimes when dogs lick their toys, they’re not just playing with them—they’re grooming them. When your dog licks its toys, it’s cleaning them and adding its scent to them so that it becomes part of its pack. Most dog parents don’t mind if their furry friend grooms his/her toys because they consider it innocent behavior.

Still, if you notice excessive licking on a toy and would like to put an end to it, get another one as a replacement. Giving your dog multiple toys will keep him occupied and deter excessive licking on only one of them. You can also try distracting your dog by calling his name while he plays. Once he looks up at you, give him a treat. Over time, and after many positive reinforcement sessions, your dog should stop licking his toys.

2. Licking releases endorphins

Dogs have over 230 million smell receptors, while humans only have around six million. So they are much more attuned to smells than we are. Many researchers believe that a dog’s sense of smell is so powerful that it can release endorphins by simply smelling or licking an object. For dogs, it’s like getting a massage or taking drugs!

Or, perhaps your dog likes putting her face on her old stuffy toys because she remembers you previously hugging them. Or maybe she just loves how good they smell!

3. Why dogs lick their toys? They are trying to tell you something!

One of the most common reasons dogs lick their toys is because they want you to play with them. It is important to spend some time with your dog since a dog doesn’t have enough exercise or mental stimulation. Lack of activities can develop destructive habits like chewing on furniture or other household items.

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Since lick granulomas (i.e., red, hairless bumps on a dog’s skin) are often caused by allergies, arthritis, or other medical conditions that can lead to licking at them, dogs with these symptoms should definitely see a vet as soon as possible. The good news is that most health-related licking behaviors will not cause permanent damage if they’re treated early enough.

When your dog licks his toys excessively he may be experiencing pain elsewhere in his body. If you’ve noticed a behavior change (like less playtime or decreased appetite) in conjunction with excessive licking, then it’s important to take him to a veterinarian for an examination.

4. Licking helps dogs relieve stress

We’ve all seen our dogs lick us, right? It’s a show of affection, but for many dogs, it’s also a sign of stress or anxiety. You may have noticed that your dog licks his toys more frequently when you leave him alone in your house or in your yard.

Is he nervous about being left alone? Dogs lick to relieve stress. When they feel anxious and don’t know what else to do, they turn their mouth towards an object and start licking. This behavior can quickly become ritualistic; after all, if licking relieves tension and makes them feel good, why wouldn’t they keep doing it? So, pay a little extra attention to your buddy!

5. Natural oils give toys a taste dogs love

As a dog licks its toy, it covers it with its natural saliva. Saliva is full of enzymes that are designed to aid in digestion.

While we can’t say for sure whether or not these enzymes have a similar effect on toys, there is no denying that dogs enjoy tasting them. Because licking releases endorphins— chemicals in your dog’s brain responsible for feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.

6. The taste buds have it

Dogs, in general, have an acute sense of taste and smell, which is why they can pick up scents over great distances. When you give your dog a toy, she licks it because it tastes like you. And finally, dogs will also lick toys as a way to get rid of extra saliva. Because dogs use licking as a means of regulating salivation.

This may sound gross at first glance, but imagine how inconvenient drooling would be if we didn’t have control over it! Those dogs with short muzzles (such as bulldogs) are prime candidates for excessive drooling; conversely, some pups with longer noses (such as greyhounds) do not slobber much at all.

7. Warmth and texture can be pleasurable

All dogs have a vomeronasal organ, also known as Jacobson’s organ. This senses chemicals in pheromones that are spread by other dogs. And it’s what allows them to identify each other (this sense is highly underdeveloped in domesticated dogs).

One of these pheromones is androstenone, which signals dominance. Chewing on a toy can release those pheromones and make a dog feel dominant over his stuffed friend.

8. Allergy relief at its finest

Dogs’ saliva contains enzymes, that break down dead skin cells and other organic matter. And licking provides a way to distribute these compounds around their bodies.

Those enzymes aren’t just important for cleansing—they also help keep your dog healthy by reducing allergens and parasites. They are also preventing infections from developing and healing wounds.

But even if licking doesn’t have an immediate medical benefit, it still feels good. That sensation is thought to be tied to endorphins. Which are released in response to physical stimuli like touch or eating. Licking triggers those endorphins, creating a sense of well-being in dogs.

Ending notes on Mr. Lickity Lick

Dogs lick their toys for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to get rid of dirt or simply because they like it. Though there are plenty of benefits to letting your dog lick his or her favorite toy, there are also some concerns.

Finding out why your dogs lick their toys can help you decide whether you want your pup licking his or her toys.

There could be a number of reasons why dogs lick their toys.
We welcome any feedback on the article, and if you want to share your experience on feeding expired chicken or meat to your dog, just let us know in the comment section.

Please note that the purpose of this article is merely informational. A professional should always be consulted for specific medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This guide is never intended to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that the purpose of this article is merely informational. A professional should always be consulted for specific medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This guide is never intended to substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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