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Old 05-30-2011, 09:22 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 87,730,318 times
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My 16 year old Lab has taken to licking my sofa, CONSTANTLY. If he's laying on it, he licks it. If he's not, he'll walk over to it and just stand there and lick it.

He totally ignores me when I tell him to stop. I have to manually pull him from the sofa and point to somewhere to lay down.

It's not just the sofa, sometimes he licks the floor. But it's the sofa licking that drives me insane.

It's starting to smell, but I can't replace it until he's no longer with us or he'll ruin the new sofa too.

WHY is he licking? It's not allergies. He used to lick his paws for allergies prior to our changing his dog food years ago.

This licking the sofa has been happening on and off for the past two years, but these past few months have been constant.

How can I get him to stop licking the sofa before I go batty and need to be locked up in a mental ward?
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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Leo licks the floor sometimes but used to do it compulsively. Someone suggested it was a vitamin deficiency and to start giving him gummy kids' vitamins. It worked. He hardly does it any more. I just give him one (he weighs 28 lbs) but the dosage for a child is 2. They are all natural, no artificial anything. Bottle for about 200 costs $10 at Target.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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I'm going to try vitamins. I suspected he was doing it because he's not absorbing his nutrients. I hope he absorbs the vitamins. I'll also add Cheerios to his kibble.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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I'm betting it has a lot more to do with his age and the inevitable creep of senility and obsessive behavior than lack of nutrient absorption. Annoying as the behavior is at least it's not actually destructive and is in my opinion a small price to pay for 16yrs of loyalty and companionship.

I don't have an actual solution to the problem. A sofa cover with some bitter apple may help lessen it and allow the option of washing the cover to cut down on the odor.
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,132 posts, read 24,955,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outbacknv View Post
I'm betting it has a lot more to do with his age and the inevitable creep of senility and obsessive behavior than lack of nutrient absorption. Annoying as the behavior is at least it's not actually destructive and is in my opinion a small price to pay for 16yrs of loyalty and companionship.

I don't have an actual solution to the problem. A sofa cover with some bitter apple may help lessen it and allow the option of washing the cover to cut down on the odor.
I agree with this.

Hopes, I don't mean to minimize this issue, but you got lucky and chose to give your guy a little more time. Please spend this time loving him and giving him treats and just enjoying his company.

I understand that it's smelly and that the behavior isn't pleasing to you, but he doesn't have that much more time with you. Please make the best of what little time you have left.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Once he's gone, you'll realize that the smelly couch was no big deal... and then you'll replace it.

Just love each other, and don't waste a minute of it being upset.

Hopes, you know that I say this from the heart, and with a ton of love, so please don't think that I'm berating you. I'm not. I just want you to see it from a different perspective.

xo
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:32 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 87,730,318 times
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I do appreciate that he's still with me. He is very loved.

Licking has always driven me crazy. Back when he licked his paws, it was constant. I was able to correct that with diet.

There's no reason I can't try to resolve this problem too, especially if it's diet related because that means he's miserable.

I'm not mean to him. I simple take him by the collar, lead him away, and point to lay down somewhere.

I'm not usually annoyed like today. This has been going on for quite a while and I never posted about it.

But it's SO HOT THIS WEEK. The sofa is smelling worse with the humidity. And the heat isn't helping my tollerance either.

OF COURSE, I appreciate that he has been with me for 16 years and I'm lucky to have these extra few months with him.

I love my son too, but I'm annoyed by many things he does too. Oh, and let's not forget hubby. He annoys me most of all! LOL
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,489,392 times
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Licking can also be a sign of nausea. Or anxiety.

I'm thinking perhaps senility too...Last dog I had that got to about the same age developed some mildly OCD-like behaviours in the last year of her life.

I agree though...16 is quite an achievement! There's a drug for canine senior dementia called anipryl...I have not used it ever but have heard some good things about it....maybe worth talking to your vet about it?

Anipryl® - Help for senior dogs and cats with dementia or cognitive dysfunction?
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,132 posts, read 24,955,829 times
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Oh, and let's not forget hubby. He annoys me most of all! LOL
You're preachin' to the choir, lady!
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:24 PM
 
315 posts, read 932,248 times
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Don't want to frighten you unnecessarily but my dog started licking the carpet, sofa or anything else that I couldn't figure out. The symptoms started to get worse so I had her checked out and it turns out she had EPI and she was in bad shape. Not saying this is what your dog has but it might be a good idea to bring a poop sample and ask your vet to check for this. It can be treated with enzymes ordered special for dogs.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Well, at least you are not doing what I did..by accident..Sam was always licking stuff, so I thought he needed a pig ear to distract him...well...dope! Then, Sam thought licking was a good thing, and a way to get Mama's attention, and a pig ear!! Bonus!

Doh!
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