Ask the Vet Archive

Your chance to ask Dr. Mindy Cohan, VMD, our resident pet health expert, what's on your mind!

Topic: Excessive Grooming of Housemate

Question from M. Rossi in Milton:
My schnauzer (Junior) has recently started licking our other dog (Casper). We have kept them separated when we're not around and he has completely licked the hair off one spot on Casper's back. Bitter apple has not stopped him. We thought it might be something in Capser's fur or or on his skin. The licking continued after they were both groomed.

Answer from Dr. Mindy Cohan:
It is hard to say for sure why Junior is so intent on licking Casper. Licking can be an expression of compulsive behavior in dogs. Self-licking can be due to allergies and boredom. Try using a dog specific outfit or appropriately sized t-shirt on Casper to cover the bald patch created by Junior. Keep it on while you are not able to supervise the dogs together. During this trial, provide Junior with new safe chew toys and toys that can be filled with treats. These items can help to redirect his oral fixation from Casper. After a few weeks of building Junior's interest in the toys, take off Casper's protective clothing and see what happens.

Posted July 30, 2007

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