Dog Licks the Carpeting

Our elderly dog has this habit of licking the carpet. He’ll be laying there and just starts licking it. I make him stop when I see it but he doesn’t quit. It’s pretty gross in my opinion and can’t get him to stop it altogether. He’s on a balanced diet, eats and drinks normally, receives Cosequin and allergy meds. Can’t figure out what’s making him do this. Any ideas?

Might be worth a discussion with your vet.

My dog used to lick things like the floor when she was feeling discomfort, like gas pain for example (the most common reason).

I’ve heard that, in dogs, licking something with a sort-of rough texture is a self-soothing behavior.

There are some toys made for this, sorry don’t have a link. A higher-end pet store might have them. And of course there is always online searching. :slight_smile:

It can be an anxitey behavior but it is also described as a sign of bowel discomfort. In an elderly dog, consider time for some blood work , perhaps. DOuble check that the allergy medication does not have bowel or liver side effects.

My Rabbit does this, but it’s on all the patches I’ve used vanish stain remover I think he must like the taste even though the chemicals he’s licking is worrying. Couldn’t it be a carpet cleaner that you’re using maybe?

My dog used to have very bad skin problems for a variety of reasons. We worked very hard to get her to not lick her paws while she was suffering from it (we also medicated and had VERY frequent vet visits until it was finally under control). A long-term side effect is that when she couldn’t lick her paws she would lick her bed or the carpet, which she still does 8 years later to self-soothe.

My other dog licks the carpet to clean up any possible cookie crumbs (first dog always eats her night time cookie on the carpet because of course she has to go to the softest place in the house to enjoy it lol). Once he is satisfied that he got all the crumbs (or once I yell at him to stop) he’s done until the next day.

My dog started doing this this year, but he licks the couch most of the time - if I’m playing with the other dogs and sitting on the floor he will come by me and lick the carpet. From what I gather (talking to vets as well as doing some research) he is getting more anxious with age and it could possibly be an early sign of dementia. I am just keeping an eye on him. Telling him “no” makes him more anxious because the couch licking is a self soothing behavior. Gross, yes, but it isn’t doing him any harm. It wouldn’t hurt to get a vet opinion on if it is an age related or physical issue caused by a discomfort that you can treat.

1 Like

Any chance it’s a cocker? I adopted one from my municipal shelter that did this. When I asked my vet about it, she laughed and said the breed is known for it.

There are anti-obsessional meds for dogs if it’s harming quality of life, or seriously upsetting you, but it’s otherwise harmless.

My dog does this to calm himself. I have read that this behavior releases endorphins. You can buy a licking mat. I spread peanut butter on his.


My dogs licked a microfiber recliner obnoxiously and frequently, but I’ve never seen them lick the leather recliner that replaced it. It was something about the fabric.

At some point they started to rub themselves on my parents carpet like it was a carcass whenever we went over there, which I figured must have had to do with carpet shampoo or something. Same carpet, but from that point forward they would roll and rub on it after entering the house.

My rabbit does this too! For rabbits, it makes them feel like they are grooming something/another rabbit and it also relieves boredom. My dog will also occasionally lick the floor, but I think it’s mainly when she finds a small food crumb, etc.

No, he’s a lab-shepherd mix, at least we think he is. He was a rescue, truly, his owner abandoned him when he moved. He’s been with us for the last 3 years. I just think it’s gross and would like him to stop.

There has been some research tying the huge increase in kidney disease in cats with fire retardant used on carpets. Look it up as the dates of adding fire retardant to carpets and furniture matches the huge increase in kidney failure incats the theory being that being close to the ground they are constantly exposed to the chemicals.