Many dog owners are used to their four-legged friends getting up to all kinds of strange things. What about licking? While it’s common for dogs to lick various things, there are reasons dogs like to lick glass, and they might not be as obvious as they first seem.
Licking can be a comfort to dogs
If your dog can’t help but lick glass around the home, then they might be trying to comfort themselves. That’s right; dogs don’t just lick to clean themselves as it can also be a way to relax and relieve anxiety, especially if they are in a new situation or something has upset them. The same can be said for when our dogs lick glass. It turns out that it might not just be licking their fur or paws that make them feel comfortable but merely the action of licking in the first place.
It is a type of displacement behavior
Licking glass has a name, and it’s called displacement behavior. This is where our dogs do something to relieve stress and anxiety, much like we may step into a hot bath or read a book to try and calm down. Other examples of this type of behavior in our dogs is when they circle or excessively chew on something. It’s usually best to try and spot when your four-legged friend starts to show these behaviors before it’s a problem as it can become compulsive, meaning they return to do the same thing over and over again.
Licking car windows can reduce anxiety
Many owners have noticed their dogs like to lick glass when they’re in the car, and this could be a little different from licking glass around the home. Some dogs can feel anxious when they’re in the car as they try to figure out where they could be going, why they are moving, and why everything is changing outside. This could lead our dogs to lick the windows as a way to try and stay calm. Thankfully, there are various ways that we can help our dogs learn how to stay relaxed in the car.
It can also be a sign of boredom
Perhaps you have noticed that your dog continually returns to the same piece of glass and spends hours licking away at the stuff? That might be a sign they are bored, especially if they are left alone for long periods of time, or they don’t have much stimulation to keep them entertained. There are several ways this can be helped. Toys are a good place to start. Food-based toys that involve your dog having to use their tongue to get treats can be a great way to give them what they want without having to lick the windows. Taking them for a walk or hiring a pet sitter could also alleviate some of the boredom.
There are reasons dogs like to lick glass, but they might not all be so obvious. In fact, there is more to licking glass than many of us ever realized.