Why does my dog lick the furniture?

Why does my dog lick the furniture?


If you’ve ever noticed your dog licking the furniture, you may be wondering why they engage in this behavior. While it may seem strange to us, there are several reasons why dogs lick the furniture. In this article, we will explore the possible explanations behind this behavior and provide insights into how you can address it.

Exploring the Reasons

1. Taste and Smell: Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, and they use their tongues to gather information about their surroundings. Furniture may retain traces of food, beverages, or other scents that attract your dog’s attention. Licking the furniture allows them to explore and taste these interesting smells.

2. Boredom or Anxiety: Dogs may resort to licking the furniture as a way to alleviate boredom or relieve anxiety. Licking can provide a form of mental stimulation or serve as a self-soothing behavior when they are feeling stressed or restless.

3. Attention-seeking: Some dogs may lick the furniture to gain attention from their owners. If they have learned that this behavior results in interaction or rewards, they may continue doing it as a means of getting your attention.

4. Medical Issues: In certain cases, excessive licking of furniture could be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Dogs may lick surfaces due to gastrointestinal problems, allergies, or skin irritations. If you notice your dog excessively licking furniture along with other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or skin redness, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

Addressing the Behavior

1. Provide Sufficient Mental and Physical Stimulation: Ensure your dog receives enough exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Engage them in interactive play sessions, provide puzzle toys, or consider enrolling them in obedience training classes. A tired and mentally stimulated dog is less likely to resort to licking furniture out of boredom.

2. Create a Safe and Calming Environment: If anxiety or stress triggers the licking behavior, create a safe and calm space for your dog. Provide a comfortable bed or crate where they can retreat to when they feel anxious. Additionally, consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or anxiety wraps to help alleviate their stress.

3. Redirect the Behavior: Whenever you catch your dog licking the furniture, redirect their attention to an appropriate alternative behavior. Offer them a chew toy or engage them in interactive play. By redirecting their focus, you can help break the habit of furniture licking.

4. Consult a Professional: If the behavior persists or is causing distress, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. They can assess the underlying causes and provide tailored strategies to address the issue effectively.


Understanding why dogs lick the furniture can help you address this behavior appropriately. Whether it’s due to taste and smell, boredom, anxiety, or medical issues, there are various approaches to tackle the problem. By providing mental and physical stimulation, creating a calming environment, redirecting the behavior, and seeking professional assistance if needed, you can help your dog overcome this habit.


– American Kennel Club: www.akc.org
– The Spruce Pets: www.thesprucepets.com
– PetMD: www.petmd.com