Why Do Dogs Lick Floor Tiles?

by Elton Dunn
Pets that lick kitchen floors are often hoping for stray crumbs.

Pets that lick kitchen floors are often hoping for stray crumbs.

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Pet behavior can be difficult to decode, and worrisome to an owner. There are multiple reasons dogs may lick floor tiles. Use situational clues and your insight into your pup's personality to determine what's causing the behavior. If you think licking signifies of an underlying physical condition, see your vet.

Diet Deficiency

Sometimes, dogs lick floor tiles when they have a particular nutrient deficiency in their diet. If your floor tiles are clay, brick or even cement, they may be attractive to your pet because they smell like minerals missing from your pet's diet. Sometimes, dogs with anemia, cancer or other diseases that cause gastrointestinal discomfort like to lick these tiles. (ref 3) If your pet only licks these tiles and not other floor surfaces, investigate his health with your vet.

Underlying Anxiety

Dogs who don't discriminate between wood floor and tiles floors often lick out of anxiety. Frequent licking of paws, furniture and other objects can be a sign of insecurity or stress. Telling your pet to "stop it" or physically restraining him won't help here. If you think your pet's anxious, talk to your vet about behavioral medicine. Boost pup's confidence by giving him commands such as "lie down" to distract him, then rewarding obedience with treats.

Nausea

Compulsive licking may be a sign of nausea or other stomach upset. If your pet is licking everything in sight, drooling, and seems less responsive than usual, nausea is probably to blame. Nausea often passes, but may be a sign your dog ate something he wasn't supposed to -- like chocolate. Look around the house for clues your pet ate something bad for him.

Food-Seeking

Some dogs look to lick floor tiles in the hopes of ingesting a crumb or two of your meal. If you have small kids that drop food on your floor tiles, your pup may learn to lick for snacks. If your pet licks floor tiles in the kitchen but not other rooms, he's probably learned that he may uncover food by doing so. Ban your pup from the kitchen while you cook to cut down on this licking.

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About the Author

Elton Dunn is a freelance writer with over 14 years experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, technology, beauty and fashion writing. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Emerson College.

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