When you bring your new puppy home, you should be ready to provide it with as much love as possible. After all, getting a puppy is like bringing a new child home into your family. However, you might be confused as to why your older dog keeps licking your new puppy?
There is no quick answer. Several things could cause your dog to lick your new puppy, like habitual licking, grooming, or cleaning an infection.
If that is all you need to know, then great, you can move on with your day! However, if you have more questions, we will answer them below. We will dive deeper into why your dog may be licking your puppy. Additionally, we will discuss solutions if it becomes a problem.
As mentioned above, various things can make your older dog lick your new puppy, including grooming, cleaning, and habitual licking. Here, we will discuss these causes and whether you should worry about them.
If your dog is the mother of your new pup, it should not surprise you if they groom them. After all, your dog is simply taking care of their child in this scenario. However, you will also notice this behavior in dogs with no blood relation to a puppy.
Firstly, you do not need to worry if your dog routinely grooms your new puppy. It indicates that your dog is accepting the puppy into the family.
It is common for dogs to clean each other, especially inside the ears. Dogs are unable to lick inside their ears, and as a result, we recommend that their owners clean them. However, dogs will instinctually clean the ears of other dogs they consider friends. This trait is common between older dogs and young puppies.
Additionally, grooming is a way for dogs to bond, so it is a good sign to see between your dogs. Dogs grooming each other is a sign that they will get along.
#2. Habitual Licking
Licking is the best way for dogs to clean themselves and each other. You should not be surprised to see your dog groom your new puppy. However, there are other times that your dog will lick your dog for purposes other than grooming.
Notably, your dog may be licking your puppy out of habit. Habitual licking is a common way for dogs to deal with stress.
In all likelihood, when you bring home a new puppy, your dog will be excited. However, your new furry friend may stress them out. In response, they might start to lick your new puppy excessively.
You will probably notice this behavior when your dogs have calmed down, and it will happen around the same time every day. By licking each other, your dogs will bond, and their stress will dissipate. This type of licking is also not a cause for concern.
#3. Cleaning an Infection
Dogs have good instincts, and as a result, they can detect things that you overlook. Notably, they can detect infections in puppies you would never have spotted. When your dog senses this infection, it will lick the area to clean it.
Your puppy might not be the child of your dog, but they still possess maternal or paternal instincts, and as a result, they want to protect the new member of your family.
If your dog has not spent much time licking your puppy, and they start doing it a lot out of nowhere, you should consider bringing your puppy to the vet in case of an infection.
One peculiar act is for your dog to start licking your puppy’s private areas. While this might seem odd, it is very common in dogs. Your dog knows that your puppy is still a puppy, so their instincts to protect and teach the puppy kick in.
Your dog wants to make sure that your puppy knows how to take care of itself, so they will lick your puppy’s privates to teach them how to clean themselves. Young dogs learn from example, and showing how to groom themselves is the best way for a puppy to learn.
However, it is crucial to remember that this is a sensitive area, and you should keep an eye on your dogs. While your older dog has no ill intent, it may overdo it. Excessive licking can cause a hot spot, which is a direct result of your dog’s rough tongue. If one of these spots develops, your puppy will be more susceptible to infections.
If your dog is licking your puppy, they are not doing it to harm them. Unfortunately, your dog may not know when it has overdone, so you might need to keep them separate for a little while.
Use separation as a last resort. Separating dogs creates anti-social habits, which are hard to undo. Instead, you can try to distract your dogs when licking gets excessive by going outside.
Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting time. You are bringing a cute new member of your family home, and you are excited to introduce them to everyone. However, it is crucial to keep an eye on how they and your old dog interact. Ensure that they are getting along, and keep an eye on how often your dog licks your puppy.
Most of the time, however, your dog licking your new puppy will not be a problem.
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