Licking is a normal behavior of dogs. Dogs cannot verbalize what they feel and one of the ways by which they can show their affection to humans is by licking. Dogs lick to communicate with humans and with other dogs as well. A mother dog will keep the litter clean by licking. The bond is strengthened when the dam licks the puppies but this habit is also done to induce the puppies to urinate and defecate.
Dog owners are often perplexed at the habit of the pet to lick the anal area. Apparently, this kind of licking is not done as a show of affection nor is it a way of expressing themselves. A dog with the body all contorted to be able to reach and to lick the rear end would be amusing to watch. However, it would not be amusing if the dog that was seen licking the butt would lick the master’s face to show its affection.
After the puppy has defecated or urinated, the mother dog will lick the pup’s anal area clean. The habit to lick was learned by puppies from their mother. Dogs use their long raspy tongue for grooming purposes. Hand shaking is for humans while butt sniffing is for dogs. The butt licking behavior can be the dog’s way of ensuring that the rear end is free from dried feces and from the smell of the feces as well. Dogs have the predilection for anything that humans find horrible. Dogs love to eat feces and to roll in rotting animals. The butt licking habit is a part of the dog’s predilection for smelly things we humans find repulsive
A dog will lick the butt to remove a foreign object from the anal area. Dogs are indiscriminate eaters thus cloths, plastics, strings and many other non-edible things will be eaten. The plastic, the cloth and other indigestible objects eaten by the dog will come out in the same form. The dog will be seen licking its butt to remove object dangling from its anus.
The pain and uncomfortable feeling associated with an impacted anal gland will make a dog lick its butt. Normally, the anal glands will be emptied when the dog defecates but because of low quality commercial food, soft stools are formed and results to the impaction of the anal glands. Bacteria will build up if the anal gland is not sufficiently expressed. An impacted anal gland will make the dog uncomfortable. To alleviate the pain and the discomfort, the dog will be seen constantly scooting and licking the butt.