Is your pet overgrooming themselves?
At first glance, pet grooming may seem like normal behavior, as all furry animals do this! However, if your little friend is a little too obsessed with cleaning themselves, it could be a sign of medical or psychological issues.
Excessive grooming in pets is indicated by licking, scratching, or chewing uncontrollably. It causes hair loss, bald area, dry skin, rashes, pus, scabs, and other skin issues.
The reasons behind this behavior are divided into two main categories: medical issues and psychological issues. The best thing to do is to visit a vet so that they can diagnose the root of this problematic behavior, and then find the best solution.
When your pet baby itches, it is often because of fleas and ticks. These pests make your pet suffer from irritated skin. They can cause various illness, including tick-borne diseases*, anemia, skin infections, and tick paralysis. Our poor baby!
In addition to these pests, several other factors can make your pet uncomfortable, for example, food allergies, thyroid or kidney problems, dermatitis, and infections.
*Tick-borne diseases: diseases that are transmitted from ticks to other animals. The examples of tick-borne diseases are Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, and Hepatozoonosis.
In many cases, excessive grooming is associated with stress such as past trauma, separation anxiety, sudden environmental change, etc. Because licking is a way to heal or soothe themselves from stress, some pets can’t help but groom again and again.
There could also be other reasons for excessive grooming that you won’t ever find out, and of course you can’t go back and change their traumatic past. You can, however, help them work towards bettering their health with the following points:
Maintain your pet’s daily routine as much as possible to avoid changes that may occur from daily unpredictability.
Spend some time playing with your pet. Show them new activities each week that will require physical movement. Play active games like fetch or hide and go seek.
Pets love toys. Chewing or snuggle toys are good for dogs, while cats are more into shiny or small moving toys since they like a good chase. These items keep your pet busy during the day.
It is essential to spend time with your pet daily. Playing and caring for them are good ways to show affection and improve your friendship. Pets are less likely to groom when they feel safe and know that they are in trusting hands.
It might take some time to notice this excessive behavior, but with enough love, care, and the right treatments, your little fur friend will eventually be cured from the need to over groom themselves.
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