Q. My chocolate lab has bouts of uncontrollable licking, which results in her hacking and coughing what is the problem
A. Dogs scratch, lick, or chew for a wide variety of reasons, such as allergies, boredom or anxiety, dry skin, hormonal imbalances, pain, and parasites.
Because there are so many reasons why dogs chew or scratch, be sure to check with your veterinarian as soon as you notice a problem. The veterinarian will help figure out the cause of the behavior and determine the best treatment plan. Depending on the cause of your dogâ€™s compulsive behavior, this might include: eliminating parasites, changing foods, using medication, preventing the behavior by using bitter sprays to discourage licking, having your dog wear a special collar to prevent access to hot spots, or keeping your dog close by your side when youâ€™re home, and addressing anxiety or boredom. In some cases, compulsive biting, chewing, or licking develops in response to fear, stress, or inadequate stimulation. To reduce this likelihood, be sure your dog receives enough exercise, attention, and love.It can also be helpful to train your dog to chew on toys or bones to relieve stress as a replacement for inappropriate chewing or licking behaviors.