Elderly Dog Licking Floor – Why & What To Do?

Licking is a natural way for dogs to express their affection.

However, licking the floor on a regular basis indicates that something is wrong.

Excessive floor licking in senior dogs can be caused by a variety of conditions.

elderly dog licking floor – reasons

It could be due to gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

Other conditions include behavioral, physical, neurological, and compulsive disorders, a lack of nutrition, memory disorders associated with nausea, and seizures.

The well-known causes of older dogs licking the floor are described below.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Or Nausea Discomfort

Aging alters the physical condition of the dog, which can have an impact on the digestive system.

Improper nutrition can also have a negative impact.

Excessive floor licking may also indicate a gastrointestinal disorder (GI) or nausea.

Pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcers, liver disease, and intestinal parasites are all associated with this.

In this condition, dogs naturally seek out grass to help them vomit and recover.

When they can’t find any grass, they start licking the floor.

Elderly Dog Licking Floor Due To Gastrointestinal Discomfort – What To Do

Take your dog to the veterinarian, who may recommend x-rays, abdominal ultrasounds, or blood tests to determine the cause of an upset stomach.

Different treatments, such as prescription diets, stomach protectants, probiotics, antacids, antibiotics, and steroids, can be introduced.

Neurological Disorders

Dementia is another possible cause of excessive licking of surfaces (ELS) in elderly dogs.

It is a memory disorder, or more accurately, a mental process disorder.

It may also be associated with nausea and seizures, such as a sudden attack or epileptic episode.

Seizures, such as limbic epilepsy, can sometimes affect only specific body parts.

Because the limbic area of the brain controls many behaviors, dogs suffering from limbic seizures frequently exhibit behavioral changes.

Obsessive-compulsive disorders are also classified as neurological diseases.

They are similar to compulsive obsessive behaviors in humans in that dogs engage in certain behaviors and repeatedly repeat them as a result of mental disorders.

This condition affects older dogs more severely.

Elderly Dog Licking Floor Due To Neurological Issues – What To Do

First of all, you have to identify the medical problem that has caused the floor licking to keep up a historical record of the condition.

Call a veterinary doctor or take your dog to the hospital.

Behavioral Problems

Aging dogs develop behavioral problems similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Cognitive dysfunction is a significant behavioral problem.

In such cases, dogs lose their ability to recognize familiar people, their sleep-wake cycles are disrupted, and new fears arise.

elderly dog licking floor – why & what to do

Other symptoms of cognitive dysfunction include anxiety, boredom, disorientation, irritability, decreased desire to play, incontinence, inability to learn new tasks, decreased self-grooming, and stress.

Any of these can cause dogs to excessively lick the floor.

Elderly Dog Licking Floor Due To Behavioral Problems – What To Do

A medical record of past occurrences is required for cognitive dysfunction treatment.

Consult your veterinarian and provide a history of behavioral issues.

This will aid in the diagnosis of the problem and the development of an appropriate treatment plan.

Drug treatment and environment modification have been shown to improve behavior and reduce cognitive dysfunction.

Anxiety treatment must identify the source of the problem and implement a stress-reduction strategy.

Mental stimulation, play, and exercise with senior dogs produce promising results.

Stress can be reduced with a relaxing environment, therapy, and medication.

Knowing the dog’s body language, on the other hand, is vital.

In this way, we are able to understand the uncomfortable circumstance or determine whether the dog is experiencing anxiety or not.

Another factor that can help reduce anxiety is socialization.

You can expose your dog to new animals, environments, and people.

Nutrition Deficiency

Another significant cause of licking the floor is a nutritional deficiency caused by poor food quality, quantity, or lack of required nutrients.

Certain foods may also cause allergies in some dogs. 

Elderly Dog Licking Floor Due To Nutrition Deficiency – What To Do

You should always feed your dog a well-balanced diet.

Supplementing with vitamins and minerals can sometimes help overcome deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies can cause serious disability or even death.

So consider the nutritional value of your dog’s diet.

Because there is no treatment other than a hypoallergenic diet, your veterinarian may recommend diets best suited to your dog’s current condition to avoid allergies.

Dental Pain

Elder dogs frequently have dental problems and experience pain inside their mouths, throats, and teeth, which may explain their excessive licking.

When something gets stuck in the dog’s mouth, it licks to try to get it out.

Elderly Dog Licking Floor Due To Dental Pain – What To Do

Seeing a professional for pain relief is the best option.

Elder dogs are more prone to dental, oral, and throat problems, so routine dental check-ups can help alleviate pain.


Aging is always a challenge for dog owners. We could perhaps always face a variety of physical, behavioral, and cognitive changes.

Caring for elder dogs is tough duty, but this is when the owner can return their love!