Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much? (A Complete Guide)

Chihuahuas may lick excessively for a variety of reasons, including showing affection, boredom or anxiety, and health issues such as allergies or skin irritation. Some Chihuahuas may also lick as a way of asserting dominance or as a compulsive behavior. If you are concerned about your Chihuahua’s excessive licking, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

If you have chihuahuas, you may have faced the issue too. Chihuahuas are one of the most miniature dog breeds on the planet. They are tiny and cute, and everyone loves them. Being pet parents, we know the pain point of your life too.

Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much?

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Licking is an instinct of dogs. But in the case of Chihuahuas, they lick more than other dog breeds! But wait, why do they lick so much? Have you ever thought about it?

In search of the answer to this question, we talked to our veterinarian, Peter. We have found some interesting facts behind the excessive licking behavior of our apple-head chihuahuas.

Before anything, we would like to tell you that you already know that licking is normal behavior for dogs. So do not get scared suddenly after seeing your tiny pet licking so much! Observe for a few days; if you feel your dog is not showing its normal behavior, consult your vet.

In this article, we are sharing some information with you so you can get some relief if you also have the question, “why do chihuahuas lick so much?” 

Here are 11 reasons why your Chihuahuas lick so much:

1. Due to Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the main reasons your tiny pal licks so much suddenly. It has been noticed in many dog breeds also. When anxious, they start scratching the floor, licking their owner excessively, or chattering their teeth.

Now the question is, what happens when they start licking out of anxiety? Interestingly, their body releases some hormones when your pal licks them! Hormones like endorphin and dopamine are two important hormones that work for happiness. So when your Chihuahuas lick it so vigorously, it may indicate they are trying to eliminate anxiety.

Things to do:

If you can understand that your little pal is licking itself due to anxiety, then you can spend some time with it, or you can bring some chew toys to them.

2. Attention

Who does not like to be under the spotlight? Our dogs also like to be surrounded by their admirers. So when your chihuahuas start licking their own body, they ask for your attention. They are like, “why aren’t you giving me attention?”! Isn’t it adorable?

Due to a busy schedule, we sometimes do not find time to spend or play with our dogs! When we talked to our veterinarian, he suggested we properly give our dog attention. Since we started giving attention to our little friend, it has almost eliminated its excessive licking behavior.

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Things to do:

If you are also office goers like us, we suggest you make a schedule for your dog specifically. Spend quality time with them. It is better if you find a time slot in the evening.

3. Allergies

Another potential cause of the over-licking behavior of your Chihuahua is allergy. As per some medical research, most Chihuahuas grow their licking behavior due to some food particles. Even some pollen in the air can cause allergies in the puppy.

Allergies make your puppy’s skin itchy. So when they feel uncomfortable because of an allergy, they either seek your attention for your help or start licking themselves vigorously to get rid of itchiness.

Things to do:

If you find a spot of red patches on your chihuahua, we suggest you take it to the nearest veterinarian as early as possible. Do not try to find a solution on the internet.

Why Do Chihuahuas Lick So Much?

4. Stomach Issues

According to the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, more than 60% of dogs develop excessive licking disorders if they have gastronomical imbalances. Diseases like acid reflux, nausea, GI pain, and food poisoning also cause excessive licking behavior.

Things to do:

Take your Chihuahuas to the doctor. Your vet may give some medicine and run some tests to diagnose the exact cause to indicate the actual cause of this licking behavior.

5. Skin Blisters or Rashes

There are some cases in chihuahuas that if your little pal gets blisters or rashes on its skin, they become so sensitive. To seek your attention, they come to their master and start licking them. Even sometimes, they rub themselves against walls or may be against you.

Things to do:

It is better to bathe your chihuahua daily in the summer. Chihuahuas with small fur often get these rashes and blisters on their skin in extreme weather. If your tiny pal has any of these symptoms we discussed, consult your vet.

6. Yeast or Mites

If your chihuahua licks you vigorously, it is more likely to signal you to give attention to your chihuahua. Sometimes yeasts or mites irritate them, and out of discomfort, they lick so much.

Now you cannot determine the exact cause, but when these microscopic enemies grow on your little pal’s body, your pal becomes annoying. As they cannot speak, they may start licking their body or start growling sometimes.

Things to do:

A regular visit to your vet is an excellent option to determine whether your tiny pal has grown some infectious bacteria on it or not. Your vet may take fluid samples from your Chihuahuas body and prescribe medicine and lotions.

Tips: Do not buy any random lotion or ointment from a medicine shop. The right approach needs to be taken care of. After all, we all love our dogs, so the proper care will keep them happy and healthy.

Why Do My Chihuahuas Lick So Much?

7. Arthritis

Dogs may be the only species with the same problems as humans. You may have often seen your elderly parents or grandparents often talk about their joint pain and gouts. And you may have seen them struggling with their pain. It is challenging to walk or even move in this situation.

Now, why all of a sudden am I talking about gouts? Being dog parents, we have seen the same problem in our old pets!

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As per reports, a healthy chihuahua lives 15 to 20 years. We noticed this particular problem with our pal when he was barely 14. During that time, it became lazy, but when it used to see us, it would jump on us and start licking.

We noticed this behavior for a couple of weeks then we consulted our vet. We found that due to arthritis, our dog became lazy, but whenever it used to see us, it would start licking us to seek our help.

Read Also: 8 Best Dog Knee Braces: Easy to Use and Safe

8. Injury and Period pain

If you see your chihuahua lick so much on a particular part of its body, maybe that part has been injured. It is a natural procedure to soothe pain or injury. Chihuahuas coat the injured part with their saliva to fight against the wounded area. Even during this period, you may notice that your Chihuahua licks the base of its tail. It is a sign that they have some pain in that area.

Things to do:

Keep an extra eye if your Chihuahua is licking a particular part of their body. If you find anything wrong with that part, take appropriate action to heal the injury.

9. Dental Problem

This issue has been noticed only in small dog breeds such as Chihuahua, Bichon Frise, and Pomeranians. If your Chihuahua is licking so much or extracting a lot of saliva from its mouth, it is more likely because of a weak gum problem.

Now, why does this happen with small breeds like chihuahuas? Usually, chihuahuas are tiny, and their teeth and jaws are also small and not strong(compared to giant dog breeds). So they hurt themselves when they eat something hard or play with some hard toys.

Things to do:

Please do not give them metal toys to play with or big bones to eat. These things may increase their gum issues, and they may start licking profoundly out of pain. 

10. Cancer or Lumps

While it is not a typical case of excessive licking behavior of your Chihuahua, if your dog is growing any lumps in the mouth or any parts of its body

Then in pain of that lumps, they may start licking that area or release excessive saliva from their mouth.

Things to do:

If you see anything like lumps, then immediate medication is required. Try to consult the veterinarian as early as possible.

11. Hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s Disease

As we have already discussed, why do your chihuahua licks so much? Hyperthyroidism and Cushing’s Disease are also reasons behind your chihuahua’s excessive licking behavior.

Hyperthyroidism is related to the thyroid. In this condition, your Chihuahua’s thyroid glands get affected and release too many hormones that cause hyperthyroidism to your Chihuahua.

But what about Cushing’s disease? This was something new to us also. Later we found that this was related to hormonal imbalances. In this condition, pets release too much cortisol, which drives your dog crazy.

Now if you don’t know what cortisol is; let us tell you cortisol is a hormone that causes emotional imbalances. This hormone is also a stress hormone, so maybe because of excessive cortisol release, your chihuahua licks so much.

Things to do:

This is important! Please take this as seriously as possible. Hormonal imbalances bring other diseases to your Chihuahua’s body. Specifically, cortisol is one of the main reasons chihuahuas become restless and grumpy. According to an Australian study, most dogs become furious and weird due to excessive amounts of cortisol in their bodies.

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So talk to your veterinarian first. He may give some tests and prescribe specific medicine to decrease the effects of cortisol.

These are the top 11 reasons why chihuahuas lick so much. There are many other reasons also, but we’ve found these reasons more common and can be dealt with the appropriate suggestion of veterinarians.


We love our pets so much that even a tiny behavioral change in our dog’s daily life worries us. So whenever we find something odd, we consult with our veterinarian first. We research the symptoms on the internet and talk to other pet owners too.

But we do not even try to buy medicine from a medicine shop or the internet. We highly recommend you take care of your tiny friend, and if you see any behavioral changes in their lives, such as licking frequently or maybe barking a lot without any cause, then consult the vet first.

That’s for today. If you want to read about dogs’ unnatural behaviors or topics related to dogs, visit our website for more topics like this.

Read Next:


1. Why is my Chihuahua so clingy?

A: If you suddenly see that your Chihuahua has become so clingy, then there are multiple reasons. Some common reasons behind the clinging behavior of your tiny pal are excitement, boredom, and separation anxiety.

2. What makes Chihuahuas happy?

A: Like other dogs, chihuahuas also get happiness from activities like fetching toy games, walking seasons with their masters, good food, and others. The study says if you spend quality time with Chihuahuas, they become happier than other things!

3. Is it unhygienic to let a dog lick your face?

A: It is suggested to avoid dogs when they try to lick your face. There are several rational reasons behind it. Dogs can carry bacteria in their saliva. When they lick your face, it is a caution to worry. Those bacteria may be transmitted from your Chihuahua to you through their saliva. However, these bacterias are not too dangerous to humans, but some may cause infection in your body too.

4. Do Chihuahuas tend to bond to one person?

A: Yes. This is a general behavior of every dog. The more you spend time with your furry pal, the more they become attached to you. It may happen to anyone in your family. Whoever spends more time with the furry animal they may become closer to the chihuahua’s heart. Dogs love affection, so they become closer to them if they get affection from a particular person.

5. Can we stop a chihuahua from barking?

A: If you see your chihuahua barking without any reason, maybe, there is some underlying reasoning behind it, such as fear, anxiety, and due to illness. So diagnose their pain and try to heal that.

6. Does Chihuahua bark a lot?

A: Yes! chihuahuas are well known for their barking behavior; they can bark at anything. Whether it is suspicious or not, they start barking. To control this barking behavior, you must train your Chihuahua from an early age so that you can roam around with it without any worry.

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