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How to Calm an Anxious Dog With Licking and Sniffing — Enrichment 101

One of the best ways to calm an anxious or stressed dog is to get them to engage in natural, relaxed behaviours like licking or sniffing. As we talked about in our introduction to enrichment, toys like lick-mats can help dogs that suffer from anxiety or have other behavioural problems by providing them with an outlet for their mental energy and redirecting their attention. Here’s how it works. How does licking help calm my anxious dog?  Licking starts when puppies are tiny. It’s how their mothers clean them and how they communicate with her that they’re hungry: They lick around her mouth to let her know.  As dogs age, licking continues to be one of the ways they explore the world around them. It even releases endorphins (basically, happy chemicals) in their brains when they do it. This is one of the reasons we see dogs excessively licking an area … Read more