Why Do Greyhounds Constantly Lick Themselves? 8 Ways To Stop Your Greyhound From Excessive Licking!

“Why does my Greyhound lick himself ?” I found many Greyhound owners randomly asked this question on internet dog communities. As a fan of this speedy dog breed, I started to research and learn.

Why do Greyhounds lick themselves? If your Greyhound licks his body organs excessively, that means they might have some injuries or medical issues. Besides that, boredom, anxiety, or stress can lead an active Greyhound into depression, which can cause aggressive licking as well. 

Perhaps your dog’s case matches with some of the issues I listed below. If your Fido does not fit with either of these reasons, that might be alright. Let’s learn some reasons why Greyhounds won’t stop licking their body organs?


Why Do Greyhounds Lick Themselves?


5 Scientific Reasons Why Your Greyhound Usually Licks Himself?


#1 Your Greyhound Might Suffering From Arthritis

If your Greyhound constantly keeps licking his feet, legs, and paws, there’s a possibility that he is suffering from arthritis.

Arthritis, or osteoarthritis, also referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is a progressively worsening inflammation of the joints of your dog. Some decay in your pup’s cartilage makes the pain. This can happen for common factors like age, injury, repetitive stress, or some diseases.


Lack of synovial fluid also results in pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, and the development of bone spurs. When any joint in your Greyhound’s body develops osteoarthritis, that usually affects the limbs and lower spine.

Sometimes Arthritis is difficult to detect at the early stage. Later on, when you detect, it’s become too late and the affected joints are badly damaged!


Here are some signs of Arthritis in Greyhounds:

  • Stiffness and difficulty in getting up from sitting or lying down position
  • Abnormal lethargy and laziness
  • Less interest to run, jump, play or engaging in other activities
  • Limping, trembling, or tenderness while walking
  • Exceptional weight gain
  • Notable irritability or changes in behavior
  • Pain when petted or touched
  • Trouble climbing stairs or jumping up on couches and chairs
  • Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate, or having accidents in the house
  • Loss of muscle mass over the limbs and spine

Related Reading: Can A Greyhound Be A Service Dog?


#2 Your Greyhound Might Dealing With Any Kind Of Allergies

If your Greyhound has allergies then it is normal to have some itching issues. Itchy skin can cause your pooch to keep licking themselves. Dogs can get allergic for some reason. Yet, environmental and food allergic issues are very common in doggies. 

Processed foods with grains usually play the main role in bringing food allergies to your Greyhound. Study shows that usually white dogs seem to be more prone to allergies than other colors.


Environmental allergies in Greyhounds are rare. Yet, it might happen due to any changes in your pup’s environment. A new set of bed, couches, or mats can cause an allergy. Besides that, some daily household cleaning agents like detergents or lawn pesticides can be the culprits as well.

Here are some signs of Allergies in Greyhounds:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Constant licking

#3 Your Greyhound Might Get His Nail Jammed

As we all know, Greyhounds are fast runners. As a part of running, they love fast turning as well. Quick turns keep their toes very busy and jam their nails. Therefore they often suffer from nail-jam on their toes.

If you see some dried blood in your Greyhound’s nail bed, don’t worry!

Let your dog lick those a bit (but not obsessively). You can clean their paws with some antiseptic if you want. Otherwise, your doggy’s saliva is good enough to take care of those.


#4 Your Greyhound Might Suffering From Any Fractured Toe

If your Greyhound breaks his toe, he usually limps and keeps licking the area where it hurts. Your mutt can fracture their toes while running or catching an object with their toes. Except that, accidental cases such as falling, or jumping from an unusual height may break their toes. 

If you detect some fracture at once, put some ice on and off for 24 to 48 hours. Keep your best furry friend on a leash. During this time the fracture will harden and form a bump on the affected toe. 

Compare the size of each toe. You can easily identify your hound’s fractured area. Visit your vet immediately to help your Fido. 


If it is too late to detect the fractured toe, he may need a surgical operation. If your grey continually limps, his toes may need an amputation. Which is neither complicated nor expensive. 

Moreover, the study shows that Greyhounds do fine without one of their toes. 

Signs that your Greyhound has broken or fractured his toe bone include 

  • Sudden lameness.
  • Refusal to put weight on the foot.
  • Evident pain.
  • Withdrawn behavior.

#5 Your Greyhound Might Dealing with Depression, Stress, or Boredom

Your Greyhound can excessively lick himself when he is in depression, stress, or boredom. These are very common reasons to consider. 

This kind of situation arises when you are away from your dog for a while. Or, if you ignore any existing problem of your dog until the condition becomes worse.


Signs that your Greyhound has depression, stress, or boredom include: 

  • Change in behavior or mood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive barking
  • Sleeping all the time
  • Loss of interest
  • Paw licking
  • Avoidance and hiding
  • Escaping from home

You must need to discover the reason for your dog’s boredom or stress and change the environment asap. Regular exercise can easily help to deal with both problems. This keeps your high-energy dog busy from tempting to lick himself. 

Related Topic: Why Do Border Collies Lick Themselves?


Why Does A Greyhound Keep Licking His Lips?

Your Greyhound may lick his lips for very normal reasons like feeling dry or anticipation of foods. Otherwise, licking lips usually indicates that your dog is worried or having some medical issues.

If you see your Greyhound is licking their lips too much then, it is a signal that he is worried. This can happen due to some of the following reasons:

  • Your Greyhound is anxious and displaying some calming signals.
  • Insects may have bitten your Greyhound.
  • Greyhound has a feeling of nausea.
  • Your Hound is having some oral discomfort.
  • Your dog swallowed a foxtail or other spiky grass seeds.
  • Your Greyhound accidentally licked some poisonous toad.
  • Your dog may have a partial seizure.
  • Your Greyhound is showing some signs of pain.
  • Your doggy is dehydrated.
  • Your dog may have a case of bloat.
  • It is just an attention-seeking behavior of your Greyhound.

Read To Know: Why Does Your Dachshund Lay On Her Back?


Why is my greyhound licking his front and back legs?

If your Greyhound licks just one foot or leg, that may indicate he has some pain or ache. If he licks both legs, he might have food or other allergies. If not, then he might have some behavioral problems.

Check your Greyhound if he is licking his leg(s) due to some sort of injury or ache. Food allergies often bring itchy skin. So, check if you recently changed your dog’s food. 

Other possible reasons for licking legs can be anything like:

  • Some other kinds of allergies.
  • He is feeling pain in his legs.
  • A matter of nausea.
  • He might be bored.
  • Can be a case of anxiety or stress.
  • Your dog might have some frustration.
  • A compulsive disorder.
  • Just an attention-seeking behavior.
  • Other behavioral problems of your Greyhound dog.

Why Does My Greyhound Lick His Paws?

Occasional paw licking is very normal for Greyhounds. If your Greyhound licks one paw too much, he might be suffering from injuries. Several other reasons can also lead your dog too aggressive licking to all his paws. These include arthritis, itchy skin, allergy issues, and boredom or anxiety. 

Dogs usually get itchy paws for the following reasons:

  • Feeling pain in paws.
  • Food allergies.
  • Environmental allergies.
  • Yeast infections in paws.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Dry skin.
  • Anxiety issue.
  • Having boredom.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Fleas and ticks.
  • Bacterial or fungal infections.
  • Displacement behavior.
  • Deicing salts.
  • Cold weather.

Read To Know: Why Does Your Doberman Pinscher Eat Grass?


Why is my greyhound licking their base of tail?

Greyhounds often lick under or around their base of tails for several reasons. The most usual reason is anal gland related diseases. When these appear, dogs will lick the rectum and try to ease the pressure in the anal gland area.

Other reasons why your Greyhound may have rectal itching and keeps licking bum includes:

  • Food allergies can present with itching of the anal area.
  • Anal sac issues like full anal glands or infection of anal glands.
  • Yeast infection of the skin around the rectum.
  • A tumor near the anal area.
  • Perianal fissures (ulcers and cracks in the skin of the rectum).
  • Fecal contamination causing irritation of the skin in the anal area.
  • Passing of tapeworm segments can cause itching.
  • Flea allergies

Why do greyhounds keep licking their granuloma or wounds?

Greyhounds won’t stop licking their granuloma or wounds when it hurts. They usually do that in order to heal. Dog saliva is helpful to heal some injuries or physical damages.

Dogs lick their wounds or granuloma to relieve pains. Sometimes if the wounds get dirty and/or itchy, they may lick to clean those as well. 

Study shows that although licking granuloma or wounds may help the healing process, however, it can also bring more trouble. Wound licking can delay the healing progress of your Greyhound’s wound. In some cases, licking can make the wound worse and cause infections.


How To Stop Greyhounds From Licking Themselves?


  • If your Greyhound Fido licks his paws a lot due to a bad habit, place a specially designed paw bandage. 
  • For Greyhound pups licking their legs as a behavioral issue, you can put socks on the legs wrapped with adhesive surgical tape.
  • If your Greyhound doggy won’t stop licking himself due to medical problems, consult your vet asap.
  • Greyhounds licking themselves while training means they are worried or confused about the process. Give them one specific task at a time that they clearly understand and can do. Offer them rewards when they’re successful. You can think of other ways to make them understand your message. Or, stop for that day and restart the training on the next day.
  • Make sure your Greyhound pooch is getting enough exercise as well as engagements throughout the day. These will prevent boredom and unexpected behavioral actions.
  • Put a loose T-shirt on your Greyhound puppy to cover any wound on his body. That loose protection also helps air to reach the spot easily. You can also use Elizabethan collars to guarantee the protection of a wound from licking, especially at night.
  • Cleaning Greyhound’s anal glands will make him feel more comfortable if he keeps licking the base of the tail very often for rectum issues. For you, I added a video above on how to clean a dog’s anal glands at home.
  • Apply a small amount of all-natural lick deterrents such as lavender essential oils on the licking area. This can reduce your Greyhound canine’s urge to licking himself.

Popular Read: 18 Easy Ways To Stop My Puppy From Eating Poops


Final thought

I tried my best to explain all the possible reasons why they aggressively lick themselves.

However, there can be other issues as well. It varies from dog to dog and owners to owners. Some environments can also encourage your dog to lick himself. You need to consider each of those. 

Be careful while you’re watching or tracking your dog’s licking behavior. Wait unless you find the licking reason exactly right. Otherwise, never hesitate to visit your vet. 


Further Readings

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