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  1. #1
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    My dog licks metal things.

    Okay, this is just about the weirdest thread I've started but:
    I have 2 golden retrievers. The male, Rusty is 2 1/2 and has a facination with licking everything in my house that is metal. In the back of my mind I'm concerned that he has a vitamin deficency or something that makes him do it...like when they eat grass to heeve and how farm animals lick salt. Maybe I'm crazy, but I am worried about this. He's been doing this for a while, particularly the radiators-which I'm sure you can understand why I don't want him licking that. He also licks my other dog's license on her collar ALL THE TIME! It's annoying me, and her! Does anyone elses dog(s) do this? Have you ever heard of it, or seen anything about it? If I call the Vet, they don't help unless you come in for a visit-they never give over the phone advice (which really ticks me off). I think it's going to be strange for me to pay $60 to tell the vet the only thing wrong is that he licks metal?! Any comments?

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  3. #2
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    Maybe it's because his name is Rusty? Har har!

    But seriously, there are some issues that can be related to licking metal, though it's usually just a weird habit. Sometimes it's associated with diabetes or thyroid issues (I don't know why exactly, I just remember my mom telling me about this before). It's probably not something you need to rush to the vet about, but worth having checked out maybe at his next regular visit.

  4. #3
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    Watch out for obsessive behaviors! They can be a sign of boredom, but licking is a pretty common thing for dogs. My dogs do that kind of thing from time to time. I usually try to distract them with a toy or rawhide rather than just yell. If Rusty won't leave the other dog alone, seperate them. That is a pretty effective "punishment." You could also try putting tea tree oil on things you don't want him to lick, my dogs hate the smell of it.

  5. #4
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    You know it's funny, we named him Rusty becuase his color reminds me of "Rusty Jones"-well we call him "Rusty Bones", but I never named him that because of his love for metal! It's funny though.
    Anyway, yeah I considered putting apple bitters on the radiators-I remmber my mom using it on something that wasn't to go in the mouth! I never heard of using the tea tree oil, I guess I could try that as long as it won't hurt him if he trys to lick it. He doesn't like my husband's colonge-he sneezes right away. So maybe he'll stay away from tea tree oil too. Thanks!

  6. #5
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    Hey! my dog does that too! I make metal furniture and my pup has actually put a bit of rust on the legs of some chairs i made, not enough to ruin them or anything, just a little patina.
    It's kinda weird sure, but she's 9 years old and doing fine, so i wouldn't worry too much. Maybe he just likes the taste of metal? i sometime think that my pup does it to cool off her toungue. Anyway unless you've noticed any signs of illness in rusty, I'm sure he's fine. No need to rush to the vet, but i guess it wouldn't hurt to ask the vet about it on his next check-up.
    And yep, bitter apple works great, never tried teatree oil but i have a feeling that it would make a good repellent because of it's strong odor, the colone idea sounds good too, but it may lose it's smell pretty quickly (especially on metal, a very non-porous substance) and then it might end up being too expensive.

    Dogs and their strange habits, gotta love em.

  7. #6
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    try giving him a doggie multivitamin. if you don't think it's a behavioral obsessive thing, and he seems otherwise healthy, it really might be a mineral deficiency.

    when animals (or people) crave/eat/lick weird things, it's usually a sign of mineral deficiency.

  8. #7
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    my cat licks concrete! it's weird, he just started doing it a few months ago. he's an indoor cat but we have a concrete balcony and he insists on going out there several times a day to lick it. we haven't called a vet yet, but some things i've been reading (anemia, leukemia) are starting to worry me.

  9. #8
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    Huh. Potential mineral deficiency. That explains a few things...

    I am petsitting and apparently a neighbor thought I was neglecting the dog 'cause he likes to lick the mildewy trough thing under the gutterspout. The neighbor was nice enough to leave a clean bowl of fresh water and some food in the yard for the dog, but I could've told them he'll still lick the mildewy cement thing. He also likes licking my feet, which I don't enjoy nearly as much as he does. Salt?

  10. #9
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    Nah, licking for dogs is kinda like us fidgeting or twirling our hair. It could be a mineral deficiency, but is probably just the dog's personality.

    Meexie, the dog you are watching is probably a little lost without the owner and nervous about the change in routine.

  11. #10
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    Hmmm. Every dog I've met licks just about everything.


 

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