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Why Dogs Are Attracted to Psoriasis – And How to Handle It

Pets are beloved for their friendly and humorous nature, and dogs are particularly known for their tendency to lick us from head to toe.

However, there may be times when your dog takes an interest in your psoriasis and begins licking it.

While it’s generally safe to allow them to do so, it’s important to exercise caution. Keep reading to learn when it’s safe to let your dog lick your psoriasis.

dogs are attracted to psoriasis but dont let them do this
A dog curiously licks a psoriasis plaque on its owner’s arm.

Main Reasons Why Dogs Can Be Attracted to Licking Psoriasis

Dogs may be attracted to licking psoriasis for a variety of reasons. Here are some possible explanations:

  1. Smell: Dogs have a strong sense of smell and may be drawn to the scent of psoriasis. The odor of psoriasis may be similar to the smell of skin infections or open wounds, which dogs instinctively want to clean and groom.

  2. Texture: The texture of psoriasis may be appealing to dogs, as they enjoy chewing and licking things with interesting textures. Psoriasis may feel rough, scaly, or bumpy, which can stimulate a dog’s senses and curiosity.

  3. Salt: Dogs are known to be attracted to salty things, and psoriasis may contain higher levels of salt than healthy skin. This could explain why dogs may show an interest in licking psoriasis.

  4. Attention-seeking behavior: Some dogs may lick psoriasis as a way to get attention from their owners. If a dog is not getting enough attention or is feeling anxious or bored, they may resort to behaviors that they know will elicit a response from their owners, such as licking psoriasis.

  5. Grooming: Dogs may lick psoriasis as a form of social grooming, which is a behavior pattern where animals groom each other. Dogs will often groom humans, and when they see patches of psoriasis on the skin, they may understand that something isn’t right and want to try and make it better by licking it

Other Possible Reasons That Attract Dogs to Licking Psoriasis

Your Dog May Be Stressed

Stress is one of the factors that lead dogs to lick a lot. Dogs cannot meditate or talk about it so they turn their heads to the most comfortable thing they can do to alleviate stress, which is, licking their owner. What happens is, when you have psoriasis in your hands it may seem that your dog is licking it, but that is not the case.

He Is Grooming You

This behavior comes from a long way back even before humans started to domesticate wolfs as pets. Dogs may groom themselves but they also groom their pack. And even tho they do not ride in packs anymore, they still have kept this behavior. So, sometimes your dog may be just grooming you (exactly where you have psoriasis), and that is ok. They are just being instinctive.

He Is Showing You Affection

Dogs can sense their owners’ state of mind, and they usually react actively to it. It is quite normal for you to arrive home just to be well received by your best friend. And even more, if you’re having a bad day. Dogs will do what they can to cheer you up, which includes licking your psoriasis.

Your Psoriasis Tastes Good

As a psoriasis carrier, it is normal that you frequently use a lot of products to maintain your skincare. They will have different smells and textures. It happens that, when dogs smell something new or funny, they will try to discover what’s that all about. They discover by licking stuff, and that’s one reason to give a small lick in your psoriasis.

He May Have a Medical Condition

Unfortunately, your dog may be suffering from OCD, PICA, or any other medical condition. This leads them to lick stuff obsessively. It is quite a surprise but it may happen for a dog to obsess from psoriasis in your skin. In reality, they obsess with the texture of the flakes, but they end up licking them ceaselessly.

He Is Showing Submission

When a dog licks your skin, he may be just showing some submission to its owner. And even if you have psoriasis, they will not mind licking it. To them, you are what you are, even if you have a characteristic that is not present in other humans, they will still love you regardless.

Regardless of the reason behind a dog’s attraction to licking psoriasis, it’s important to monitor the behavior and take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety and health of both the dog and the psoriasis sufferer.

How to Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Psoriasis

To prevent your dog from licking your psoriasis, try these training techniques:

  1. Ignore the licking: If your dog starts licking your psoriasis, ignore them completely. This sends the message that the behavior is not acceptable and will not receive attention or affection.

  2. Reward good behavior: When your dog refrains from licking your psoriasis, reward them with praise and treats. This reinforces the positive behavior and encourages them to continue.

  3. Distract with toys: Provide your dog with a toy or puzzle to keep them occupied and distracted from licking your psoriasis.

  4. Be consistent: Consistency is key when training your dog. If you want them to stop licking your psoriasis, don’t allow the behavior at all. Be firm and consistent with your commands and expectations.

Remember that stopping your dog from licking your psoriasis is important to prevent any potential irritation or infection. With patience and consistency, you can train your dog to break this habit. If the behavior persists, seek advice from a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.

Benefits of Owning a Dog For Psoriasis Patients(If You Haven’t Got One Already)

Here are eight reasons why owning a dog can be beneficial for psoriasis patients:

  • Reduce Risk of Stroke: Psoriasis can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including stroke. However, petting a dog has been shown to reduce stress levels and lower the risk of stroke.

  • Combat Depression: Psoriasis can take a toll on mental health, but dogs can provide constant companionship and a sense of purpose that can help combat depression.

  • Improve Sleep: Psoriasis can disrupt sleep, but studies have shown that people who sleep with their dogs nearby sleep better than those without pets.

  • Get Some Sun: Walking your dog means getting outside and soaking up some sun, which can be beneficial for psoriasis.

  • Lower Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is a common factor in people with psoriasis, but owning a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure.

  • Stay Active: Dogs require constant movement and exercise, which can be beneficial for reducing psoriasis symptoms.

  • Reduce Stress: Just being around a dog can reduce stress, leading to less inflammation and improved psoriasis symptoms.

  • Boost Morale: Dogs love unconditionally and can boost your morale and body image, regardless of how your skin looks.

Owning a dog can provide numerous physical and mental health benefits for psoriasis patients.

Common Questions

Can I have a dog if I have psoriasis

Stress can indeed act as a catalyst for psoriasis flares. Discovering effective strategies for managing daily stress is a crucial aspect of psoriasis management. Many individuals find that their pets play a significant role in helping them unwind, reduce stress, and feel better overall, which, in turn, can contribute to a reduction in flare-ups.

Can dogs affect psoriasis

Allergists usually caution individuals about the potential of animal dander exacerbating their asthma and eczema. Conversely, dermatologists provided reassurance, suggesting that the likelihood of pets triggering a psoriasis flare was low. (The National Psoriasis Foundation notes that some individuals speculate about allergens worsening their psoriasis.)

Is it bad if my dog licks my psoriasis

During a psoriasis flare-up, allowing your dog to lick your psoriasis-affected skin could potentially worsen the condition. This is because the licking may cause microtrauma or even trigger psoriasis in non-affected areas through a phenomenon known as Koebner’s phenomenon. In such cases, it is advisable for the patient to refrain from allowing their dog to lick their skin.

Does dog saliva heal psoriasis

Dog saliva does not heal psoriasis and can cause infections if it comes into contact with open wounds. It is important to prevent dogs from licking exposed areas of skin affected by psoriasis to avoid infections.

Is It ok to let a dog lick my psoriasis

It is generally not recommended to let a dog lick your psoriasis, even if there are no open wounds on your skin. While it may provide temporary relief, it can also introduce bacteria into your skin and potentially cause infections. It’s best to avoid letting your dog lick your psoriasis altogether.

Do dogs get sad when you don’t let them lick you

Dogs that are less territorial or more reserved typically don’t engage in excessive licking. They usually do it once or twice and then stop. So, no, they don’t feel rejected in the way a person might feel when rejecting a loved one’s kisses.

Why does my dog sniff my psoriasis

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and they are naturally curious creatures. They may sniff your psoriasis because they detect changes in your skin’s scent or texture. However, it’s important to note that psoriasis is not contagious to dogs or humans, and their sniffing behavior is likely out of curiosity rather than any specific health concern. If you have any concerns about your dog’s behavior or your psoriasis, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian or a medical professional for guidance.

Can my dog catch my psoriasis

Your dog cannot catch your psoriasis by licking it. Psoriasis is not contagious, so it cannot be transmitted to your pet.

Can dogs get skin psoriasis

The main indicator of psoriasis in dogs is pronounced skin inflammation, typically featuring red, scaly patches. This distinguishes it from eczema symptoms in dogs, which present as dry skin that may crust, ooze, or become swollen. Furthermore, the location on a dog’s body where psoriasis and eczema appear also differs significantly.

Why do dogs get psoriasis

Canine psoriasis occurs when a compromised immune system mistakenly targets healthy cells, leading to cell abnormalities. This excessive production of abnormal cells results in the formation of thick patches on the skin’s surface, often accompanied by persistent itching.

Can dogs cause psoriasis in humans

No, dogs cannot cause psoriasis in humans. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that is not contagious and is primarily influenced by genetic and environmental factors. It is not transmitted from animals to humans.

Can psoriasis be caused by pet allergies

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, not caused by external factors like pet allergies. While stress related to pets may trigger psoriasis symptoms, there is no direct correlation between pet allergies and psoriasis.

Why do dogs lick scabs on humans

This behavior is instinctual. When a dog licks a wound, their saliva contains healing properties and can also help clean the affected area. Dogs are natural caregivers and cleaners, and this behavior is hardwired into their nature.

Should I let my dog lick my scab

It’s strongly advised not to allow your dog to lick your wounds. Regrettably, encouraging or permitting your dog to do so can potentially lead to a hazardous infection. Among the various risks, dogs can carry the bacteria known as capnocytophaga. In individuals with weakened immune systems, this bacteria can have severe health repercussions.

Why is my dog obsessed with my scab

Dogs are affectionate and caring animals. When they lick your wounds, it’s their way of expressing love and concern, as they try to nurture you by cleaning the wound, providing comfort, and aiding in the healing process. Licking is a natural and instinctive behavior in dogs.

Should I let my dog lick my skin

Here’s what veterinarians advise. However, experts recommend avoiding your pet’s licks around your nose, mouth, and eyes to reduce the risk of infections. So, the general advice is to allow your pet to lick you, but only after washing your face and hands, and avoiding the areas near your nose and mouth.

Are dog licks sanitary

Dogs’ saliva, or dog kisses, can transmit bacteria to humans.

Is dog saliva good for psoriasis

It is strongly advised against allowing your dog to lick or groom your psoriasis or any skin conditions. While individuals with psoriasis may explore various remedies, dog saliva is not considered a viable or medically approved treatment. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate and evidence-based management of psoriasis.