Behavior is an important piece of the fabric of veterinary medicine. We need to be knowledgeable about the effects of behavior on a patient's welfare, stress levels, and medical problems and on the human-animal bond.
A dog's constant, repetitive licking of objects or surfaces is a problem whose frequency is difficult to determine. This licking may occur often, but because it seems harmless and may only be somewhat annoying, many owners accept this unusual behavior or simply ignore it. However, some owners will inquire about it during a routine checkup and ask for advice.
Roughly 10 million dogs and cats are euthanized (killed) in shelters every year, and most of these animals are relinquished because they have behavioral problems that the owners can't (or don't want to) deal with.