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Why Does My Dog Lick Me?

August 19, 2021

Why does my dog lick me?

As a dog owner, have you ever asked yourself, "Why is my dog licking me?" I bet many of us have ever wondered about this peculiar nature of dogs, and we don't fully understand what this means.

What are dogs trying to communicate to us? What does licking mean? We have listed a few points behind the licking behavior of dogs below. If you want to know more, keep reading!

Dogs like to keep it clean.

Dogs, just like cats, love grooming themselves by licking their fur. Their favorite spot is their paws, so when you notice that your dog starts licking its paws after you've gone for a walk, this is because they want to remove the dirt their feet have accumulated in the streets.

Your dog is bored or anxious.

Sometimes, your dog licks particular objects, their favorite toys, the floor, or even you. A few reasons would be because your dog is bored, nervous, scared, or in pain. Licking is a way for dogs to calm themselves when they are in distress.  

Take note that if your dog licks an area of its body too much, this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. 

Suppose they suffer from anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. In that case, dogs lick themselves or objects found in their environment, says Dr. Jennifer Coates, who serves on the advisory board for Pet Life Today.

Consult your neighborhood vet to know more about your dog's behavior. It is better safe than sorry.

Dogs lick to sterilize their wounds.

Whenever your dog has scabs or wounds, it is in its intuitive nature to lick them. A dog's saliva contains many antibacterial properties, and when he licks himself, it removed dead tissue and dirt from the wound as well. Licking injuries is embedded in a dog's instinct, which helps sterilize the damage and speed up healing.

If your dog wants to lick your open wounds, try your best not to allow them. There can be bacteria from a dog's saliva that can cause infection to open human injuries, and you may be at risk.

Your dog loves how you taste.

Since dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, they can be sensitive to how our skin tastes as well. Human skin can be salty, and because of this, our dogs may lick our faces and hands, especially when eating something. Some dogs lick you because they like you, but most of them love how you taste most of the time. 

Your dog wants to tell you something.

Licking is a form of communication too. Observe your dog's behavior very well. It could be that your dog is hungry or he wants your full attention. When he does this, you should respond and check your surroundings. Whenever they lick our faces, this is usually to tell us that their water bowl is empty. Licking on the face is a behavioral attribute of puppies when they lick their mom's mouth when they need food. So when your dog licks your face, it probably means he needs you to give him food.

What if I want my dog to stop licking me?

There are times where excessive licking from our dogs becomes uncomfortable, and we want them to stop. Licking humans is also a form of playing, so if you want them to stop, keep them occupied with other things. You can give them their favorite toys or take them out for a walk to help them expend their energy. 

Sometimes, ignoring them when they lick you can also signal that you don't want to be licked. You can calmly go to another room or behind a closed door to tell your dog that he needs to stop. Eventually, your dog will pick up this gesture, and he'll stop licking you any longer.