Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet
Why do dogs lick you? Does your dog lick you constantly? You might be wondering why dogs lick you after you return home or when you try to bond with them. Licking is your dog’s sweet gesture. It’s like getting kisses from your buddy. After all, there’s nothing better than receiving a lick from your pet especially when you missed each other so much.
Your dog’s licking behavior stems from the mother dog’s behavior at birth. When dogs are born, their mother would lick them to groom them or to show their care to the newborn puppy. By licking her puppies, the mother becomes more familiar with the smell of her litter. It creates a stimulation that the young ones will return to her if anything happens.
But other than expressing affection, there are other reasons why dogs lick people. Below are the possible explanations why your pooch enjoys licking your face or other parts of your body such as your feet and hands.
Why do dogs lick you?
Other Reasons Why do Dogs Lick You
Your dog wants to get your attention
Sometimes, licking behavior is your dog’s way of trying to get noticed. Some dogs do whatever they can just to get their human’s attention. When your buddy acts like she’s trying hard to seek your attention by licking, simply ignore it.
If you will respond to it positively, like giving her some reward after she licked you, she might think you like it and will keep doing it over and over again. Leave the room to try to tell her to stop.
Why does your dog lick you in the morning? It’s probably your pet’s way of greeting you especially if you enjoy sleeping in with your pet. Some dogs wake up their owners early in the morning. If you don’t like this, stand your ground or train your pooch to sleep on her bed.
Simply ignore your buddy when she tries to wake you up unless, of course, you feel it’s an emergency. If you don’t like the reason why your dog lick you in the morning, you can also give them a walk in the evening to tire her out so she would sleep late and will not wake you up so early.
She probably likes the taste of your skin!
If your pooch keeps licking your face, she probably likes how your skin tastes. Human skin can be salty and we carry this when we perspire. When we sweat, our body releases excess chemicals hence the salty taste. That salty taste is absorbed by the skin as we cool down.
But why do dogs lick your hands? As with your face, the hands may taste salty due to sweat. Most of the time, it’s because you might have left traces of food in your hands. So before you give your buddy a pat or a massage, make sure to wash your hands first to remove any smell of food there. It can be the best solution how you get your dog to stop licking you or your hand for that matter.
You’ll know there’s nothing there to worry about when the licking is not done excessively. If the licking seems uncontrolled, it can be a red flag because your dog might be going through something that needs to be addressed immediately with the help of your vet.
Health issues associated with uncontrolled licking include dental diseases, brain tumors, and problems in metabolism. To rule out any cognitive problem, consider bringing your pet to a vet to have her checked. Your vet will perform blood and urine tests and will also assess your pet’s diet to further determine the cause of excessive licking.
Your dog might see you as a member of her pack
Dogs in a pack can communicate with other members. It’s how they receive new members with open arms and if your pet happens to be the only dog at home, she might turn to you as a member of her pack. This can explain why do dogs lick your hands or other exposed parts of your body.
Believe it or not, dogs can be predisposed to look at their owners as their pack leaders. When your pooch sees you as the leader of the pack, she will show cues such as constantly following you around and licking your face whenever she sees you.
The licking behavior can be a sign of submissiveness. Dogs who love their owners will do everything to please them and they will show this affectionate nature even in the simplest ways such as giving them a kiss or a lick.
If your dog sees you as the leader of her pack, you must be a lucky pet parent. It’s not easy to establish yourself as the Alpha member of the pack, at least in your dog’s eyes. If you don’t like that your dog keeps licking you, it will be easier to stop her because all you have to do is reinforce your position as her “pack leader.”
Why do dogs lick your conclusion?
It isn’t always easy to understand why dogs lick their “humans.” But with the reasons presented above, you somehow have the idea of what your pet is trying to tell you every time she wants to lick your face, hands, or feet.
Identifying the real reason behind your dog’s behavior makes it easier for you to find out how you get your dog to stop licking you. Your pooch probably does it because of attention-seeking behavior, out of displaying affection, or as a way of telling you you’re part of her pack now.
You might think there is nothing much to worry about with your dog’s licking habit, as long as it is not done without restraint. However, we should always take into consideration our well-being when getting along with domesticated animals. Your dog’s saliva may be a source of bacteria that can eventually put your health at risk with continued licking.