Why do dogs lick you?

We taste good

Why do dogs lick you?

Many dog owners know this situation: Your own dog – or even a friend’s – comes to them and licks their hands or even over the face. Why do dogs lick you? While most people compare this licking with a kiss, others wonder about this behavior. In addition, many dog owners do not know if they should prohibit the dog licking, or if it may even be important for the dog. In order to answer this question, it must first be explained what the licking really means for the dog and what conclusions can be drawn from this.

Why do dogs lick you?

If the dog licks a man, it is not unimportant to know whom he is licking. Is this a baby or child? So, the dog shows his affection by licking. He makes it clear that he too is aware of his duty of care for the “child” and that he will intervene protectively in case of doubt. If an adult is licked, the dog shows affection and subservience. He wants to show the person that he is willingly and confidently submitted to him. Often, licking also has some purpose, such as feeding. A dog who would like to eat something and lick his master’s hands tries to clarify his need in a particularly polite way. He says, “It would be great if I get some food now.”

So it is by no means a pointless behavior when a dog licks a person’s hands or face. For humans, it is above all, a sign that the animal feels comfortable in its vicinity and that it gladly accepts the guidance of its owner.

Here are some explanations, Why do dogs lick you?

We taste good

Sometimes dogs lick their bowl, floor or even the cooking counter and it’s mostly because they like the taste of it. Also, they lick our hands because sometimes we have tiny food particles and they can taste and even like it. They also enjoy the salt on our skin.

Compulsion

You should see vet if your dog is licking the same area over and over or if he does that when he is scared or nervous. Obsessive licking can only reinforce anxiety because it is far different from regular licking which is often a healthy stress reliever.

Communication

Dogs lick each other and also us, trying to tell that they are hungry or trying to be friends, but of course, dogs are much better at understanding that type massages. If you notice that your dog keeps licking you, try to notice if something is missing or you forgot to do something like open a door or maybe their water bowl is empty…

Grooming

Just like cats, dogs also lick themselves in order to get clean. You need to pay close attention to that because if there is an excessive anal cleaning, it can indicate that the glands need to be expressed.

Healing

Dogs get rid of dead tissue and dirt from their wounds by licking themselves because their saliva has enzymes that can kill bacteria. In some cases, dogs can reopen their wounds by excessive licking or do some other kind of harms.

Affection

Sometimes domestic dogs can lick their owners to show affection, but some of them want to change this because there is too much of it. Licking to show affection calms and comforts dogs because it releases pleasurable endorphins. If for some reason you really want them to stop doing that, you could leave the room whenever they lick you, after some time they will learn that licking causes you to leave and they don’t want that.

Related: How to Teach your Dog to Sit

Why do dogs lick you

Photo Credit: Michael Dorausch/Flickr

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