Why Does Your Dog Lick You ?
10 March, 2016

There is nothing more heart-warming than your dog giving you a lick of affection or two.  It’s a nice way to bond with your pup and is heartwarming to feel so loved.   But, sometimes licking can feel like more than merely affection and could be your dog trying to tell you something.

Below are some reasons why your dog might be licking you other than merely affection:

Dogs like the taste of your salty skin

Dogs are known to lick us simply because they like the taste of our skin.  Not all dogs are like this, but some just think, well, we taste good.  Not quite beef jerky good, but a nice lick or two satisfies them.

Dogs lick to convey a message that must be heard

Dogs lick other dogs to tell them anything from “Nice to meet you,” “Have we met before” or even “You’re crowding my space!”   Dogs sometimes will lick us to convey a message that they are thirsty or it’s time for a walk.  But, if your dog licks you excessively, they want you to know something now like they need to be let out immediately or they will go to the bathroom!

Licking can be a way of play fighting without the teeth

Sometimes when dogs lick you, they are just playing with you.  Similar to a cat kneading their owner without using their claws, the licking behavior is your dog’s way of using their tongue instead of their teeth as is your dog’s version of a raucous play-fight.

Maybe your dog isn’t just licking you, but himself and you can’t figure why:

Dogs lick themselves excessively because they are in pain

If a dog is constantly licking himself, it can be because he is bored, anxious, has skin problems such as allergies, or could be feeling pain either in their paws or elsewhere in their bodies. You should make sure your dog is getting enough stimulation and rule out any infections or allergies by visiting your vet.  Daily exercise is also helpful and essential.

Dogs lick areas over and over because they are anxious

If you notice that your dog is licking the same object or area over and over or that they seem to be doing so whenever they are scared or nervous, again, it’s time to take your dog to the vet. While licking can be a healthy stress reliever, obsessive licking merely reinforces anxiety and makes the problem worse.  If your vet rules out a medical condition, than you might think of seeking a dog behaviorist.

Dog licking is most often a sign of affection, but when the licking becomes excessive, it’s always good to take your dog to the vet.

One thought on “Why Does Your Dog Lick You ?”

  1. I can think of another possible reason – young pups lick at their mama’s mouth when they’re hungry and want her to vomit up some regurgitated food, just around when they’re weaning.

    Sometimes Matilda tries to lick my face as and after I’m eating, so I think that could be it – but she’s constantly licking faces. Definitely does it to play, she can lick very aggressively at times, lol!

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