Have you ever wondered why your dog keeps licking you? Maybe they have done it since they were a puppy, or maybe it’s something that they just started doing?
The fact is that more than likely your dog keeps licking you because they love you! It’s a sign of affection from them. You are giving them a cuddle and telling them how much you love them, and in return, they lick you to show their love.
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Why Does My Dog Keep Licking Me?
There are a number of explanations that experts have come up with to explain why dogs lick their owners.
When a puppy is born they lick their mum as a part of the feeding process, so this is a learned habit. As they get older then they often lick other dogs as a way to get attention from them and let them know they are there.
#2. Sensory Exploration
Much like we reach out and touch things to explore new experience, a dog does the same with its tongue. If you puppy is not sure what something is, then it’s likely your puppy will lick it to find out. Animals are curious and this is a way that they explore new things.
In order to get your attention, a dog will often lick you. If you are not giving them enough attention or playing with them, then it’s likely then will lick you in order to let you know they are there and ready for some fun and playtime.
#4. Learned Behaviour
We know that dogs can learn certain behaviours and if you constantly reward then with love and attention every time they lick you, then it is likely that every time they want your attention they will lick you. It’s a bit like when they want a treat they give you their paw!
#5. Stress Relief
Endorphins are released when a dogs lick themselves and others, and so often they will lick for the feel good factor and stress relief. If your dog is excessively licking themselves then it could be a sign that they are extremely anxious.
Why Does My Dog Keep Licking My Feet?
There are a number of reasons why your dog, or even your cat, might lick your feet.
Dogs who are friends take part in mutual grooming, they lick each others heads, paws and so on. So for a dog, it would seem normal for them lick their human pack member.
Dogs like things that smell, so it can be something that a dog just enjoys the smell/taste of. If you are worried about your dog licking your feet then extra foot baths or wearing socks/shoes around them should resolve the problem.
How Can I Stop My Dog Licking Everything?
If your dog is a constant licker and you feel that they have a problem then you may need to consider a trainer or a behaviourist for your dog to break them from the cycle of repeated licking.
If your dog is an excessive barker or chewer, we normally resort to introducing retraining or distractions to solve the problem, and licking can be treated the same way.
Consider how much your dog is licking, and whether it really is excessive or not, and then approach your vet or trainer to discuss the problem with them.
If your dog is licking themselves a lot while you are out of the home then you may consider hiring a Dog Walker to get them out of the house while you are at work during the day.