Why Does My Dog Lick Me?

by Felesha Scott

Dogs lick your face because that is their way of demonstrating friendliness or a pacifying gesture. It’s your dog’s way of affectionately bonding with you, and gathering information about you. Endorphins are hormones that gets released in your dog’s brain when he licks you, which calms him and makes him happy.

Your dog may also lick you to communicate to you that he is hungry. If your dog licks you around feeding time, he may be trying to let you know that he is ready to eat. Licking is an instinct relating to your dog’s wild ancestors that dogs use to show submission, their respect, and obedience to you.



How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Licking Me?

Young Guy Holding and Playing With Dog

To discourage your dog from licking you should try removing any positive feedback and turn your back until your dog stops his licking, walking away if you he is still licking you excessively.

As soon as the licking stops, reward him with attention, affection, or even treats. As you continue to do this, your dog will understand that licking is undesired behavior.



Why Do Dogs Lick Feet?

When your dog licks your feet, he gathers information through the millions of scent receptor cells in his nose and mouth to process information. Sweat glands release moisture that contains salt, water, and waste products. Sebaceous glands release sebum and are located near hair follicles.

The sweat can mix with these secretions to provide a more complex message for the dog regarding the person they just licked. The salt in your sweat may also be tasty to them.

It is your pooch’s way of expressing his need to bond with you in a way that makes sense to him. He might be trying to say, hello I am here, pay attention to me or let us play.



Why Do Dogs Lick Their Nose?

Collie Dog Licking Nose

Dogs lick their noses to transfer all sorts of scent particles to their scent detection glands to better interpret and understand their environment, and these particles stick better on wet surfaces.

A dry nose is uncomfortable for your dogs, and it interferes with their ability to be great sniffers. Sense of smell is one of dogs’ strongest strengths.

The moisture in your dogs’ nose helps them analyze and understand the world around them. Dogs are not able to smell efficiently without a wet snout, and this can cause them to become agitated.

Dogs also lick their noses to cool down because their noses are densely filled with blood vessels and capillaries that causes the blood circulating in their nose to cool down when they lick their noses.



Why Do Dogs Lick Their Lips?

Canine Licks Lips

If your dog is stressed, from recognizing negative emotions in others, being in a strange surrounding that makes him worried, nervous or anxious it may cause him to lick his lips.

A dog licking his lips is showing a sign of submission as a way of preventing a threatening situation from escalating. Dogs also lick their lips when they are dehydrated. Dehydration can be caused by hot weather, heavy physical activity, or a medical condition, such as kidney disease.



Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Dog Sitting on Grass Scratching

Dogs lick their paws as part of their normal grooming routine, but anything more than that may be abnormal. Additionally, when they lick themselves, endorphins are released in their brain, that gives them pleasure and comfort.


Other Reasons Why Your Dog Might Lick His Paws

Food Allergies

Food allergies cause facial and feet itchiness. Check if your dog is licking his paws and scratching his ear or other parts of his body.

Consider switching your dog’s food to see if that stops his excessive licking. Like changing their protein (chicken and beef) diet to a lamb and rice diet.


Seasonal Allergies/ Skin Allergy

An underlying allergy may be the reason why your dogs lick their paws. Pay close attention to your pup to figure out if he has a seasonal allergy. If he starts licking and stops licking at the same time each year that may be an indication of seasonal allergy.

The Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo is a great solution for allergy dogs. It has natural ingredients and essential oils that cures skin irritation.


Skin Diseases

Skin disease might be a reason why your dog is licking his paws. Dry skin which may be caused by a food allergy or Atopic dermatitis, which is caused when your dog inhales or comes in contact with allergens like molds, grasses, and other tree pollens.

Your veterinarian can treat this seasonal condition by prescribing medications like Atopica for dogs. If you suspect your dog has any skin disease, don’t use any harsh soap or chemicals to treat it, get your dog treated by your vet instead.

Fleas and ticks can cause severe itchiness that can lead to compulsive paw licking and chewing. Boredom or anxiety can sometimes cause your dog to lick himself excessively to relieve stress.

Don’t punish your dog for his behavior. Use positive reinforcement training techniques as a way to distract your dog from licking himself.



Ask your veterinarian to do a thorough examination to determine the exact cause and best possible treatment to cure your dog’s excessive licking.

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