Dogs are famously known for licking anything they can get their tongues on, but why do dogs lick? Dogs use their tongue to explore the world around them, but they also use their tongue to express how they’re feeling. For example, a dog might lick an object to find out what it tastes like. A dog might also lick themselves excessively if they are feeling anxious or fearful.

Dogs Lick People Because:

They’re Showing Affection Or Empathy

Who doesn’t love to be covered in dog kisses? A dog will lick you as a greeting or to show you they’re happy to see you. They’re also known to lick people to show comfort or concern.

They’re Curious

Being the little explorers that they are, dogs will lick because they are curious about something and want to learn more about it.

They Want Your Attention

Dogs are social creatures, so if your dog jumps on you and covers you in licks they most likely just want your attention.

They Like How We Taste

Does your dog ever lick your legs after a shower? Or lick the sweat off of you after the gym? Dogs will also lick people because they like the way we taste. The products we put on our skin, such as lotion, can also pique a dog’s interest and make them want to lick it off of you.

Dogs Lick Other Dogs To:

  • Show Affection
  • Show Fear or Submission

Pay attention a dog’s body language to tell when they are showing affection or being submissive.

When Is Licking Too Much?

If your dog is excessively licking themselves it could be a behavioral issue. Dogs typically lick their paws when they are feeling anxious or stressed out. Licking provides comfort for dogs, but excessive licking can lead to painful sores at the site of licking. If you notice your dog excessively licking it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

Written by Vincent M.

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