Licking is an inborn behavioral action that dogs have. There can be many reasons for a dog licking someone. Many people keep wondering; why dogs lick? And what’s the reason for doing so? It could be a variety of reasons ranging from affection & communication to submission & health-related reasons.
Many dog owners think dogs lick people to express happiness or just they’re giving kisses but that’s not the only reason. It varies from dog to dog, some love to lick and some simply try to get attention by licking. Dogs lick people is a natural behavior they have but if you find licking your dogs themselves at the same spot more than usual, it might a bigger issue. In such a case, we advise you to speak to your vet about this. And to find out some other reasons why dogs lick people, read on!
Affection— the Natural Action
It is a natural action of dogs showing their love to people and other dogs. It’s common that your dog is licking you simply because they love you! Every dog learned it from the grooming and affection given to them by their mothers in their growing years. Not all but some dogs tend to lick less than others and it doesn’t mean that they are less affectionate. They might have learned things differently as a puppy or just not prefer licking.
Taste—A Way to Explore More
Naturally, dogs use their nose and mouth to dig out a lot of information. It is their way of understanding what they smell and sometimes taste by licking. Dogs often lick people and one of the biggest reasons they do this because they feel a good taste. Dogs just love anything that has an intriguing taste. And human skin can be an interesting taste because it is bit salty or may have some residue on it from the food we have just eaten. Moreover, licking is also a way for your dog to explore their world and they lick you because you are the one taking care of them, you are essentially their world!
Attention Seeking— A Dog Wants You
Licking actions that start naturally for affection often get unremitting by your reactions such as laughing, smiling and petting. And this is what your dog wants from you when they feel lonely or bored. They simply just seek your attention whether it is positive or negative; if your dog is licking you and you respond in any manner it will encourage them to lick you more. While licking dogs releases endorphins (a hormone produced in the body to ease pain and feel happy) that makes feel them more comfortable and calm.
Health Care Issue—Sickness or Allergy Sign
As we have discussed earlier if your dog is licking at the same spot repeatedly this may be something more sinister. It could be something like anxiety, sickness, sensitive skin pain or an allergic reaction. If you ever notice your dog doing this, it’s best to discuss this with your veterinarian to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. These can often be figured out and treated easily at the earlier stage by using some preventatives or changes in diet as per your vet’s advice.
Along with the above, there can be more simple reasons like enjoyment, grooming and investigating that we all are well familiar with. However, as you know licking starts with affection leads to many other factors but at some point when licking becomes too much and you want your dog to stop doing it. You can simply ignore your dog when they try to begin. Eventually, this will help you to make your dog learn that excessive licking can become a cause for you to leave and definitely, this isn’t what your dog wants.
Remember, excessive licking to people can be ignored but never avoid if your dog repeatedly licks themselves on the same spot. It can be a sign of anxiousness, open wounds or stress. If you ever witness this, speak to your veterinarian to know about this as early as possible and follow the diet or treatment for your dog advised by a vet accordingly.