Why Does My Dog Like To Lick Me?
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Dogs communicate through smell, vocalization, body language and more. One of the most common ways a dog communicates is through licking. From the moment a dog is born it’s mother licks it, this is can be sign of protection, love or cleanliness. Therefore, one must understand that this habit is habitual and instinctual for dogs.
It is completely normal for dogs to lick different parts of your body such as your face, hands, feet and ears. But the reasons why can depend. This is why in this AnimalWised article we look to discuss the possible different reasons why your dog licks you.
Why do dogs lick?
Before discussing the reasons why dogs choose to lick specific body parts, it is necessary to comprehend the causes that motivate our dogs to do this.
The two most powerful dogs senses are smell and taste. For example, do you remember when your dog was a puppy and it would bite everything? Well, puppies do this to help with their teething period. In addition, their mouth becomes one of its tools in allowing it to explore the world around it. A dog’s nose contains up too 300 million olfactory receptors, this means a dog’s sense of smell is 40 time greater than humans. And although these two senses act independently of each other, in terms of exploring the world and explaining the rational behind licking, they both fall under one receptor unit.
So, from this, we can also establish that one of the main reason a dog licks things is to know what it is dealing with, what is in front of him, is it a potential threat? is it edible? etc.
Secondly, from birth, a dog is licked by its mother. This is one of the first forms of communication that a dog is subject to, and therefore, they present the same behavior with their owners. Licking in dogs is also a form of submission. This action is symbolic of respect. Therefore if your dog licks you, they could be trying to tell you that they respect you and that they are somewhat subordinate.
Thirdly, licking, for dogs at least, releases pleasurable endorphins. These secreted hormones are desirable for a pup, and helps relieve accumulated stress.
However, it is very important that if you notice your dog is licking excessively that you go to your veterinarian. Excessive or strange licking patterns can be a symptoms of infection, stress or anxiety and should not be ignored.
Why does my dog lick my face and mouth?
A dog licks your face for one main reason, it is a sign of affection or love. These licks are, for dogs, similar to that of a kiss for humans.
When it comes to the mouth, a dog usually licks this area because they are hungry. When a dog is a puppy they lick their mother’s mouths as a way of asking if she can regurgitate some food for them to eat. Dogs can also sometimes lick our mouths because they want the attention. For example, you will probably find that your dog licks your mouth or face in the morning to wake you up? It’s because they want you to either play with them, give them cuddles, take them for a walk, or feed them.
Why does my dog lick my feet?
There are several reasons that make a dog may lick your feet and, in most cases, it is due to the smell. Sweating expels salts that, although for us is unpleasant, for dogs it is considered irresistible. Dogs also sometimes lick our feet as a sign of play. They want to play with us and licking our feet is a form of exploring new smells and a way of grabbing our attention.
Why does my dog lick my hands?
Dogs are very inquisitive animals, they love to explore and know about everything that surrounds them. And when we talk about them wanting to explore their environment, that includes its people. Dogs often lick hands understand and distinguish who a human is, have they met them before? Why is the person there? Etc. As dog senses are so strong, if we have been out during the day, a dog can often smell us in order to reveal what we did. Their sense of smell can distinguish where we have been or what we have touched. When a dog licks you they can taste the flavor of some of your daily activities. By understanding these, they can in turn comprehend your routine.
Why does my dog lick my ears?
What you may have noticed is that out of all the your body parts, dogs are extremely attracted to ears. Some of the reasons that explain why your dog likes to lick your ears are the:
- Affection: like with your face, your dog can also lick your ears as a way of expressing that it loves you. Most of the time when a dog licks a person’s ears this is responded with cuddles and caresses. This human affection encourages an animal to continue to lick.
- Hygiene: dogs lick each others ears as a form of hygiene and, therefore, may attempt the same with you. Does this mean that they are trying to tell you that you're dirty? Not necessarily! For dogs it is simply a way to avoid wax accumulation.
- Good taste: maybe it sounds a little unpleasant, but one of the reasons why dogs like to lick ears is because they like the taste. Dogs are also attracted to the change of smell and taste of ear discharge in ears when there is an infection present. Therefore, if a dog is excessively or newly licking you ears, or the ears of its canine friends, note that this could be a sign of infection.
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