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The PupJoy Post

Why The Heck Do Dogs Lick Us?

If you’re a dog owner, chances are your pup licks you at least once a day. Perhaps you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix when all of sudden your dog goes on a licking spree. Sure we know our dog loves us, but is that the only reason they lick your face? Read on for some answers.

We Are Quite Tasty

It’s pretty obvious that dogs lick their bowl, the counter, or the floor after their dinner or if something tasty spilled on the floor. Well, dogs like to lick us because we sometimes have leftover food particles on us that they can taste.

To Show Affection

Showing affection is the most common reason dogs lick us. Dogs that do it for affection allows them to release happy endorphins that can help comfort and calm them. While some dogs aren’t too extreme, others can be obsessive. If your pup is the latter, teach them to stop by ignoring them and leaving the room when they start.

To Communicate

Dogs use licking as a way to communicate with each other. They’ll lick other dogs as a way to say “let’s be friends”, “I submit to you” or even to just to let us know they are hungry.

We can’t always interpret what they are trying to say as well as other dogs, so if your pup is constantly licking you, check around the room to see if something is wrong. Maybe their water bowl is empty of they need a bathroom break.

Why Do Dogs Lick Themselves?

Dogs don’t just like to lick us, they also like to lick themselves for certain reasons. For example, dogs lick themselves as a healing mechanism. Their saliva contains enzymes that help kill of bacteria.

When they lick a wound, it helps them get rid of dead tissue or clean dirt out from their wound. But, some dogs aren’t able to stop and could actually do more harm than good. If you notice them excessively licking a wound, try using an Elizabethan collar (or e-collar).

Dogs also lick as a way to groom themselves – just like cats. While they don’t clean themselves just like a cat, they do like to keep clean. Just keep an eye out for excessive anal cleaning, though, as that could mean the glands may need to be expressed.

So next time your dog licks you, it may be a sign of affection or that they need to tell you something. Or, you could just smell like food.