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Why Do Dogs Lick and What Does it Mean?

Why do dogs lick? If there is some loyalty award presented in the world, then there is no better option than the man’s best friend! Dogs.

From the start of life, human has been looking out for various animal carnivores, and herbivores to choose the best one who can look up to in need. And from the very start, these canines proved themselves to be the only one possessing all trades of loyalty.

But what about dog’s licking? How many times in a day your favorite pet lick you up?

Sometimes, it feels glossy, but most of the time, it shows their pure love and passion towards us. But have you ever thought that there are different kinds of feelings associated with licks of a dog?

I am sure till today, you are not aware of any of them. So let me tell you the most surprising facts behind the dog’s licking.

In this piece of article, I will tell you about the reasons why dogs lick all the time and what this means.

So if you are a dog owner or going to be, then this article will help you until you understand the emotions of a dog behind licking.

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Why Do Dogs Lick You?

There are some of the reasons behind this behavior, and these will help you to understand what your dog’s licks really mean.

Dog Licking Shows Affection:

Why Do Dogs Lick PeopleThe very first feel that we relate to dog licking is affection.

We all know from the birth, the dogs like to lick, because during their grooming period, their mom loves to do so, and so they do.

Licking is the most popular activity of pets to show deep love and affection toward his owner.

Well, we all know that the dogs are the first, or we can say that the last animal on the earth that is full of affection naturally. They are loving and caring by nature, and it’s not the case with a single species.

Our beloved canines like to show their extreme bond with humans in many different ways, and licking is the top of this list.

“A dog is the only thing on the earth that cares about you and loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

Still, now this is just the theory that you need to know about their licking, but do you know the science behind this action? Well, let me tell you some things about the science behind the dog’s licking.

According to the studies, when a dog licks someone, especially a person, his brain releases a particular kind of hormones called Endorphins. These hormones label as happiness hormones. When these hormones are discharged, it gives him a relaxing and calm feel.

A dog feels secure, and these hormones secretion reassures him.

However, for a better understanding, we can relate this situation to the bond between a child and a mother. A child feels the same feeling when the parents show affection towards him/her.

The best part is your canine will be there when you are sad or even happy. Once the dogs get attached to you, they cannot leave you alone in any condition.

“Why Does My Dog Lick Me?”

It Could Be a Hidden Message:

Communication is the second most significant reason for the dog’s licking.

As we are living beings and love to communicate when we need something. Same is the case with our pets; they like to express their needs, feelings, insecurities by wagging their tails or even by licking your feet, hands, or face.

Licking is the stereotyped gesture of canines, and one of the forms of communication for them.

However, the most fundamental reasons for doing so maybe they need food, water, fresh air, or want to play some games with you.

Whatever the reasons behind their lick, maybe, the thing that matters is you, spend more and more time to understand the canine behavior completely.

“Dogs do speak, but only to those people who know how to listen.” – Orhan Pamuk

We all humans use sound, vision, and gestures to convey a specific kind of message to others. So how can we assume that dogs are any different from us as we know they are most domestic pets?

The Goal is Attention:

Labrador Retriever Licking FeetWe are humans made up of love and nothing else. When someone shows affection, we get attracted instantly. So what about in the case of cute animals?

The only motto of their life is gaining attention as much as they can from others. They can do anything for get you all focus. Moreover, for their sole motto, they can even go far beyond their limitations.

“The average dog is a nicer person than any average person.” – Andy Rooney

We can relate this action of dogs with a little child who does the same things for getting the mother’s attention. Kids do all the non-sense activities to get attention in whatever way.

Let me ask you one thing, do you own a cute little canine? If yes, then perfect! So are you ready for his actions that will target you back to back?

Yes, I am talking about the bundles of wet kisses that he will give you, the tail, he will wag around you, and the jump that he will try to do on you. These are some of the indirect actions of dogs to get the attention of you.

So if they feel isolated or neglected from your side, then be ready for all these lovable actions from his side. In this situation, he knows what to do in such a condition and will go for it.

Showing some affection for them is necessary.

You should pat your pet, hold him in hands, and show all your deep love for your puppy.

Dog Licking

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Submit Himself:

As all the humans do and so the dog does. All kinds of animals that live in packs or socially interact with each other know the importance of submission.

Submission is the most critical part of being in the pack or a group. For submitting yourself, licking is one of the most popular and used forms of conveying submission.

Licking helps to convey a message of obedience and respect to a dominant one. This gesture considers as the direct way of communication for submitting your all reverence and obedience to someone.

This is the biggest reason for dogs licking. When they are with you, they will touch until you accept them as a part of your family and start showing your affection.

The gesture of licking by your canine is just to remind you that you are the leader of the house, and he wants to be a part of your life. How cute it is.

“Happiness is just has a warm puppy.”

Why Do Dogs Lick You? To Identify You:

Why Does My Dog Lick Me

It may look disgusting to you if you are a petless person. But trust me, this is the only way with which the dogs identify their owners. The canines like to lick his owner’s feet, hands, and other parts of a body to get the distinctive taste or odor.

Let’s take an example here, we are recognized by our distinctive smell, and this is what that recall who you are. Same is the case with dogs; they get the taste of salts that release from the different pores of your skin while you sweat. This is the only way they get attached to you.

However, once the dog licks you twice a time or more, they file all these tastes in their brain and then distinguish according to the feeling of each person.

Once they lick to identify who each one and confirm their memory, then every time they will choose the right person and that will be you.

On the other hand, dogs like to lick humans because they love the taste of the different kinds of salts that discharge from the pores.

To Explore the World:

Why does your dog lick? Is this is your dilemma, then please, you don’t need to worry about it at all.

The dogs are the most active animals who like to explore different things and love to engage themselves in various activities. They love to interact with the environment. But it’s not like that they will go outside, do a handshake with people like us and hang out.

Well, the dogs will explore the world by licking everything. Yes, by licking.

However, if a dog finds something new in the surrounding, then he will lick it curiously. This is the main reason why the dogs lick you when you first meet them because they want to recognize you with your specific characteristics. In simple words, with your odor.

Why Does My Dog Lick Everything

You Enjoy It:

It’s a common perception which activity admires the most; the person will try to do it, again and again, to get more prominent. the same is the case with your dogs.

Once you admire their linking action, they assume that you like the touch of their tongue, the softness, and the love in it. However, this encourages the dogs to lick you again and again.

On the contrary, if a person discourages this extreme action of dogs, then the chances are that the dogs will understand that you do not like it at all, and this makes them stop doing it again.

That’s not mean that they will stop doing it with other people. But somehow this helps them to understand who loves their licking or who not.

To Clean Them:

Another reason, apart from showing deep love and affection can be they want to clean themselves just like other animals do to clean.

We all love to be live in a total hygiene environment. The same is with the dogs.

The dogs like to hygiene themselves ultimately. However, if the dog continually licks himself, then the chances are that his glands need to be expressed.

To Aid in Wound Recovery:

Do you know that the saliva of a dog contains particular enzymes that help to get rid of bacteria? Yes, you heard it right. Nothing is disgusting; a dog licks himself. As licking their skin wound helps in cleaning and killing the bacteria on the wound.

Moreover, the licking action also helps your cute pets to get rid of dead tissues on their skin. But it’s necessary to know if there is something that needs attention or not.

If your dog excessively licks his skin, then you should need to consult with his doctor. It can harm him.

“Why Do Dogs Lick Their Wounds?”

Why Does My Dog Lick So Much?

However, it is much more challenging to determine the reason behind the excessive licking of your dog.

The dog, when excessively lick his lips, his paws, the owner’s feet, and other parts, then this would be labeled as excessive licking. However, if this excessive licking does not underlie the medical condition, then there is nothing wrong with doing so.

However, the excessive licking of a dog can lead him to ingestion of fibers and hairs; then, this can alarm his health and even blog his intestinal blockage. So it’s necessary to consult with the vet of your dog for the medical check-up.

Again, we cannot label the licking process with any serious threat and even cannot ignore it.

If a dog licks his ears and other parts, then there would be a reason that something is irritating him. Moreover, there might be a chance of getting some allergy or fungal infection. So it’s better to consult with the vet.


So these are some of the reasons why do dogs lick everything. There is nothing harm in it if a dog loves to show his absolute love towards you by touching.

However, if you’re cute and lovable pet is licking excessively, then it’s time to focus on its activities and consult with the dog’s vet on urgent basis.

Your canine is your responsibility, and you should need to show care for them. No one can give you much in return for your given love than a loyal dog.

Happy dog keeping!

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