Being licked by a dog is one of the sweetest things in the world. Have you ever stopped to wonder why your dog licks you? While it may seem that the answer is obvious: they love you of course! The real answer is a little more complex and multifaceted. Here are some dog facts on why your dog licks you.
You Taste Good
Dogs love tasty things. It can be something as small as leftover food particles on your hands or face. It may even just be salt secreted with your sweat. In other cases, it could be the taste of a lotion or scent you are wearing. If your dog likes this flavor then they will lick.
They Instinctively Want to Nurse Your Wounds
Everyone has seen a dog lick a wound. While this may seem like a bad idea (especially if your dog likes to drink out of the toilet) there are a few reasons why this is good. For one, there is an enzyme in their saliva that helps to kill bacteria. Two, the force of their licking is enough to take away dead skin cells that can inhibit proper healing. Third, the licking also helps to get rid of any dirt or other substances that can hinder the healing process. Most importantly, your dog loves you and wants to help you feel better.
They Want to Communicate With You
Communication is vital with any animals. It is no secret that dogs lick each other to show submission and communicate their needs. For instance, puppies lick their mother as a way to tell her they are hungry. It is no different when dogs lick humans. Sometimes they just want to tell you something.
It’s a Great Stress Reliever
One of the dog facts most people know is that overly nervous dogs or those with certain emotional issues tend to lick excessively. They may lick couch cushion, rugs and even themselves neurotically. Until recently science was unsure why. A study showed that for dogs licking releases endorphins that can help to relieve stress and help keep them in a better mood.
What dog doesn’t love to get attention from their pet parent or even a new friend they just met? Sometimes it comes down to your dog just wanting to get attention from you. Think about what your normal reaction is when your dog licks you. Most of the time you will get a mushy feeling and give them affection.
If your dog has an issue with excessive licking and it doesn’t seem to fall under one of these dog facts, then the best thing you can do is to see your vet. Your pet may have a condition that makes them overly stressed and dealing with the issue is better than just letting it go on. Just as stress can cause a multitude of illnesses in people, it can do the same for dogs.