Dogs are our loyal and affectionate friends who cannot express themselves with words just like us, and that is why they usually use their body language to communicate. One way to get our attention is through licks on our faces, arms, legs, feet, and other parts of our bodies.
This behavior has a reason. When dogs are puppies, they usually receive licks from their mothers since this stimulates them, cleanses them, and makes them feel loved.
Therefore, during the growth of the puppy, it will implement the licks as a way to know its person better, transmitting a vote of trust, affection, and respect.
Dogs have several ways to express themselves. Some of them, considered forms of communication, are howling, barking, or moaning.
However, licking is one of the most sensory forms of communication that they possess since, through their sense of taste, they manage to identify a person’s taste. This allows them to know your health and mood.
Why Do Dogs Like to Lick Their Owners?
There are many reasons why dogs lick their owners, other members of their human family, and even objects. The most common is because they like how they taste.
On certain occasions, dogs often like the cream or lotion their owners use since it can have a sweet taste that attracts a lot of attention. There are also dogs that like flavors that are a bit saltier.
A good example of that can be when we are exercising or doing some physical activity. If puppies approach us and lick us, it may indicate that they are attracted to our salty taste.
On the other hand, these animals will also lick us for hygiene reasons. We know that dogs clean themselves through licking, and that is something that they will also want to do with us. Hygiene is very important for these animals, and our hygiene will be too.
Likewise, it’s important to know that puppies tend to bond with their caregivers at a young age. One way to build stronger bonds is when the puppy already knows its owner.
Licking allows them to get to know the people who are always with them better and get used to their taste. This is a gesture of love and affection where they show trust, respect, and loyalty to their loved ones.
Another common reason for dog licking is food. Dogs lick us when they feel the smell of food on our hands through their powerful sense of smell. There may be food residue left on them. They will also lick when hungry, looking to get our attention so that we feed them.
We can easily identify this situation when the canines excessively lick their own snouts while opening their mouths and staring at us. After that, they will lick our legs as a way of demanding food from us.
Does a Dog Lick When It Feels Stressed or Anxious?
Yes! Remember that dogs feel emotions just like us. Some circumstances could make these animals feel anxious or stressed. This is a sign that they need our attention, although depending on the seriousness of the situation, we may need to take them to the vet to rule out any problems.
We can easily tell if our pets have very repetitive behaviors of wanting to lick us. Licking is one way these animals use to relieve their stress and anxiety.
However, we must bear in mind that this may be a compulsive disorder that we must treat as quickly as possible before the situation worsens. In fact, the canine could begin to lick itself excessively, which can cause wounds and other problems on its skin.
How to Solve a Dog’s Licking Problem?
Licking is a natural behavior of these animals, especially when they try to transmit something to us.
Remember that these animals cannot speak our language. However, when canines lick frequently, we can say that this is a problem, and we must know what causes it and how to solve it.
If we want to reduce the licking of these animals, it is important that we do the following:
- If a dog is licking any part of our body, we should move away and not make eye contact with it. That will let it know that we don’t like its actions.
- We must keep these dogs entertained to prevent them from thinking about licking us. We can give them toys or physically stimulate them through some type of exercise. We can also feed them so that they prefer to lick food instead of us.
- It is important to reward these animals with praise and treats every time they stop licking.
- If our dogs tend to lick us after exercising, we should take a bath before sitting next to them. Similarly, if they show this behavior immediately after we have touched food, then we should make sure to wash our hands very well.