Why Do Dogs Lick?

Why Do Dogs Lick?

Is your dog's licking normal or could it be a sign of something more serious? Dogs lick for many reasons - from showing affection to begging for food. Keep reading to learn more about why dogs lick and how to stop them if it becomes excessive.

Dogs lick because they're trying to tell you something

It's no secret that dog owners can often be driven mad by the incessant licking of their beloved four-legged companions. But don't be too quick to judge – this behavior actually stems from a dog's natural instinct for communication, particularly when it comes to anxiety and stress. Separation anxiety in dogs is real and is usually expressed through, you guessed it, licking. While there are other signs of dog anxiety, like drooling and whimpering, rest assured that your pup wants nothing more than to tell you that they love and miss you!

Dogs lick because they like the taste of your skin

Many dog owners have probably experienced being licked by their dog and wondered, why do they find our skin so irresistible? Well, the truth is that scientists aren't entirely sure why dogs do this but there are some theories. One is that dogs have a special love for their owner's taste since it helps them distinguish their master from strangers. It could also be an expression of dog anxiety - a way for them to calm themselves when feeling nervous or scared by focusing on something comforting like the flavor of your skin. Whatever the real reason may be, it's clear that dogs simply can't resist giving us a good lick every once in a while!

Dogs lick because they want attention

Dogs can be so expressive sometimes! They bark to say hello, whimper when they are sad, and most notably—they lick to get your attention. This behavior is tied to separation anxiety in dogs—licking their owners as a sign of comfort when they feel scared of being alone. So the next time your pup starts lapping away at your arm or face, pause for a moment and think of it as a sign of love rather than annoyance. It might just be their way of saying "I love you!"

Dogs lick because they're stressed or anxious

It seems like dog owners are familiar with the phrase "A dog's lick is their love!" Well, if we dig a little deeper, dog owners may realize it may be more complicated than that. Turns out when a dog licks, it could be due to anxiety or even stress. When dogs experience dog anxiety, they tend to display behaviors such as licking excessively. The most common dog anxiety is separation anxiety. It's not easy living without your human counterpart and a dog needs companionship to feel secure and settled in their environment. If a dog isn't getting enough attention, it may result in stress that can then lead to licking as an abnormal behavior – so don't forget to be a good companion by giving your pup plenty of love and attention!

Dogs lick because they're bored

Dogs are known to be very sociable creatures and when separation anxiety sets in due to boredom, their first instinct is often to lick themselves. In an attempt to alleviate their boredom and frustration, dogs will start licking the surfaces around them. It's a strange phenomenon that baffles dog owners since it can seem like our furry friends are literally licking their stress away! As we all know, separation anxiety in dogs should not be taken lightly - if this is a regular occurrence for your pup, then make sure you give them plenty of mental stimulation and affection during the day.

Dogs lick because it feels good

Dogs may not be able to put it into words, but they sure do love to lick! Not only does this act give them…well, a literal taste of the things around them, but it also feels good. In fact, dog licking releases endorphins in their brain which helps carry out anti-anxiety effects — turns out it's the dog equivalent of a dog owner gently petting their pup when they're feeling stressed! They may not know it themselves, but dog owners should take note — that much-desired affection your dog is always giving you? That's just their way of saying thank you for looking after them during stressful times. So why not offer up a few licks of appreciation back?

If your dog is giving you some serious slobbery kisses, they could just be trying to tell you something. According to experts, dogs lick because they're either trying to say hello or goodbye, they like the taste of your skin, they want attention, or they may be experiencing stress and anxiety. So next time your pup is covering your face in drool, take a step back and try to figure out why. And if all else fails, just give them a good belly rub—because let's be honest, that's probably what they're after anyway. Keep reading our blog for more tips on decoding your dog's behavior as well as other cute pet content!

Image credit: 

Image by Roman Michael Gottfried from Pixabay