Why Do Our Dogs Lick Us?
February 16, 2023
The simple reason is because they love us and want to show affection.
Mother dogs will lick their puppies and dogs instinctively learn early on to lick as a sign of affection. Licking is the way that dogs offer comfort, show closeness and bond with family members.
As well as communicating how much they care about you, licking releases dopamine and endorphins, making your pup feel relaxed, calm and happy.
Unfortunately, just like humans, pups can become too dependent on the endorphin rush and lick obsessively. This may be a sign of underlying health issues or it could mean that your pup has anxiety, is bored or frightened. If it is a new thing, it might be a good idea to have your pup checked over by a vet to be sure there isn’t a health reason for the change. Redirection is a good way to take their focus from licking in a positive way.
Your pup licking their own wound can be helpful for them as their saliva has antibacterial properties. Licking also helps in the removal of dead tissue and dirt from the wounds. Your dog will want to lick your wound as well instinctually, but even the healthiest dog has bacteria that can affect humans and may cause the wound to become infected and should not be encouraged.
Your pup licking you may also be to communicate their hunger. Puppies lick their mothers to communicate that they are hungry and it might be that your pup is hungry and wants to eat.
If the lick is intense, your pup might be trying to tell you something important and it might be a good idea to have a look around and make sure they have everything that they need.