Monday, September 5, 2016

10 reasons why do dogs lick

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Have you been asking yourself the reasons why dogs lick? This is something that most do not understand. Sometimes it might be difficult to understand some of the actions that we find in dogs. They usually react differently to various things, which may be the cause of these actions. One of the most common behaviors is licking. You may have found your dog doing so on various occasions. What causes this? In this article, we shall try to identify some of the reason that may lead to licking. Most of the dogs do so when they want to communicate something. These are the most common reasons.

  1. Affection – This is the major reason why dogs lick. When this happens, your dog releases pleasurable endorphins, which comfort and calms them. You may realize that your dog cuddles up close to you when you are unwell and licks you in a way to make you feel better. Sometimes it becomes too boring for people. The best ways to make your dog stop the habit is by ignoring them and focus on other things when it starts. It will realize that licking is not something you like and this is not what they want.
  2. Taste -   Dogs usually lick when something tastes good. You can find your dog hanging around the kitchen when you are preparing some food. You may also find your dog licking your elbow when you have a snack. However, licking somethings dirty might be harmful to your dog.  Sometimes the dog enjoys the taste of salt in our skins that is why you will find your dog licking you.
  3. Grooming- Dogs are usually concerned with hygiene, sometimes dog licks as a way of cleaning themselves just like cats. You should be careful on this because excessive anal cleaning can be a sign that the glands should be expressed.
  4. Communication – Dogs lick other dogs as a way of communicating with them. They do so to a human when they need you to do something. If your dog licks u with intensity, it may be trying to communicate to you that something is amiss. It may also be an indication that it is unwell. Excessive licking may result lead to bare spots in your dog’s fur.
  5. To create attention –Dogs may use different ways to attract your attention, some of them include barking, tapping using its paw and sniffing. If your dog notices that you don’t pay attention to these it may start licking. To attract your attention, a dog may lick your arm or your face. This behavior may be a sign of communicating something. Maybe it might be bored or the water bowl may be empty.
  6. When hungry – Dogs sometimes lick just because they are hungry. It has discovered that wild dogs may lick their pack leader’s face to beg for food. Puppies also lick their mother’s lips when hungry. This stimulates their mother’s regurgitation reflex, which leads to vomiting. The puppies feed on the vomited food. If you find your dog licking, it may be a sign that it needs to be fed.
  7. To investigate – dogs may sometimes lick just to ascertain your feelings. They usually have special receptors in their mouth and nose that interprets some scented molecules, which are found in people’s sweat. This information enables the dog to know whether you are happy or stressed.
  8. Healing – Dog saliva contains enzymes that destroy bacteria. Licking helps dogs to remove the dead tissue and clean dirt from wounds. Excessive licking may be harmful as it may lead to reopening of wounds. This may be harmful to the dog.
  9. Compulsion - Excessive leaking may be an indication that your dog is nervous or scared. This is usually the case when a dog licks something continuously. You can seek medical assistance from a vet. Licking sometimes can be a stress reliever but excessive licking leads to anxiety and may make problem to be worse.
  10. To explore – Another reason that can lead to this is that dog may lick to acquaint them with the environment. As a way of exploring the world, dogs may lick new people or other things in their surroundings. Dogs might also lick due to curiosity if they notice something new on yours. This is the main reason that dogs lick people the first day it meets a new person.

I am sure you have learned something, have you? Those are some of the reasons why dogs lick. I hope the article has answered most of your questions. Understanding some of the characters in your pet is very important. Some of the signs may be an indication that it is unwell and may need the services of a vet. If you find your dog licking, you will now be able to identify some of the reason why your dog is doing so. I will appreciate your thoughts in the comments below. Feel free to share In case you liked it.



  1. Thanks for this article. The licking habit can come from a variety of reasons, but some of them are curiousity and even boredom. They just love licking things. However, we should be very wary what our dogs can lick. You can read more about it here: