Have you ever asked yourself, why do dogs lick you? If you’ve considered this and other dog-specific behaviors and still don’t know why your pet is acting the way he is, this is the post for you. We’re discussing doggie communication and taking a closer look at why your pet may be offering up doggy slobber and kisses on a daily basis!
How Do Dogs Communicate With People?
Your pupper has his own special way of communicating with you and with other animals. Us humans? We use mostly verbal communication to let others know what we are thinking. But our four-legged friends? They use a combination of body language, verbalizations, and behaviors to let us know what they’re thinking.
When it comes to de-coding what your pet is trying to say, it’s important to keep context in mind. A wagging tail might mean your dog is happy as a clam in many settings, but in other scenarios, it can communicate something completely different. Take the environment and situation into mind when reading your dog’s cues. Also, look at the whole picture—your dog’s entire body—to help you get the best read on your pet!
Why Do Dogs Lick You?
Licking and sweet slobbery kisses are par for the course when you’re a pet parent, and often something you look forward to when you get home from a day at work. But, have you ever wondered why your dog licks you? Most people think this is just a sign of affection and that their doggo is showing them love with sloppy smooches. But, that’s not the only thing it could mean when your dog licks you.
Licking Is An Affectionate Gesture
If your dog’s licking is accompanied by a happy, active and wiggly body, chances are your dog is indeed trying to let you know he loves you. When your pup is relaxed and obviously in a good-mannered state of mind, licking is an affectionate gesture mean to tell you your dog cares and he’s glad to have you by his side.
It Could Be A Sign That Instinct Is Kicking In
When pups are young, they lick their mother’s face to get her to regurgitate food for them. This is also something that wolves do in the wild! When a mother returns from hunting, you can often see the pups licking her face in both affection and a request for food. When your pup licks you, especially if it’s on your face or around your mouth, it could be his natural instincts kicking in. He’s likely looking for a little something tasty to eat. And if you’ve just had a meal, chances are he might find a crumb or two to lick on your face!
Your Dog May Be Looking For A Little Space
Not all dogs love to be peppered with love and affection all the time. One way your dog might ask for a little space from your adoring pets and cuddles is to lick you. This is often the case if your face is up close and personal with your pet and they give you just a lick or two before backing away. If this happens with your pet, simply give your pup the space he’s asking for and enjoy his company from across the couch, instead!
Your Skin Probably Tastes Great
While you probably don’t think twice about your skin or what it might taste like, your dog certainly has it on his mind. One reason your dog could be licking you is for the taste! You, human, have a unique flavor and dogs often enjoy anything that tastes interesting.
But, be mindful of the products you use! Many pets will be more inclined to try and lick you after you’ve just applied lotion or another treatment to your skin. And while this might seem harmless, it’s a good idea to not allow licking until the product is fully absorbed. There can be ingredients and chemicals in skincare products that aren’t safe for Fido to ingest.
Licking Can Be A Cry For Attention
Of course, if your dog is all up in your business licking and smooching you with no abandon, he could just want some attention. Your dog has probably learned that you love his affection and will give him all the attention he’s craving if he comes over and licks you!
Is Licking A Safe Behavior?
While it’s completely normal for your dog to occasionally lick, slobber and smooch you, there are limits to what is considered ‘healthy.’ As mentioned, excessive licking can be cause for concern, as it may indicate your dog is stressed, anxious or uncomfortable.
If you suspect your dog’s licking is a bit over the top, discuss the habit with your Vet. They’ll be able to help you determine whether or not you should be concerned and what you can do to support your pup and his health.
Support Your Dog’s Dental Health And Oral Wellness
Also, keep in mind that while it’s often said that a dog’s mouth is incredibly clean, this is only partially true. Sure, dogs have saliva that generally kills harmful organisms better than our human mouths can. But, that doesn’t mean you want your doggo licking you directly after he’s finished eating a meal, grooming himself, or chewing on a bone. Just keep in mind that bacteria can be transferred from your pup’s mouth to you, so be mindful of that when you accept puppy kisses.
A great way to support your dog and his oral health is to add a dental aid to your dog’s diet. Whether you choose hygiene water that helps freshen Fido’s breath and helps prevent dental health issues from developing, or you pick up a dental chew that’s made to promote healthy, clean teeth, it can benefit both you and your pet. Your dog has a healthy mouth and maintains oral wellness, and you get to enjoy his licking and kisses because his breath is fresh!
PetHonesty Products For Your Pet
When you want to support your dog, it’s a good idea to add a multivitamin to his diet, especially if you’re concerned about excessive licking. Try one like 10-for-1 Multivitamin, which includes a blend of all the nutrients your dog needs to support his body each and every day. And, to help boost his mood and support emotional health, ease stress, and help him calm down enough to stop licking you too often, try adding fish oil to your dog’s dish. Omega-3 Fish Oil is a natural mood-booster that’s been shown to help stressed pets!
If you’re unbothered by your dog’s licking and you just love getting doggie kisses daily, be sure you take care of our pet’s dental health to help keep your dog’s breath fresh. Add Oral Hygiene Dental Water to his water dish to leave his mouth minty fresh. And feed him Oral Hygiene Fresh Sticks, which will not only keep your dog occupied for ages camping and chewing, but they’ll also help keep his pearly white fresh and clean.