happy dog licking nose cute big boop my nose

Why do dogs love to lick?

From the very first second that I wake up in the morning, my dog Caramel comes up to me and greets me by licking my hand and face! It brings me so much joy to wake up to the precious greetings of my little furbaby.

We all know that dog licking is a natural behaviour in dogs. It might be even our dog’s favourite activity of the day. But some dogs have a tendency to lick excessively, spending hours and hours licking the same spot on the floor, the carpet, the couch, or even our faces.

Below are 6 reasons why dogs like to lick:

  • That spot tastes so good: 

When you see your dog constantly licking the same spot, whether it is the floor, the table, or the dog bowl, the reason might be that that particular spot simply tastes really good! You might even find your furry companion excessively licking your hand, but it’s only because your dog loves the salty taste of your skin!

cute jack russell dog licking nose outside puppy small dog

  • Grooming: 

Sometimes, you might catch your dog licking its paw or any other part of its body. You’re probably not aware of this, but pups are concerned with hygiene, just like cats. They like to clean themselves whenever they can!

  • Healing properties: 

Did you know that dog saliva has enzymes that kill off bacteria? That is why when you see your dog licking himself / herself, he / she is actually doing it to get rid of dead tissue as well as dirt from wounds. However, some dogs just cannot stop themselves from continuously licking, and may end up reopening wounds or causing other kinds of skin problems. To avoid this kind of problem, you can get your pup an inflatable, protective dog collar. dog collar injury danger trachea
  • Compulsive behaviour: 

If your dog keeps on licking the same object or area over and over, or they do it whenever they feel anxious or nervous, it might be a sign of underlying medical issues. This obsessive licking could be linked to:
  1. skin allergies
  2. itching
  3. infections from bacteria, fungus, or parasites
  4. injury or arthritis
  5. gastrointestinal issues
The act of licking releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers to help soothe the pain. If you think your pup has a medical issue, we encourage you to consult with your veterinarian to diagnose and treat your dog’s condition.
  • Communication: 

Sometimes, dogs lick other dogs to communicate with them. They could be telling them things like “I’m hungry”, “I submit to you”, or even “Let’s be friends”. Dogs might be also doing this with humans, who, needless to say, are not as good as dogs at interpreting the message. However, if you see your dog relentlessly licking your hand or face, check if something is amiss. It could be that the water bowl is empty, or maybe your pup needs to go out for a walk. In any case, by behaving like this, it’s probable that your furry companion is in need of something.
  • Affection: 

Last but not least, affection is the most common reason why dogs lick their humans! Licking for affection releases pleasurable endorphins in your pup, which calm and comfort them. However, this constant licking can be too much for some people. dog collar injury danger trachea

If you want your dog to stop licking you, ignore them and walk elsewhere whenever they start doing it. They will eventually learn that licking causes you to leave, which isn’t what the want.

You can also try redirecting their focus by giving them alternative activities to keep them occupied, such as giving them a toy or a treat to gnaw on. Positive reinforcement training can also help curb licking behaviour by rewarding your dog whenever they perform the desired behaviour. For example, reward your dog whenever they stop licking when you tell them to stop.

We all love our dogs dearly, although they have some habits that we don’t appreciate. Are there any dog behaviours that annoy you? Let us know in the comments below!

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