It’s no secret dogs love to lick things, but you may find yourself asking, “Why does my dog lick me?” There are actually a few reasons to entice this behavior from them.
As puppies, dogs learn to lick others as a show of affection, a form of communication, an act of comfort, and grooming. As part of their family and someone they love, these things naturally apply to you!
They Love You
Your dog loves you a lot and they’re going to tell you in one of the few ways they can, which is licking you. This is how their mother and siblings communicated love to them, so it’s how they’re going to communicate it to you too.
They Want Your Attention
There are few people who can ignore an unexpected, warm, wet lick, and your dog knows this. They may be licking you because they want your attention, maybe to play, to get something for them, to let them outside, or simply to hang out together.
You Taste Good
Dogs have a great sense of taste and a greater sense of smell. As a result, if they think you smell good, or you touched something that smells good, they’re going to explore it more with their tongue. Dogs love salty flavors, and humans happen to produce salty sweat all the time. If you just finished a workout or it’s particularly hot, your dog might lick you.
Places Your Dog will Lick
Your dog is fond of licking you, but there are some places they’ll focus on more than others. This is because humans have two types of sweat glands, and dogs love licking both.
The eccrine glands are responsible for the odorless, salty sweat. These are a surprising amount of them, all of which your dog can actually smell because of their great nose.
The apocrine glands are responsible for body odor, so you could guess where those are located pretty easily. Dogs like these areas because they offer wild and exciting smells for them to explore.
Your face is full of smells and tastes for your dog to explore, aside from showing you affection. You often touch your face, transferring smells, and you just so happen to put food to your face throughout the day which your dog definitely wants to explore.
Aside from those reasons, your face has both eccrine and appocrine glands. Your eyelids and nose have scented apocrine glands and your forehead and cheeks have their own eccrine glands, making them a salty treat.
You may find your dog going after your ears because they’re a natural extension of your face. They containe apocrine glands which mix with other glands and earwax to create even more wild smells, and tastes, for your dog to go after. Dogs also lick other’s ears as a sign of love and affection, so even if you keep your ears squeeky clean, they may still lick them because they love you.
Your hands touch everything throughout the day, from outside, to other people and animals, to food, and even bathrooms. Your dog can’t be with you all the time, but they can explore the world outside through the smells and tastes on your hands, not to mention the added benefit of getting residual food off of them. Your hands, much like a lot of you, have eccrine sweat glands, giving them a salty taste dogs love.
You may find it odd that your dog licks your legs, but humans tend to put a surprising amount of products on their legs, where your dog may have easy access to your skin, that dogs find smell very good or confusing, meaning they have to lick it. Things like lotion, body wash, sunscreen, water from a shower, or even just your sweaty skin (possibly dried) are all things your dog wants to taste. The other option is they just love you.
Your feet are obviously smelly and sweaty, something your dog loves. On top of that, your dog elicites a fun response out of you by tickling your feet that they may think is a game.
Why does my dog lick me is a popular question that can be answered simply by how good you taste and how much they love you.