Why Is My Dog Licking Me?

Can dog licking be compared to human caress? Or does licking mean something else in dogs? Dogs can show their love, loyalty, and obedience in a number of ways.

In dogs, licking is deeply rooted. Puppies are licked by the mother. This is used for drying and cleaning shortly after birth. The puppies, on the other hand, when they are a few weeks old, start licking their mother’s lips so that she strangles food and gives the puppy to eat. Young dogs try to appease older dogs by licking their lips.

Licking as a Message

Dogs lick for a variety of reasons. They use it to convey various messages. Dogs show sympathy and friendship by licking strangers. It depends on the dog’s personality and how often or how little he licks. With some dogs everyone is licked in a friendly and playful way, with other dogs this is limited to certain people to whom they show their affection.

Submission and humility

Dogs that live in packs show their admiration and humility to the leader by licking them. They also use social behavior to communicate with their owner. Man feeds the dog, takes care of him, and takes care of his education and a certain order that the dog has to keep. The dog subordinates himself and shows his humility, his devotion, and his respect by licking it off.


Dogs do not always want to express their affection by licking the human hand. In many cases, he simply wants to draw attention to the fact that he wants something, for example, that he is hungry. By licking its hands, the dog tries to achieve something in a, particularly friendly way.


Dogs can express discomfort by licking. You have a sad look and are listless. In that case, licking can be a cry for help. Dogs try to relieve pain by licking their own body with their saliva. Open wounds are supposed to be healed in this way. In the case of bruises, infections, or allergies, they also try to relieve the pain by licking.


When dogs feel dirty, they lick their legs, reproductive organs and other parts of the body to clean themselves. Similar to cats, dogs try to groom themselves, but not as intensely.

Try to comfort

Dogs are very good at perceiving people’s moods. In different situations, they can tell whether people are sad, depressed, or angry. They try to comfort by licking when their people are crying or sad. Dogs also try to balance people’s nervousness. They try to grab attention to distract and cheer people up.

Risk of Infection Through Licking

Many people feel uncomfortable when the dog’s wet tongue slobbers through their face or licks their hands. No matter how much they love their dog. A 2015 scientific study by the University of Arizona confirmed that dog owners who have direct contact with their pets are happier. In addition, they are in better health and therefore seem less prone to disease. Scientists suspect that the presence of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract strengthens the immune system in dogs’ saliva.

Important for Dogs

Licking is by no means pointless for dogs. Dogs learn early on from their mother dog that licking is worthwhile. They use the gesture to show people that they are comfortable around them and that they submit. But also to ask something politely.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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