Dogs love their owners and they do weird stuff to express this love to their masters, but have you ever wondered why do dogs lick your feet?
Suppose you’re back home after a long tiring day and as you sit on your comfiest couch to get a deep breath of air. Your dog jumps on the sofa and starts to lick your feet. As strange as it may sound, the dog doesn’t mind it at all and in fact, enjoys it. But the question remains: Why do dogs lick your feet? And what does it mean when a dog licks you?
We’ve investigated the behavior and concluded that there might be different reasons for the canine’s behavior:
Dogs Lick Your Feet to Show Affection
Out of all the possibilities, showing affection is the top reason for this behavior. Dogs differ from humans in numerous ways. And so, things that humans find disgusting don’t disgust the dogs.
Dogs lick your feet to show affection and to get a favorable reaction from their master. Therefore, it is completely okay for a dog to lick your feet a few times a day.
Dogs Lick Your Feet as a Childhood Habit
You must have noticed the mother dogs licking their pups’ paws and feet as a token of love and care. Dogs are brought up this way. Their moms constantly lick their feet, paws and body to show affection and care. Also, licking the pups’ feet help communicate their parents with them and so dogs lick your feet as an early childhood habit they developed from their mothers.
Dogs Lick Your Feet When They Need Something
Many dog owners reported that their dogs lick their feet quite often when they are hungry or need something else. If their purpose is served, they become busy with the thing and leave their masters alone.
So if your dog is constantly licking your feet, pay attention to his needs as he might be hungry or need some special toy that he saw on the walk with you.
Dogs Lick Your Feet Because They Like Salty Things
The glands on our feet secrete sweat when we are stressing out or constantly thinking about something. Dogs, like most animals, love salty things and they detect the smell of salt when their owner is stressing out. Therefore, he starts to lick the owner’s feet in order to calm him down.
How Can You Stop This Behavior?
No matter how many times a vet tells you, it’s normal for a dog to lick your feet. Some owners find it annoying when their dogs lick their feet as it develops a tickling sensation and irritates the owner.
You can, however, train the dog to stop himself from repeating this behavior too often. Never punish or push your dog away for this behavior, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable or annoyed.
You can distract your dog from licking by using positive reinforcement techniques and then rewarding the dog to appreciate his behavior.
Or you can give him some stuff toys or other patterned toys to lick if he starts to lick your feet. This way, the dog will learn that you don’t really encourage his behavior.
Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?
Apart from licking humans’ feet, dogs lick their paws a lot. Sometimes so much so the owner is under the impression that they might chew and hurt their paws.
Considering these circumstances, much research has been done and vets have come to a realization that dogs lick their paws for a following different reason.
A. To Clean Themselves
Sometimes your dog’s paws might seem clean to you, but not to the dog. He sees every detail of dust and dirt particles on his body and tries to clean himself with his tongue.
B. To Calm Anxiety
Like humans, dogs often get anxiety and reacts in different ways. Licking their paws is one way to treat the anxiety behavior. If the habit persists, you should get to the root cause of this problem and consult an expert for calming this behavior.
C. Allergies and Other Skin Conditions
If your dog aggressively chews and licks his paws and feet, he might have developed some skin conditions or skin allergies that require immediate treatment. If that’s the case, you could change his kibble as cheap kibbles are the main cause of skin allergies in dogs and try changing their diet with fewer grains and more proteins.
How Can You Stop This Behavior?
Dogs lick their own body along with the paws. This behavior is completely normal, but it might become alarming if it gets way too much.
One main reason of extreme paws licking is the itching of the paws and feet. In this scenario, you can check your dog for fleas and mange, and apply medicated lotion to the affected areas and seal the area with the help of clear plastic tape to stop this behavior.
You may notice that your dog would want to chew off the tape from his paws. Just say NO and keep your dog with yourself so he doesn’t hurt himself and keep the tape stuck to these paws.
Dogs are different than humans, and so they respond differently to different situations. If a dog licks your feet or his own, it might be a sign that he needs help with something. Licking the feet and his own paws can get problematic if it’s done repeatedly, therefore you should always get your dog checked with the vets and special trainers to stop this behavior.