Dogs often lick people to show affection, as a greeting, or to simply get our attention. Even though you may adore your dog, not everyone appreciates dog “kisses.” The majority of dog owners think their pets lick them as a sign of affection, but why do dogs actually lick us? What does it imply if your dog licks your hands, feet, ears, or face?
Why Do Dogs Lick People?
Instinctively, dogs lick things. According to studies, licking causes a dog’s brain to release endorphins. Neurotransmitters called endorphins help humans and dogs feel calmer and more relaxed. For a number of reasons, including affection, communication, grooming, exploration, attention, and taste, dogs lick people.
Learning to Lick as Puppies
Dogs quickly discover that their tongues are helpful instruments for interacting and communicating with their environment. As soon as they are born, mother dogs kiss their pups to clean and stimulate them. Puppies are also licked by their mothers for the first few weeks of their lives to make them urinate and defecate.
In wild dogs, puppies lick their elders to show submissiveness but also to encourage the older pack members to regurgitate food they consumed while hunting. Puppies lick one another to express love and to provide solace to themselves and their littermates.
Licking People for Taste
Additionally, licking improves your dog’s ability to smell. Dogs can taste bitter, salty, sweet, and sour, just like humans, but because they have a limited number of taste buds, they actually rely more on their sense of smell when determining what to lick or eat. This is perhaps the reason why dogs want to lick our cheeks, ears, paws, and hands since they have strong tastes and odours.
We need to quickly review the structure of human sweat in order to comprehend why dogs really like to lick particular parts of our bodies. Eccrine and apocrine sweat glands are the two types that people have.
Eccrine glands are numerous and are found on the bottoms of the feet, the palms, the forehead and cheeks, and the armpits. They release a thin, odourless, clear fluid made of salt, protein, etc.
Apocrine glands, which are located in the armpits and groyne but also in the ear canals, eyelids, and nose, release a thicker fluid that interacts with the germs on your skin to produce body odour.
Why Do Dogs Lick Your Hands?
Your dog wants in on the action as you touch everything with your hands! Every day as you go through the world, your hands pick up flavours and scents that your dog wants to investigate when you get home.
A person or animal may come into contact with you. You probably touched food. And consider all the other fascinating things you handle when your dog isn’t around! Your pup views your hands as a roadmap that details the events of your day, and they are eager to taste and smell each of the “destinations” you made with them. Your hands’ palms also perspire, leaving a salty film on your skin that your dog can lick off.
Why Do Dogs Lick Your Face?
Your face, along with your hands, is the part of your body that is exposed to the outside world the most, so it takes in a lot of unique tastes and scents. Additionally, since you probably touch your face frequently, your dog will have even more opportunities to lick your face!
Dogs are sure to like the salty taste left by the eccrine glands on your cheeks and forehead. However, the apocrine glands in your eyelids and nostrils give those locations a moderate but distinctive odour that your dog’s highly developed nose can easily detect.
Your mouth and lips contain a variety of tasty and appealing smells for your dog as a result of the food you eat, which may help to explain why some puppies really want to place a slobbery kiss directly on your lips!
Apart from all the aromas and scents your face offers, your dog is probably licking your face out of habit. Licking your face is a genuine indication of affection since dogs groom and communicate with one another by licking each other’s faces.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Ears?
Your ear canals’ apocrine glands exude a thick liquid that, when combined with the natural microorganisms on your skin, gives off an odour. Your ears offer a variety of tantalising tastes and odours when combined with the ceruminous glands, which produce earwax. Dogs lick each other’s ears to express affection, so if that weren’t enough, your dog might be licking your ears out of extra-special love.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?
Your feet’s eccrine glands all produce a lot of perspiration, and that sweat produces a lot of salt. Your dog can enjoy a salty treat from your feet and toes, and if they are ticklish, you and your dog can play a game together.
You are providing your dog with positive reinforcement when you grin and laugh while they lick your feet. They rapidly learn that licking your feet gets them attention from you if you giggle every time they do.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?
Your dog might want to lick the water droplets off of your skin if you just took a shower. They might not be thirsty but are curious about all the tastes and smells you’re bringing out of the shower.
Shaving creams, body washes, shampoos, and other products all leave your skin with an intriguing aroma and taste. If taking a shower isn’t the cause of the leg licking, it can be a lotion you used or just salt on your skin after working out.
Despite the fact that your dog is drawn to a variety of fragrances, the reason they lick you probably also has to do with them wanting to demonstrate their love for their favourite person.