Why is my dog licking me?
A sloppy dog tongue on the skin – some dog lovers think it’s great. Others place less emphasis on contact with the wet dog’s tongue. But: why does my dog lick me? We explain why dogs like to lick people.
Why is my dog licking me; From an early age: licking as social interaction
Licking is one of the first social interactions dogs learn. Shortly after birth, the dog mother licks her puppies extensively. This is for bonding, makes the puppies clean and massages the belly after meals. The puppies imitate this and lick each other. From this point on, licking is part of a dog’s behavior. Some dogs still like to use it in old age. Others rarely use the tongue.
Why is my dog licking me?
There are various reasons why four-legged friends show their tongues and lick their people – or each other. If you pay attention to the rest of the dog’s body language and keep an eye on the entire situation, you will understand your dog all the better. Then you can optimally assess why your dog is licking you.
The dog shows its affection
Dogs express their affection for people more by licking than cats. We can also regularly observe mutual licking in rest phases in a dog pack. Whether you are a member of a species or a person: licking is used as a friendly greeting as well as a sign of joy or as a spontaneous expression of friendship.
Lower-ranking dogs lick around the muzzle of a pack member of higher rank to appease him. This behavior is also possible when interacting with people. The dog shows it when the biped scolds loudly or is very tense. Human behavior does not have to be related to the dog. Some dogs lick their bipeds when they are arguing with someone else. The dog wants to calm him down. Sometimes licking is also used to calm down, for example, at the veterinarian or in other situations that stress the four-legged friend.
Invitation to play, have fun and stroke
Why is my dog licking me? Sometimes dogs want to make a difference through licking. For example, some four-legged friends have learned that when they lick their hands, their humans turn to them. Or they are bored and draw attention to themselves by licking them. Licking could eventually move the dog owner to a little game or treat. Remember: your reaction to the licking determines what the dog calls it.
Have you eaten a sausage in the bun or petted another dog? Your four-legged friend would like to know that very precisely! Licking serves to absorb odor and taste molecules. Many dogs want to explore interesting smells by licking them. Salty human sweat and other body odors magically attract many dogs. The good taste simply leads to licking.
Can dogs transmit diseases through licking?
Many people like their dog to lick them. Others find the licking rather disgusting – especially when the dog’s tongue runs courageously through the face. Mucosal to mucosal contact should be avoided. The dog does not transmit any pathogenic germs. Intestinal parasites can be transmitted primarily through feces. But if the dog licked his anus beforehand and then licks his person’s face, this is also a way of transmission. Dogs can also transmit various bacteria. This includes, for example, Pasteurella multocida. The affected four-legged friends do not show any symptoms of the disease but can infect humans. In the worst case, they can lead to blood poisoning or meningitis in the body. Infection is very rare. Yet: If a dog has licked your hands, you should wash them before you prepare food or rub your eyes. This hygiene rule should apply particularly to immunocompromised people and children.