Why Do Dogs Lick Us?

Whether they are small or large many of our canine friends choose to lick us, their owners and loved ones. It can be wonderful to receive 'doggy kisses' but sometimes it is just simply too much. Often dogs lick us in order to display their affection but there are actually a variety of other reasons our canine friends shower us with 'licks of love'. Scientific Nutritional Products takes a look in our latest blog...

Dogs lick us to display affection but in some cases our canine friends may also be trying to communicate other messages to us. Dogs lick other dogs to tell them all sorts of things but we humans simply are not as good at interpreting their messages! If your dog is licking you with intensity, it is worth looking around to see if they are seeking your attention because something is amiss. Maybe the water bowl is empty or their tea time has crept up on you!

If all bases are covered and your dog is fed, watered and walked your dog may be licking you for the following reasons.

Tasty Skin!

Your canine may be licking you just because he/she likes the way you taste. Dogs are attracted to the salt on skin as well as being attracted to any new scent you might be carrying. If your furry friend wants to know where you have been all afternoon she may just lick you to find out as licking you provides them all sorts of information through scent and taste to our savvy canines. 

Stress Release

Experts believe that when dogs lick, either themselves or other objects, endorphin’s are released and their stress levels are reduced. This behaviour becomes a way to pass the time in a soothing and relaxing way.

Wound Healing

Dogs will instinctively lick a wound or injury as the bacteria in canine saliva contains enzymes which kill bacteria! Amazing huh? The force of licking will also help to remove dead tissue and any foreign debris from the wound which will stimulate healing. Because this behaviour is an animal instinct if you have a cut or a scrape your dog will think that by licking your wound or injury she is helping you recover more speedily.

Anxiety and Compulsion
If you notice that your dog is licking constantly or that they seem to be doing so whenever they are scared or nervous, it might actually be a negative. While licking can be a healthy stress reliever, obsessive licking merely reinforces anxiety and makes the problem worse. If you think this may be the case for your dog and you are ensuring your canine's general needs for food, water and walks are being met it may be wise to speak to a dog behaviourist or your veterinarian.

Your dog's licking behaviour in most cases is only a problem if it bothers you. If it does it is your job to teach your canine this attention is not what you require by diverting eye contact and moving away if he does lick you.

A range of canine supplements including Glucosamine for Dogs are available from Scientific Nutritional Products. For more information or to receive one-to-one advice specific to your dog contact our nutritional specialist Peter Fishpool on Tel: 01377 254900 or visit www.horsesupplementsdirect.co.uk to keep up to date with our educational, weekly blog!

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