Why Does My Dog Lick?

When you own a dog, you most likely know how much he or she loves to lick you. While most people believe this is how their dog shows affection, licking can mean other things as well. A natural instinct for dogs, licking can play different roles in canine behavior. To help you better understand your dog’s reasons for licking you, 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share with you a list of the different interpretations humans have made in comprehending this mode of communication. We also want to tell you what to do when licking becomes too extreme of a behavior.Why Does My Dog Lick Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Dogs lick to solicit resources.

According to Vet Street, puppies will lick their mothers to let them know they are ready to feed. This type of licking also occurs when lower members in a pack of dogs lick their superiors in hopes of an invitation to be included to dine on prey.

Dogs use licking as a sensory tool.

Our furry friends use their tongues to reach out and touch you just as you would with your hands and fingers. Of course, tasting is another advantage enjoyed when your dog licks you.

Dogs lick to get your attention and to play.Why Does My Dog Lick Image -Nashville, Tennessee - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Licks from your dog can be a simple greeting as well as an invitation to play-fight. Instead of using their teeth, dogs will use their tongues when play-fighting. Once your dog realizes he or she gets more attention from licking, it becomes a learned behavior.

Unfortunately, some dog owners prefer not to be licked. If you feel your dog is an excessive licker, 5 Points Animal Hospital can assist by finding you a veterinary behaviorist or a certified dog trainer who can help your dog be more reserved. Frequently, dogs with obsessive-compulsive behavioral disorders tend to be excessive lickers. A veterinary behaviorist will work with your dog to overcome these issues.

For more information about why your dog loves to lick you, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. We are happy to help you get to know your dog better.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

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