We dogs can do some pretty weird things, especially from the perspective of humans.
Sometimes we may have the zoomies around the house, sometimes we may take our food from our bowl and run underneath the table to eat it.
We get it – we can be pretty hard to understand sometimes! Thankfully, I’m here to answer all of your deepest questions about why your pooch does some of the things that he does!
Today, I’m going to answer what does it mean when a dog licks your feet?
What Does It Mean When A Dog Licks Your Feet?
Let’s just cut to the chase (chase? Ball? Where?!) – we’re a little different from you. I know, may be stating the obvious a little bit, since I’m pretty sure you probably don’t have fur and a tail!
With that in mind, it’s worth pointing out that the way we communicate both with each other and with our humans is a little different from how you would communicate.
The truth is, we love to lick, which is why we do it! In specific, we love to lick your feet because it shows you how much we honor and respect you as a member of our ‘pack’. Paw-sitively adorable, right?
We may also lick your feet to get your attention so you can play with us or give us a little bit of love. Your dog may want to lick your feet because it’s also enjoyable – we get happy pleasure endorphins when we lick our humans and our dog pals.
Your feet in particular emit a sweaty odor and taste, so your dog may be trying to groom you or they may just lick the way your feet taste.
Is It Bad for Your Dog to Lick Your Feet?
Okay, so you may be wondering whether it’s actually harmful to you or your pet if they decide to lick your feet all over a lot. The short answer is that it can depend on a couple of different factors.
If your feet are totally healthy, for instance if you don’t have any infections or cuts or you don’t have any harmful substances on your feet, it’s totally fine for your four legged friend to give them a good lick.
It is worth noting that it is entirely possible for us to get sick from licking your feet, though this doesn’t tend to happen often. We may get sick if you have any harmful bacteria on your feet that isn’t safe for us to consume.
Likewise, if you have any cuts or wounds on your feet and your dog starts licking them, you could end up getting an infection from your dog’s saliva or fur.
On the other hand, while licking is a normal behavior in dogs, sometimes it can be a sign of a deeper issue if your dog keeps constantly licking your feet. They could be licking your feet to signal that there is something wrong with them.
If you are finding that your pet’s licking behavior is a little bit excessive, it can certainly be worthwhile to speak to your vet for further advice if you’re concerned.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Licking My Feet?
If we keep licking your feet, don’t try to punish us! Some people don’t like it when dogs lick their feet and that’s okay, but the best way to stop us from licking your feet is by practicing some positive reinforcement techniques.
Try to use treats and other positive stimuli to divert our attention away from your feet – a good treat can be incredibly powerful! Some dogs may still keep on licking your feet even after doing this, in which case you may need a little extra help.
A dog trainer or veterinarian can advise you on how to deal with the problem going forward if you need help.
What is My Dog Trying to Warn Me About When They Lick Their Paws?
So we’ve covered what it means when your dog licks you, but what about when we lick ourselves?
It’s important to note right off the bat that it isn’t always a bad thing when we lick ourselves – it could be because we’re grooming ourselves, for instance.
With that being said though, sometimes when a dog licks itself it’s a sign that they may be feeling anxious or stressed.
We also sometimes lick ourselves if we’ve managed to injure ourselves. It’s a perfectly natural behavior that we adopt when we’re trying to treat our wounds.
You can check the paws to see if this is the case, paying extra attention to the gaps in between the individual toes.
If you notice any redness or inflamed areas, your furry pal could have stepped on some material that doesn’t agree with their paws such as garden fertilizer.
It can also be a habit that your dog has picked up to relax himself and it’s become a compulsive behavior. Again, if you’re concerned about your dog’s licking you should speak to a veterinarian for a second opinion.
Are Dog Licks Really Kisses?
You may be curious about whether we’re really kissing you when we lick. Technically people don’t know the true answer for this, but what we do know is that licking is a sign of communication.
It can be a sign of submissiveness to someone that’s dominant in their pack. It could be a sign that they want food, or it could be a sign of affection.
Ultimately, it can depend on the context of the lick, but you can interpret our licking as kisses since it can sometimes be a sign of affection!
We’re a strange bunch sometimes, but by observing our behaviors you can understand a lot more about us!
Just remember, when your dog licks your feet it’s usually a sign of affection, but keep an eye out for any deeper issues just in case your dog is licking you to communicate that something is wrong!