Ask A Vet: Why does my dog lick my feet?

Ask A Vet: Why does my dog lick my feet?

As a dog parent, you've probably wondered: Why does my dog lick my feet? It's like you can't be near your dog without them licking your feet!

Your pup's licking habit might be something you laugh about initially, but after some time, it gets very annoying. Your doggo licks your feet when you're sitting on the couch, doing the dishes, or trying to do literally anything without wearing your socks, and it's driving you insane, but you love your pooch, so you can't really do anything about it.

Read this article and get to know the cause behind your dog's strange behavior!

Licking is normal behavior for dogs!

For some dog parents, this behavior may seem a bit weird. And for people with ticklish feet, it can be unpleasant, especially if your dog's licking becomes a common occurrence. But licking is actually very normal behavior for dogs. They lick anything and everything to take in their surroundings and even to communicate.

Sensory organ:

Dogs have an additional sensory organ, known as the Jacobson's organ, which connects their nasal cavity to the roof of their mouths. This organ allows your doggo to smell and taste simultaneously, so they're able to process even more information. New dog moms lick their pups to help them start breathing, clean them off, and activate digestion, and the puppies will lick their mothers in return.

The dog moms also lick their puppies to provide the necessary care and to communicate affection. Licking can also be used to convey a broader range of emotions in dogs, including anxiety and submission. For some dogs, licking can even be an uncontrollable nature. Too much licking is a little like people biting their nails and can be very irritating.

Associating attention:

According to research, if your dog constantly goes to lick your feet, it's because they like the salty, sweaty taste of your toes, and they also want attention.

There's a high possibility that each time your dog licks your foot, you respond by laughing or yelling at them to stop. Even if you yell at your dog in a tone that means they're in trouble, you're still giving attention to your dog every time they do it. Hence, they associate licking your feet with you communicating with them and will continue to do so when they want something from you or just want to play. They see their licking and you reacting as a game.

How to get your pooch to stop licking your feet:

You can offer your pup something else that they might like to have in their mouth every time they lick your feet. It could be a treat or toy. As your dog starts to understand that you want them to stop their excessive licking, keep in mind to use positive reinforcement. Only ignoring their behavior and walking away is not good.

If your pup can't keep its tongue in its mouth no matter what method you try, it's always best to consult the vet to see if your dog has any cardinal medical conditions.

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