Dog lovers and owners experience many new things each day in terms of behaviour as well as activities. One of the commonest ways for the dogs to show their affection and love is that they lick you.
This is one of the ways of letting you know that you are their world, and they love you. However, sometimes this licking can be strange and weird as well. And today, we are going to elaborate precisely on this topic.
Today you will learn everything you need to know about dog licking, So let us not keep you waiting and kick off the topic.
It can be often annoying as well as strange when you come home with a wound caused by a fight or a fall or whatever, and your dog welcomes you but licks your injuries as well. It can feel not good and annoy you while you are trying to dress your wounds, and the dog licks it.
Now it is time to explain the reason behind it. This act is merely mechanical and does not have to do anything with intention individually. The dog is worried about you, and it is their way to show their affection.
They Adore You
The dog licks the cuts and wounds of her puppies. Similarly, the dog does the same to you to comfort you and help you heal. Your dog is worried about your health, and just as she licks her sores and cuts, she does the same for you to heal the wound.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Cuts?
The same rule that goes for the wounds goes for the cuts as well. Cuts and bruises attract the dog's tongue. Your dog is one of your most trustworthy and reliable companions, and she is really concerned about you and probably more than you can imagine.
But, should you allow your dog to do so? Well, that is another topic, which we will get to in a moment. For now, all you need to know is that the dog does all this licking merely out of love and affection for you.
Dog Cares For You
Hence, when your dog sees blood on you, she gets distraught and tries to comfort you by licking the wounds. This does not go for only cuts and bruises but also your emotions. Try giving your head into your knees and act like crying.
You will see how your dog rushes to comfort you and make you feel that she is there for you, and you do not need to worry about it. Similarly, the dog acts in the same way when you get injured or hurt.
Is It Good For A Dog To Lick Your Wounds?
This is a pretty debatable topic because letting your dog lick your wounds has pros and cons. In the following discussion, we will consider both the aspects and try to reach a substantial conclusion.
Ancient civilizations have promoted the dogs licking your wounds. Not only did they encourage it, but they also trained the dogs to do so. They considered it not only good for physical but also spiritual healing.
Now, this is not only a myth, but there are many substances in canine saliva that promote healing, such as; lysozyme, peroxidase enzymes, lactoferrin, opiorphin, nitrate compounds, and protease and thrombospondin.
Besides, the mechanical motion of licking helps clean any micro-debris left inside of the wound. Hence, making it clean and anti-bacterial as well as promoting healing all at the same time.
However, there is some negative side to it as well. The saliva does its function very well, but there are many bacteria and fungi in the mouth of a dog. These are not harmful to the dogs and not majorly to humans too. But they can cause significant damage to the wound.
Moreover, when the dogs lick your wound, they don't do it once or twice, they do dozens of repetitions. These repetitions can tear open the stitches, make the wound open and fresh, as well as cause great irritations as the dog's tongue is rougher than that of humans.
Benefits are great, but the risks are high too. Hence, it is safe not to let your dog lick your wounds and heal according to the standard process.
Should I Let My Dog Lick His Cut Paw?
The anti-bacterial and healing abilities in the dog's saliva are discussed before, so let us not go back into it. The question here is that the conclusion that we found in the previous topic does it rule over dogs themselves as well?
What to Do?
The answer is no. Under no circumstances shall you allow it to lick his wounds or the cut on his paw. As soon as you discover that there is a cut or scratch, dress the wound and cover it with a bandage, a band-aid might not work on the fur, so it is better to use the dressing.
If you do not know how to dress a wound and apply a bandage, take your dog to a vet for better treatment. After you are done with this process, keep an eye on your dog and make sure that he does not remove the bandage.
The danger is the same for both of you; the licking can open his wounds as well. Dog's saliva is excellent for the immune system and to prevent allergies, but it can't be relied upon in case of injuries.
If the dog repeatedly removes the bandage, try to use an Elizabethan collar. This will prevent your dog from doing so again and help him heal.
Why My Dog Licks My Pillow?
Dogs are some of the most affectionate pets while you are away or not giving them proper attention. They usually start to lick your pillow. No matter how annoying it gets, they would never stop. So let's find out why they do it?
Why Do They Do It?
Several reasons are accounting for it. Firstly, dogs like salt. Weird isn't it? What can this have to do with salt? Well, it has human sweat, hair, and dead skin cells all contain salts. They lick them to comfort themselves and to feel close to you.
Secondly, the dogs see you as their pack leader; hence, when you are away, they would do anything possible to get as close to you as they can. Licking your pillow is ruled under the same notion as trying to fill the void you had created when you left them at the house.
Excess Is Bad
However, if they are doing this act excessively, it certainly indicates that your pet is depressed and anxious. You can choose to give them more time, love, and care, or you can want to take them to a vet who might be able to help.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs?
As stated before, dogs are among your best companions, and companions tend to love each other. While you might only care for your dog, he loves you with his whole heart. One way of showing this is that the dog licks you.
Expression of Love
When they lick you specifically on the legs, they show you a massive amount of love and respect. They would sneakily and start licking your legs while you are sleeping or working, all just to show how much they care about you.
It is also their way of comforting themselves. When a dog licks you, the endorphin is released in their endocrine system, and they feel pretty content. Hence, the dog would never let a chance slip away, and you should also not be so strict to him.
Because, if you are strict, the dog might be heartbroken, which leads to him getting ill and becoming listless. You don't want it, right? So, just let him do what he wants. This way, you both will stay happy and have a good time together.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Hands?
The answer lies again in two factors. First is the salty taste. Imagine, if the dog can find a desirable amount of salt from your body on just the pillow, how much would they be able to taste on your bare hands?
They do the same thing at the pillow, and similarly, they do it with you. The dog licking your hands is the same as you biting your nails. Not only does it alleviate stress, but it also provides a sense of satisfaction to your dog.
Don’t Let Them Overdo It
The other reason again is the love and affection for you. Your dog wants to get as close to you as possible. They do not want to miss any chance of cuddling and receiving care and affection from you.
However, you need to pay attention to their behaviour. A few licks are well and good, but continuity can mean obsessiveness and anxiety. In such cases, you might want to take your dog and see a vet.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Head?
Dogs want to receive as much attention from you as possible. If they could ask for it, they would have told you to be with them all day long. But this is not possible as you got work to do. When you go back to them after a long day, they mean to comfort you.
They lick you to show that they care for you and want you to do the same. They intend to comfort you and make you cozy. Moreover, the dogs also lick your head as they want to groom you. When they like you, they also care about your personality.
We do have the salty factor accounting for it, and let's go back into it again as we have already elaborated it enough. In the end, it is their way of expressing their love.
Why Do Dogs Lick Our Faces?
Licking the face has more meaning than just affection and love. When a dog licks your face, it is most probable that it wants food from you. It can also be a sign of social deference as well as an appeasement gesture.
To Seek Attention
Besides, the dogs will try to make you attentive towards themselves, so they might come and lick your face. It can also happen when the dog wants to spend time with you. They might want to play games with you or just cuddle along with you.
Another reason might be excessive affection. For instance, if you have been out for a long time and you see them after that. They would be desperate to get the most of you. Just as you would kiss your partner after a long time, the dog would lick your face.
Why Shouldn't You Let Your Dog Lick Your Face?
No matter how much the dog loves you, there should be a barrier that should not be allowed to cross, and this for the health of both you and the dog. One of the questions rising is regarding a dog licking your face?
So, should you allow him to do so or not? We have discussed previously that the dog's saliva contains many antibodies and anti-bacterial elements that help improve your immune system and save you from allergies.
But, we also elaborated upon how the saliva might contain thousands of bacteria and parasites which might cause harm to you. With the same evidence comes the same conclusion, you should not allow the dog to lick your face. Find other ways of expressing love for them.
Why Do Dogs Lick Themselves Too Much?
Dogs have an inclination towards licking when it comes to a surge of certain emotions. They tend to lick either themselves or you when they feel lonely or left out. The dog is stressed and anxious when they lick themselves.
You should pay attention to them and make sure you give them a proper amount of time. However, there might be another reason for it as well. You might not be able to see, but the dog may be hurt.
Check for Injuries
Usually, in the cases of sores and wounds or cuts, the dogs lick themselves. You can guess this if they are continuously licking a particular area of their body. If there is any injury, make sure it is certainly taken care of.
Why Does My Dog Lick Her Pillow?
There are numerous reasons for this factor. A common reason is that the dog likes to make herself comfortable and create a connection with her sleeping place. This helps build a bond and improve the sleep of the dog.
Moreover, excessive licking can again mean that something is wrong, and the pet should be given medical attention. The dog can also show this behavior when she is growing. Aging is itchy, and dogs find licking as a way out of it.
Lastly, if you have separated the dog from yourself lately, it can be because of separation anxiety, which might lead to further disorders.
I am a graduate of a veterinary university. Dealing with all the kinds of pets from the dawn to dusk, it's like understanding their language. That is the best time ever, I must say!
Writing has always been my orphenadrine. I love to share my experience and talk about the most common issues people have been facing with their pets. My writing career began in 2015. I aimed to work for pets to share my experience and make pet humans relation a lot better. I usually talk about the most significant or recurrent cases of the day. During my practice at pet centre, I face a lot of questions by pet owners. Moreover, I also own a variety of pets myself including different species of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Therefore, I have decided to educate all the pet owners about their little friends who can’t talk the way we do. Understanding what they are telling us is all we need to do. And most of us fail to perceive.
So, I am here to serve the purpose. Let’s help each other in better understanding the needs, behaviours, and problems of our best friends with the best possible solutions!