A dog’s tongue often wanders into unpleasant places throughout the day… This will not prevent your pet from licking your feet, or even your hands and face!
For some dogs, licking their guardians’ feet can become an obsession. It doesn’t matter if you get out of the gym or out of the shower. What does it mean ? Does your dog have something to make you understand through this behavior? Or is it just that he’s a little hungry?
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It is difficult to pin down the exact motive behind this strange habit. But we have some explanations. From birth, the puppy learns to collect information. Licking is just another way of understanding the world around you. The mothers lick the cubs to clean them, help them breathe and stimulate their digestion. In turn, the cubs lick their mother’s face to express their submission.
Thus, licking the feet can represent a sign of respect in the dog. By performing this act, he shows you his affection, as well as all the kindness he has for you. The action of licking is, like the purr of the cat, a source of appeasement for the dog. Indeed, licking them triggers the release of endorphins, which provides relaxation and well-being to the animal.
In addition, it is very possible that your dog will lick you to take care of you by offering a small bath.
Your partner wants to get your attention
But why the feet exactly? Every dog probably has his own reason!. There are many reasons that can cause a dog to lick its owner’s feet: This type of behavior can be reinforced if the owner pays attention to his dog when he licks your feet.
In fact, if your dog has already had this type of behavior with you, and this act has caused a reaction, it is very likely that he will repeat his act. If your dog is licking your feet to get your attention, he has certainly associated this act with a positive reinforcement.
Lick feet to ease tension
It can also be a social behavior of the dog. Like a friend you give a gift to, the dog shows his love by licking your face, hands or feet.
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In some cases, licking the feet does not necessarily have to do with the owner. When a dog licks his owner’s feet, it can be a way to calm his internal tensions. In fact, dogs have the ability to feel the emotions and waves that surround them. Thus, if you are anxious, nervous or sad, it is very possible that your dog feels it and wants to reassure you. Licking you is therefore his way of telling you “I’m sorry for what you have and I give you my support.”
Your animal may not only lick your feet, but the rest of your body or even everything that goes under its nose. And sometimes the more you sweat the better! From an intestinal perspective, a high percentage of dogs that exhibit this behavior have primary gastrointestinal problems. Some experts suggest that dogs could be trying to replace a missing mineral nutrient.
Lick feet to understand its owner
It is a fact. Human feet are sweaty limbs. This perspiration releases pheromones. Thus, licking the paws will allow the dog to decode certain information. In fact, licking in itself represents a means of decoding certain information about its owner by sending signals to its vomeronasal organ.
Finally, it is also possible that your dog likes the taste of your skin after a training, for example (although it is difficult to imagine). This is because perspiration gives the skin a salty taste that can be very tasty for your dog. Your cream, your shower gel can also give off an odor that automatically attracts your canine companion.
However, be careful if you have sores or wounds on your feet. In fact, dogs have a multitude of bacteria in their mouths (most of them are fecal bacteria). Therefore, if your dog licks an open or healing wound, it increases the risk of infection.
In rare cases, licking the limbs intensely and excessively can also reveal that your dog may mistake you for a sexual partner. This identity problem can also become extremely possessive and aggressive towards potential strangers who might approach you. In this situation, it is essential to remedy quickly, there are several alternatives.
The first is learning how to determine the cause of your dog’s jealousy and how to channel it. If you can’t do this on your own, it might be worth hiring a canine behavior specialist. The latter will try to find the best way to overcome these types of behaviors that are difficult to handle on a day-to-day basis.
I wish my dog would stop licking my feet. To do?
As explained above, your dog will most likely lick your feet in an attempt to get a reaction from you. Thus, if you want your dog to stop this gesture, it is simply recommended that you ignore it. Indeed, the fact of not looking at it, not touching it or not talking to it will make you think that this technique does not serve to get your attention. Then he will surely try something else.
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In addition, to make this behavior increasingly rare, you can also encourage him to stop by saying “STOP” or inviting him to join his favorite place as soon as you feel that the latter is tempted to lick your feet. If, despite your best efforts, this behavior persists, no