Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

dog licking feet

Is your dog wildly obsessed with feet licking?

Well, your pet is not the only dog in the world with this wild and weird obsession.

Today, we will tell you the motive behind your pet’s feet licking behavior, which might have been a mystery for you in all these years.

Why Dogs Lick?

From the very minute they are born, dogs indulge in the act of licking. For them, licking is an enjoyable act. Believe it or not, licking releases pleasurable hormones in dogs, which makes them feel better than usual. Basically, it gives them a feeling of comfort and happiness.

But Why Feet?

Usually, pets will lick the owner’s face. If not, they will try to lick any available patch of skin that’s not covered by clothes such as the hands and feet. Our feet being more moist than other body parts, they are naturally drawn towards our feet. Of course, most pet owners don’t take offense to this. After all, why be upset over free foot cleaning?

That said, no two dogs are the same. Moreover, licking means different things to different dogs. So, it’s not possible to pinpoint the exact reason for feet licking, which may be true for all dogs. But then, we will highlight a number of reasons behind this behavior, which will help you understand why your dog tends to lick your feet, even when you pulled off a smelly ‘socks’ a few moments ago.

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dog feet

11 Reasons for Feet Licking

  1. There’s a pretty good chance that your little friend is doing this just to get your attention. Yes, your pet may be spoiled for attention.
  2. For some dogs, it’s a way of showing their love and affection. Basically, it’s their way of telling you that they respect your authority over them.
  3. Dogs can gain information about a person’s mood by licking a person’s feet. Yes, our skin tells a lot about us, which the dog gathers through its strong scent receptors. 
  4. Interestingly, feet licking can also serve as a stress-busting activity. You can think of it along the lines of humans biting their nails to relieve stress. 
  5. As hinted earlier, licking releases pleasurable endorphins in dogs, which makes them feel good. So, this natural action can be a good enough reason for happiness.
  6. Some pet dogs lick feet just out of boredom or loneliness. They must have learned from the past that licking keeps boredom at bay by drawing the owner’s attention.
  7. It’s also believed that some degree of this behavior exists in a dog’s DNA, causing a dog to indulge in the habit of licking instinctively.
  8. Dogs that do not have other doggy companions may indulge in feet licking as a routine activity. They may be treating you like another dog. Basically, they are just being dogs.
  9. Speaking from the medical perspective, quite a few indoor dogs that lick human feet may be suffering from some gastrointestinal problems.
  10. Sometimes, it’s just sweat. Seriously, your pet may like your sweaty feet. In fact, the sweatier it is, the better for a licker.
  11. Although pretty rare, a few dogs may also suffer from a condition called obsessive-compulsive disorder, which causes them to lick objects.
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Is it Safe for your Dogs to Lick your Feet?

Truthfully speaking, it’s quite harmless both for the pet and the pet owner under normal circumstances. That said, don’t allow your dog to lick your feet if you have an open wound. For those who don’t know, a dog’s mouth contains a host of natural bacteria, which can get into the open wound, causing more damage to the wound in the process.

How to Stop your Dog from Licking your Feet?

If you take offense to feet licking, you can do a few things to stop this behavior. If your dog is licking your feet to get your attention, start ignoring the behavior. Pretty soon, your dog will realize that licking doesn’t get attention, compelling him to stop this behavior. 

Of course, don’t push the dog away or react in any other punishing way. Reacting negatively would also mean giving attention. Instead, stand up and start walking, preferably into another room. Once done a few times or more, it will curb the dog’s habit of licking because the dog will realize that feet licking never gets the owner’s attention.

If your dog is licking your feet due to some underlying problem, you should talk to a dog veterinarian about it. After all, constant licking can be a real problem. The vet may prescribe some medications to combat this issue. Combining medication with proper training can prevent your dog from constantly licking your feet. 

A situation change might also help. So, pay attention to when your dog is licking your feet. This will give you some clues behind the behavior. If you notice a reason or situation that causes the dog to start licking your feet, try to change the situation. If you feel stuck after all possible attempts, get in touch with a dog consultant.  

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Final Words:

Frankly speaking, you shouldn’t be too concerned about a pet dog licking your feet as long as it’s not too ticklish for you to handle.

Of course, if you suspect a medical problem behind the behavior, do not hesitate to dial the digits of the pet’s vet. Otherwise, there’s no reason to create a scene out of it. After all, it’s a cute and harmless way for your dog to bond with you. Think of it as an expression of love.

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