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  • Writer's pictureElise Wong Huey Wen

What Does It Mean When a Dog Licks You?

Dogs communicate with us in various ways, and one of the common behaviours that often leaves dog owners wondering is licking. 🐶

Dogs licking can indeed be incredibly cute and endearing to many people. ❤️ Whether it is a quick swipe across your hand or an enthusiastic face bath, dog licking carries meaning beyond mere affection!

It is their way of talking and showing love!

Dogs often use licking as a means of communication. By licking you, they may be trying to convey a message or gather information about you. They use their highly sensitive tongues to explore your scent, taste, and sometimes even your emotional state. It is their way of gathering valuable information about their surroundings and the people they interact with.

Dogs also lick their pawrents to show affection. Licking can be a way for dogs to express their love and strengthen the bond they share with their humans! 🥰 It is their way of seeking attention and engaging in social interaction.

It is their natural instinct~

Licking is a natural instinct for dogs that begins from puppyhood. It is a way for mother dogs to groom and bond with their puppies. When adult dogs lick humans, it is often an extension of this nurturing behavior, symbolising their acceptance and trust!

At times, licking can also be a submissive gesture. Dogs may lick to show deference and submission to more dominant individuals or as a way to diffuse tense situations. It is their way of acknowledging your authority and establishing harmony in the social hierarchy.

Stress relief and calming 🫧

Just as humans engage in stress-relieving activities, dogs may lick themselves or their owners as a way to self-soothe. When feeling anxious or stressed, the act of licking releases endorphins, providing a sense of comfort and relaxation.

However, excessive licking can be a sign of underlying anxiety or discomfort, requiring further attention and potential intervention. If this happens, we kindly recommend reaching out to the nearest veterinarian in your area for assistance and guidance.

Well, how do you respond to it? 🤔

While licking can be a sign of affection, it is important to establish boundaries if you find it uncomfortable or excessive. Train your dog to understand cues and commands, such as “enough” or “no lick”, to indicate when licking is not desired.

At the same time, regular grooming and dental care are also crucial to ensure your dog’s licking behavior does not become unhygienic or cause skin irritations. Keep their paws clean and check for any signs of discomfort or allergies that may be leading to excessive licking!

At the end of the day…

When a dog licks you, it is not merely a random gesture but carries meaningful messages and intentions. Understanding the reasons behind your dog’s licking behaviour can deepen the bond between you and your furkid.

By interpreting their licks and responding appropriately, you can even strengthen your relationship and ensure their needs for affection, communication and stress relief are met. Remember, a lick from your dog is often a sign of love and connection, so cherish those slobbery kisses! 😗💛

Well, do you like when your dog licks you? 😆 Let us know in the comment section! I mean, I sure do! If you are looking for similar articles, you should read our article entitled What Does It Mean When a Dog Eats Grass? to learn more about your furkid!

If you have any questions, please send us a message on our Instagram page or you can drop us an email at

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