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What Does Dog Licking Your Face Mean?

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What Does Dog Licking Your Face Mean?

If your dog licks you regularly, then you know what it feels like to have drool on your face, hands, and around your mouth, whether you're petting them, feeding them, or being greeted when you come in the door. Being licked by your dog can be a sign of affection, but it can also have many other meanings. So, why do dogs lick people? What can you do if something goes wrong?

Why does my dog lick me so much?

Licking is a natural and instinctive behavior for dogs. For them, it's a way to dress up, connect, and express themselves. Your dog may lick you to show that they love you, to get your attention, to help soothe themselves when they are stressed, to show empathy, or because you taste good to them! Excessive licking can sometimes be a sign that your dog is anxious, uncomfortable, or in pain. If you are concerned about your dog, always seek advice from a veterinarian or behaviorist.


How sensitive is a dog’s sense of taste?

Dogs are known for their exceptional sense of smell, but how does their sense of taste compare to ours? Surprisingly, we have 5 times more taste buds than dogs, so at first glance it may seem like we have a better sense of taste. Like us, dogs can taste sweet, sour, salty, and bitter flavors, but they cannot taste the one salty taste we can detect, called umami. While dogs can't taste umami, they can taste water, something we can't. Our sense of smell affects about 80% of what we taste when we eat, so it's likely that dogs' keen sense of smell makes up for their lack of taste buds.

In the wild, puppies may lick their mother's lips after returning from a hunt to indicate they are hungry. This instinct is built into your dog's behavior, and they may lick you to let you know they're hungry.

When does licking become a problem?

Licking is a way for dogs to express themselves and is a natural part of being a dog. Some dogs may lick a lot and others less, but if your dog suddenly starts licking you a lot, then that could be a sign that something is going on. If your dog has increased anxiety or has a health problem such as allergies, injury, or arthritis, they may lick more frequently. If you are concerned about your dog or their behavior, be sure to contact your veterinarian or behaviorist.


What should I do about my licking problem?

Remember, licking is a completely natural behavior and a useful way for dogs to express themselves. Expecting your dog to stop licking you completely is like someone expecting you to never pet your dog again - it's never going to happen. However, not all dogs are the same, and some may not lick regularly at all. If you have a licker, be sure to try to understand why your dog licks you, as this may help you stop your dog.

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