Have you ever wondered why your dog feels the need to drag their gross tongue across your skin? We have the answer!

Instinctive behavior

Licking is a very natural behavior for dogs. For example, momma dog will lick her pups to clean them, comfort them, and stimulate them to go to the toilet. Adult dogs will groom each other as a sign of love and a way to form a strong bond. At times, dogs can also be spotted licking their own fur. This is in fact their way of soothing themselves when they are anxious or in pain. If you are worried about your dog’s licking behavior, make sure to contact your vet.

Showing some affection

As humans, we explore the world around us with our hands, but since dogs don’t have any, they use their mouth. So, while we use our hands to stroke our dogs as a gesture of affection, dogs return the favor by ‘petting’ us with their tongue.

Showing some affection

Comforting you when you’re down

Over the years, various studies have shown that dogs can feel when you’re sad. They can pick up on your heart rate when you’re stressed, and they become stressed themselves when they can hear you cry but are unable to get to you. Since dogs’ way to comfort others as well as themselves is by licking, your dog’s wet tongue on your skin might be a sign that your dog is trying to comfort you or at least show you some empathy.

Attention-seeking behavior

Isn’t it terribly hard to ignore your dog when they decide to lick your arms or feet? Whether you realize it or not, you probably reward their adorable behavior with a pat on the head or some chin rubs. Dogs know very well how to get your praise and attention, and licking you turns out to be a great method.

Attention-seeking behavior

You might be tastier than you think

Even though dogs have 5 times fewer taste buds than us humans, they have an extraordinary sense of taste. The reason is that what you taste is determined for 80% by your sense of smell, and a dog’s nose is 40 times more powerful than ours! So, your dog just might lick you because they think you taste amazing!

Perhaps your pooch is hungry

When you look at the behavior of wild dogs, you will find another clue as to why dogs like to lick you, especially in the face and on the lips. In nature, wild dog pups lick their mom’s lips when she returns from the hunt as a way of letting her know that they are hungry. This behavior might be part of our domestic dogs’ instinct, as your adorable pooch’s ancestors weren’t so adorable at all.