After a long day at work, you come home & find your dog greeting you at the door by licking your feet. Have you ever wondered why your dog licks your feet every time you are around him? Well, this foot-licking behavior may seem strange & disgusting to you but for your furry friend, it is quite normal. Some dog owners may enjoy foot-licking but some find it really odd.
As we all know that dogs communicate through their behavior & body language then it can be possible that through foot-licking, your dog may be trying to convey something. No matter how unpleasant it may seem to you but in the canine world, it is absolutely normal behavior. By understanding your dog’s behavior, you can understand why he behaves in such a manner. Dogs use their nose & mouth to gather information about their surroundings. They have a sensory organ, named Jacobson’s organ, which connects the dog’s nasal cavity to the roof of his mouth. Using this sensory organ, the dog can smell & taste at the same time & gather a lot of information. Dogs lick feet due to several reasons, it can be just to show love or it can be a behavioral problem.
Dogs love to lick as through licking they can convey their sentiments. You may have noticed your dog licking objects, other animals, and sometimes human feet. No matter how gross it may seem to you, and you may want to eliminate the feet-licking behavior of your dog but before you decide to do so, it is essential to understand why your dog does it?
In this article, we’ve rounded up a few reasons why do dogs lick humans’ feet:
To seek attention
One of the most common reasons dogs licks humans’ feet is to seek attention. Dogs lick their owners feed to seek their attention & love. Dogs communicate their love & affection differently from humans that is why they do things that seem strange to humans. When your dog sees you after a long day then by feet- licking, he is trying to communicate that he wants your love & affection. And, if you try to push away your dog then he will end up licking you harder, thinking that he was too subtle earlier.
To gain information
Another reason dogs lick humans’ feet is to gain some information about the person. Dogs have sensory receptors present in their nose & mouth through which they send & receive signals from the environment. Sweat contains salt which often gets mixed with oil secreted by the sebaceous gland. The dog licks the sweaty feet & process the information concerning the person.
To achieve comfort
The next major reason behind you’re your dog’s feet-licking behavior is to achieve comfort. Sometimes, dogs engage in licking behavior to make themselves feel comfortable. The act of licking is shared between parents & offspring, and since you are your dog’s family that is why your dog licks you to strengthen the bond. Licking or being licked releases a positive hormone in dogs which is why he engages in feet-licking behavior.
To show submission
Another major reason for your dog’s feet-licking behavior is to show submission. Sometimes, dogs lick their owner’s feet to show their submission to them. Dogs are pack animals so by showing submission, he is trying to say that he is happy to have you as a pack leader.
Another reason for feet-licking behavior in your furry companion can be due to boredom. When a dog is not stimulated mentally & physically then it can result in making him bored. To get away with his boredom, the dog can end up looking for ways to get stimulation. Fet-licking behavior can provide stimulation to the bored dogs that’s why they get involved in it. To eliminate this behavior, you need to exercise your dog twice a day so that he doesn’t get involved in such behavior due to boredom.
The next common reason behind your dog’s feet-licking behavior can be excitement. If your dog is way too excited to see you home then it can make him lick your feet, just to show how much he missed you. You can fix this behavior by training him so that he can don’t get carried away by his excitement.
Feet as a salt stick
Not many people know that dogs enjoy the taste of salt, and they’re irresistible towards it. The sweat of humans contains salt in it which dogs try to lick from your skin. Salt can essentially stimulate nerves in his mind & make irresistible towards it.
So, these are some of the reasons behind your dog’s feet-licking behavior. Whatever be the reason, if you want your furry companion to stop licking your feet then you should consider distracting him whenever he tries to lick your feet. You can also train him to eliminate this behavior, however, make sure to incorporate positive reinforcement techniques only.
Also, if your dog licks your feet multiple times a day then you should consider taking him to a vet as excessive licking can also occur due to food allergies or parasites, etc.
Wrapping it up, Licking is quite natural in the canine world so make sure not to punish your dog for it. If your dog performs unwanted licking then make sure to consult your vet.