There are many things to love about your dog. His loyalty, work skills, and companionship are often at the top of the list. However, there are things that dogs do that we might not love, and licking our feet is one of those.
Some pet owners love it when dogs lick their feet or face. But some people really don’t. Whatever your preference for licking might be, have you ever wondered about the behavior? What does it mean when a dog licks your feet?
It is important to maintain your bond and grow your friendship with your pet. Dogs lick feet for many purposes and just as many meanings. By learning more about the behavior, you can better understand your dog.
1. It is a way to indicate their feelings and submission
The first reason for a dog to lick your feet has to do with the human and canine bond. Licking is a way to show his feelings. When your dog licks you, he is showing his position and acknowledging you as his master. It is a way of showing his submission and displaying his loyalty. He knows that he ranks lower than you and he is happy to be in that role.
By this, your dog may ensure his place in the family by accepting the social order in your home. He wants to tell you that he feels you are in charge, and he is okay with that.
2. He wants to get your attention
The second reason why your dog loves to lick your feet is to get your attention. He wants to tell you that he loves you and want your attention and approval. Even though barking could be a more natural method, it proves to be counterproductive since it gets only negative attention. With that, a dog is usually trained to only bark for certain things.
If you have missed the hard stare, the wagging of the tail, or the nose tap, then a lick to the foot might surely get your attention. Meaning, he has tried other ways to grab your attention but they haven’t worked, and licking is his last resort.
3. It is a way to relieve stress or beat boredom
Another reason your dog licks your feet is to relieve stress or beat boredom. The licking behavior is believed to release pleasurable endorphin that would relax and soothe your pet dog. Licking your feet is comforting to him and it can help him cope with the situation.
If you notice your dog licks more compulsively, and you want him to stop too much licking, simply ignore him and walk into another room. Your dog is very sensitive he will eventually understand that you don't like his behavior and will stop it.
4. You Taste good
The fourth reason your dog may lick your feet is because he likes the way you taste. Your foot has many sweat glands. Some dogs like your sweat which is a combination of moisture and salt, and so he would lick your feet. There may also be tiny food particles (that you may have picked up in the kitchen) that he can taste.
5. It is a way to show affection
The fifth reason why your dog licks is based on affection. What does it mean when a dog licks your feet? It is sweet to note that your dog could be licking because he is showing you he loves you.
In the canine world, puppies lick their mothers to ask for food. Dogs lick other dog’s mouth because of submission and respect. Often, a dog will lick other dogs to communicate friendship and affection. Why not then do the same with their human master?
Because the dog cannot communicate his feelings by words to you, he tries to show his affection by licking your feet. He does this to show his gratitude to you and it is a way of action to express that he understands you. He is showing his loyalty towards you bylicking your feet.
6. To convey the demand for food,
water or something else
Sometimes, your dog might be hungry and he wants food and water. Or perhaps, he wants to express some message like to keep the door open or close, to go out or to stay. Chances are your dog needs something and he is trying to communicate this message to you by licking.
7. It is used for gathering information
It is said that a dog has millions of receptors to track smell in his mouth and nose, which he uses it to process information about the human through feet licking.
As your body secretes sweat, it releases information about you, which the dog can process. If you are gathering around an unfamiliar scent your dog might lick you. The sniff and lick method that a dog commonly performs is a way he can investigate. This process will provide your pet with information about where you went and to whom the unknown scent belongs to.
Also, your dog may be trying to determine your mood or what happened while you were out. Even though it is a bit awful, dogs can pick up information from your taste and scent. Whenever you're out for a long day, they will just try to “taste” your mood by licking.
Should I Worry if my Dog Always Licks my Feet?
What does it mean when a dog licks your feet? Why do they love doing so? Is this something to be concerned about? Whatever the reason, your dog’s licking habit is usually not a bad gesture and is generally harmless.
If your dog’s licking behavior is constant you need to correct his behavior through training. If you think the behavior is no longer applicable for one of the reasons listed above, you should contact your vet with any questions. A dog licks for nice reasons, although you may not enjoy it on all occasions.