Have you ever been sitting in your recliner, feet propped up and all of a sudden feel a wet tongue licking your feet that belongs to your dog? Or maybe they do it at night when your feet come uncovered? But, why in the world would your dog want to lick your feet? Is it just something weird only your dog does?
The clear answer is no, it is not just your dog that does it. It’s a completely normal behavior. Many owners will find their dogs will lick the owner’s feet as long as the owner allows, but why do dogs lick feet?
Many times, when a dog licks a human’s feet it is due to affection, submission, or even anxiety.
Most dogs are well aware of their position in the family, so licking a human’s feet is a sign that they understand your position is above theirs. They may also be showing love. When a dog has puppies, she will lick them to show them her affection, licking feet is a similar action.
Your dog may also want food or a treat. They think by showing you some affection, they will get something in return.
The licking could also be a way for them to relieve anxiety or stress they may be feeling. It could be comforting for them to be so close to you.
Feet are typically in shoes and socks most of the day and they sweat. Sweat will have a salty taste that the dog enjoys. It could also be that the feet are the easiest body part to access since many times we will walk around our homes bare foot.
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There are ways you can encourage your dog to stop licking your feet. Try these tricks, and see if your pooch will give up his foot fetish.
#1: Wear socks: Dogs will not normally lick socks so if you block your feet from him, he can’t lick you.
#2: Wash your feet: Use a soap in one of the following scents. Dogs are not fond of these scents so it will deter them from wanting to lick your feet.
#3: Put lotion on your feet: Dogs are not fond of the strong scent most lotions and cosmetics have. Remember their sense of smell is much better than a human’s.
#4: Offer him something else to do: Licking can be a sign of boredom. Try offering your dog something else to do such as a bone or a toy. A game of fetch or a walk might also do the trick.
Usually, licking is not anything for a pet owner to be concerned about and is not a health concern. Dogs gather, process and give out information through smell and taste, or in this case, licking. If the behavior does not become excessive and you are not overly bothered by it, there is nothing to worry about.
If you find that it does become something you consider excessive, it may be time to call your dog’s veterinarian to discuss what is happening.
Just like you and I, every dog has a personality all their own. The reason your dog is licking could be a completely different reason for another dog. If the licking concerns you, talk to your vet or even to your trainer. Both are professionals in their field and may have information to help your specific situation.
Dog problems? Train your dog in a humane and gentle way.