Dogs lick human feet for a weird, wonderful, and diverse mix of reasons, and that’s not the only body part they like to lick. Dogs can develop seemingly unhealthy obsessions with hands, feet, arms, legs, and more.
I once knew a dog who had a weird obsession with licking my upper right arm. Just the right one. Never the left. I never could work out why.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet? (And Is It Normal, Or Is It Weird?)
Only you will know whether or not your dog’s behavior is weird, but if you want to know whether or not you should be concerned about it, you’ll need to consider the bigger picture. Look at all of the factors, including day-to-day behavior, eating and drinking habits, toilet behavior, and more.
It’s not always an easy process, but understanding your pet’s habits and regular behavior is the best way to get things under control if something becomes a problem.
To make life easier, you could use a Petcube interactive dog camera, which will you allow you to monitor what your pooch really gets up to when you’re not around… and how they’re acting.
What Does It Mean When a Dog Licks Your Feet?
Sometimes, dogs will lick feet (and other body parts) when they want attention from you, or when they want to play with you. It could also be the case that your furry friend is trying to communicate something to you – especially if they start frantically licking you and trying to get your attention around feeding times!
For others, the dog licking feet meaning could literally be a simple case of the dog liking the taste of salt from sweaty, salty skin.
There are plenty of other potential reasons, however.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed With My Feet When I’m Sad or Angry?
If you’ve ever laughed when your dog has licked your feet, that could be the reason why your dog licks feet when you need cheering up.
Dogs are very intuitive creatures. They always know when you need a cuddle, a play, or just some silent soothing.
If you have a habit of laughing, giggling, squirming, or reacting in other seemingly positive ways when your dog licks your feet, they could be doing it in a bid to cheer you up.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet All the Time When We’re On the Sofa?
Dogs use licking and grooming as a method of giving and receiving affection as well as a method of communication. Mothers lick pups, and the pups lick each other. Some dogs will lick their owners simply to let them know, they love them.
This behavior makes dogs feel happy, content, and calm – which is possibly why your furry friend is going it to you.
In grooming you, they are releasing happy endorphins within themselves.
Why Do Dogs Lick the Bottom of Feet and Shoes When I’ve Been Outside?
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and just one sniff or a lick allows them to get vital information, which they process using Jacobson’s organ. According to research, it can be found between the upper part (or roof) of the mouth and the cavity inside the nose.
Your feet have taken you places, which is why dogs can sometimes get obsessed with them and your shoes. They are sniffing and licking to get and process information – learning about where you’ve been, who you’ve seen, and what you’ve encountered as you go about your day.
Think of it as a dog’s version of the internet.
Why Does My Dog Love to Lick My Feet When They’re Hot and Sweaty?
For some dogs, it’s the salt fix that keeps them coming back to your feet, legs, hands, or arms for more. That doesn’t mean you should start sprinkling salt on your pooch’s daily feed, however; salt can often be quite bad for them, especially their hearts and kidneys.
Dogs get enough salt from the dog food they eat, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a blood test done, to see if your dog is suffering from a deficiency.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Licks My Hands and Feet?
No, not at first. If your dog seems to be licking your hands and feet a lot and there doesn’t appear to be a reason for it, you may wish to get your furry friend checked over by a vet.
Although licking can be a perfectly innocent and benign trait in a dog, it can also be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
When Should You Worry When a Dog Licks Feet?
For some dogs, licking or grooming you or themselves is a sign of anxiety, depression, or boredom. It is a self-soothing action, much in the same way that some anxious human adults will pick the skin on their lips or have other anxious patterns of behavior.
If this is the case with your dog, a trip to the vet could resolve any medical causes before behavioral training is used to resolve negative traits.
If your dog constantly licks your feet, legs, or other parts of your body, they could be trying to communicate with you that they are stressed or upset and in need of soothing. It could also be a sign that your dog is in pain or discomfort in some way.
You should ask other questions when worrying about dogs licking feet, including:
- Is your dog limping?
- Are they eating and drinking as they usually would?
- Are they using the toilet as they usually would?
- Are they otherwise behaving how they usually would?
- Are they displaying other unusual signs, such as crying or scratching?
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Read more: What To Expect From An Online Vet Visit
Is It OK to Punish a Dog For Licking Your Feet?
Punishment isn’t likely going to get you far when it comes to training your dog not to be obsessed with your feet. What you are doing, when you use punishment as a form of training, is giving your dog attention when they’re doing something wrong.
If the aim of the game is for your dog to get your attention, they will have gotten what they wanted. As a result, punishing your pooch for licking your feet just isn’t going to work.
How to Stop a Dog From Licking Feet
You should first make sure that you’re not punishing or trying to re-train your furry friend when there is a medical cause behind their behavior. Training your dog won’t solve the problem. They will still have that medical cause, and they will still be agitated/anxious/in pain/etc.
If your dog is bored, providing more toys and stimulatory aids will help you to stop them from licking your feet and displaying other negative traits. This could include squeaky toys , toys that move, or even treat-based toys that require puzzles to be worked out before the treat is dispensed.
Why do dogs lick your feet?
For some, it’s a self-soothing exercise. Some dogs do it to get salt from sweaty flesh. For others, it’s a way to communicate that they want or need something, such as food, water, attention, to go outside, etc. Different dogs will often have different reasons for displaying this behavior.
How can I find out why my dog licks my feet constantly?
You can watch your dog’s behavior a little more closely for a few days. Is your pampered pooch displaying any other signs that something isn’t right? If yes, you should book an appointment with your vet, to get your dog looked over.
If a medical condition is causing your dog to excessively lick or over-groom, it can then be treated, at which point the behavior should stop.
Why is my dog obsessed with my feet?
If your dog is obsessed with your feet – licking them and playing with them, maybe even biting them – there’s a chance that your dog could be bored, under-stimulated, or anxious in some way.
Distracting your dog with more appropriate playthings, such as toys, is a smart idea. You should also try to keep your own feet under wraps for a while.
What should I do about my dog licking my feet?
If the cause is medical, a conversation with a vet will get the necessary treatment started – and you can start that conversation right now with Petcube’s unlimited, 24/7 vet chat service. If the cause is behavioral, appropriate re-training (which you can do yourself) can help.
How can I stop my dog from licking my feet?
As previously mentioned, you will sometimes need medical treatment to stop negative pup-behaviors. At other times, however, training your dog to stop focusing on your feet will require patience and understanding.
Rather than reacting either positively or negatively when your dog licks your feet (and giving them the attention they are trying to get), don’t react at all.
Instead, shift your feet away and move something else into their focus instead, such as a chew toy.
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