Like it or not, there’s a good chance your dog isn’t shy about licking your face. Some people find this adorable, while others find these “kisses” a little gross. Either way, you’ve probably wondered why dogs display this behavior.
Below are four reasons why dogs choose to use their slobbery tongues:
1) As a Sensory Tool: Just like touch or smell, taste is another way to explore something. Dogs may lick someone they don’t know all that well to learn more about them.
2) To Get Attention: Dogs sometimes just want to remind their owners that they’re there and would love some attention. It’s like they’re saying “pet me, I’m cute!”
3) To Ask for Something They Want: Puppies lick their mothers prior to feeding, so some dogs might lick their humans to get something they want. These desires might include food, treats, or maybe even a walk.
4) It’s a Learned Behavior: Chances are, your dog loves you and is passing along a learned behavior from his or her canine mother. Their mom licked them and now they’re licking you. Plus, many dogs have realized that licking gets them a positive reaction, so they do it more often.
If your dog’s licking becomes excessive, this may be an obsessive-compulsive behavior. Discuss any questions or concerns with your dog’s veterinarian or an animal behaviorist.
Licking and Oral Health:
If your dog likes to lick you, certainly you’ll notice their breath. Bad breath as well as swollen or bleeding gums is an indicator of poor oral health in your dog. It’s important to remember that proper dental care for dogs is just as important as it is for humans. Your dog’s dental health is critical to their overall health. Dental issues can cause health problems in other parts of your dog’s body to occur, making it extremely important to have your dogs teeth and gums evaluated by their veterinarian at a minimum, once a year. Routine veterinarian visits evaluate your dog for early signs of health issues as well as maintain your dog’s dental hygiene.
One of the best practices you can implement for your dog’s dental health is preventative care. Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing dental chews will aide in keeping your pet healthy. While it can be challenging to do so, brushing your dog’s teeth is very effective in preventing any oral issues that may lead to greater health issues within your dog’s body. Many dogs don’t like to have their teeth brushed, yet starting this routine early on in your dog’s life will be a crucial way to avoid dental issues for your dog.