Why Do Dogs Like to Lick Feet? - Pet Hub USA

Why Do Dogs Like to Lick Feet?

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Ever wonder why your dog seems to have a foot fetish? Is your dog constantly licking your feet? Dogs lick people for a variety of reasons. Find out why dogs like to lick feet — and if it’s okay.

Why Do Dogs Lick?

There are multiple reasons why dogs lick things, whether it be other dogs, people, or themselves. Understanding the behaviors that drive licking can help you identify what it means, when it’s harmless, and when it’s a signal your dog may need medical attention.

1. Exploration

Dogs use their tongues to explore the world around them. They lick objects to learn about their taste, texture, and smell.

2. Grooming

Dogs lick themselves — and other dogs — to groom and clean. This helps to remove dirt, debris, and parasites.

3. Affection

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Licking is a natural way for dogs to show affection to their owners and other dogs. It is also a way for them to bond with their puppies.

4. To Get Attention

Dogs may lick their owners to get their attention. For example, a dog may lick their owner’s face to ask for food or to be petted.


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5. Anxiety

Some dogs lick excessively when they are anxious or stressed. This is a self-soothing behavior. 

6. Medical Conditions

Excessive licking can also be a sign of a medical condition, such as allergies, skin irritation, or digestive problems.

7. When to Consult a Vet

If you are concerned about your dog’s licking behavior, it is important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you to determine the cause of the behavior and recommend ways to address it.

Why Do Dogs Lick Your Feet?

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Granted, except for people who have a foot fetish, most of us don’t find feet particularly interesting. But keep in mind that dogs view the world through their olfactory senses. Their sense of smell is 10,000-100,000 times stronger than ours. 

Feet are loaded with interesting smells, as well as pheromones, and are covered in salt from sweat. To a dog, feet are like reading a book, full of interesting stories that tell them where you’ve been, your emotions, and even what you’ve been eating.

Is It Okay to Let Your Dog Lick Your Feet?

Most of us probably cringe at the thought of licking feet. But, as long as your feet are healthy, there is no harm in letting your dog lick your feet. However, if you don’t want your dog licking your feet, keep reading for some tips on how to discourage this behavior.

When to Use Caution

If you have any open wounds, or have applied any medications, you should not let your dog lick your feet. Certain medications could be poisonous to your dog. If you have an open wound, your dog could transmit an infection.

Ways to Discourage Your Dog From Licking Your Feet

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Whether your dog constantly tries to lick your feet or engages in excessive licking, if this is something you do not wish your dog to do, there are things that can discourage the behavior.

1. Anticipate the Action

If you know your dog is about to lick your feet, anticipate the action and move your feet away so that they are not accessible. Every time your dog attempts to lick your feet, find a way to prevent the opportunity.

2. Redirect the Behavior

Any time your dog attempts to lick you, redirect the attention elsewhere. One way is to use a toy, a treat, or some other form of play as a distraction. Just be careful not to give the dog the idea that licking is a way of asking for these rewards.

3. Ignore the Behavior

If your dog is licking you as a way to get your attention, turn away and ignore the dog. Try moving away from the dog, or leave the room entirely. Your dog will get the message. Then, once your dog stops licking (or trying to lick you), you can give your furry friend some praise, or a treat as a reward.

4. Seek Help From a professional

If your efforts to discourage your dog from licking are failing, you may want to seek the assistance of a certified animal behaviorist. They can help you develop a training plan for altering your dog’s behavior.


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