Dog owners will have experienced their dogs licking their feet on numerous occasions, but what does it mean when your dog does this?
Knowing your dog’s behaviors allows you to familiarize yourself with their normal behaviors so you can spot abnormalities quickly and find out what the problem is.
Having your dog lick your feet can be distracting and some people dislike the feeling. However, some people love it! As it is common for dogs to lick your feet, why do they do it? If you find that your dog has been doing it a lot recently, it is important to find out why.
This article will inform you about why your dog licks your feet so you can familiarize yourself with their behaviors. Find out more about why your dog is licking your feet and what it means if they do.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?
When your dog is licking your feet, there isn’t one reason why they have decided to do this. Several reasons could explain why your dog is doing this, but what are they? You can find out more about why your dog has decided to do this below.
To Show You Affection
Dogs lick each other to show affection, so this can be what they are trying to show you. They lick their pups to show them love, so if your dog is regularly licking your feet, they could be trying to show you affection and how much they love you.
To Deal With Anxiety
When a dog licks, it can be a way for them to deal with anxiety, as licking releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is linked with trust, bonding, and empathy, so licking releases this hormone and allows your dog to feel more comforted.
Licking also releases endorphins in dogs, making them feel happier and less anxious.
To Be Reassured
Another reason why your dog could be licking your feet is that they are looking for reassurance from you. Dogs lick and groom each other to strengthen their bonds, which reassures them in return.
Therefore, your dog could be licking your feet as a way to show you that they want more reassurance and they want to strengthen their bond with you.
Your dogs will lick each other for attention, so they may be licking your feet looking for attention too. As they are incredibly social animals (see also ‘How long does it take for dogs to become friends?‘), dogs will constantly lick each other to try to get the other to play. If your dog wants to go out or wants to play, they may be licking your feet to indicate that they want attention and want to head out.
They Are Interested In The Smell
Dogs lick things when they are interested in the smell and taste as it helps them to gain a better understanding of their surroundings. As our feet tend to sweat a lot, this can attract dogs to lick them as they will be interested in the smells.
If your feet are very sweaty and if you have been out all day, your dog will be so interested in the different smells that they can show this by licking your feet!
Can I Stop My Dog From Licking My Feet?
You can try to stop your dog from licking your feet by distracting them with toys, and paying them attention will help to fully distract them from your feet.
Positive reinforcement techniques are often well-received during training exercises (see also our guide to potty training your puppy), so try offering your dog treats, toys, or affection when their attention is directed elsewhere.
You should not punish your dog for licking your feet as this is normal behavior for them.
If you do not want your dog to lick your feet, only use positive reinforcement to avert their attention to nice things like toys, treats, and belly rubs. Never punish your dog for doing this as it is cruel and unfair as this is a natural behavior for them and they will not understand.
Is It Bad For Dogs To Lick Feet?
It isn’t necessarily bad for dogs to lick feet, but it can be bad if you have something on your feet that could harm them.
If you have found that your dog has been regularly licking your feet, you may want to consult a veterinarian as this could indicate that they are suffering from stress or anxiety, which you will want to get checked out.
Although it isn’t bad for your dog to lick your feet, it may be unpleasant for you to deal with. If you dislike it, train your dog using positive reinforcements to stop them from doing it, but it will not cause them any health problems unless you have stood in something that may harm them.
Will Putting Soap On My Feet Stop My Dog Licking Them?
The problem with putting things like soap on your feet to stop your dog from licking them is that it can cause them to feel unwell. If your dog starts to lick your feet while you have soap on them, this can affect their stomachs and cause them to experience abdominal pain.
It isn’t recommended that you do this as you do not want your dog to accidentally eat any of the soap as it could cause them to be unwell. Therefore, the most beneficial way that you can stop your dog from licking your feet is to train them using positive reinforcements.
To conclude, there are many different reasons why your dog is licking your feet. Your dog could be licking your feet to show you affection or to ask for attention, but they could also be licking your feet to show that they are anxious.
You must know why as if they are anxious, you will need to comfort them or take them to a veterinarian.
If you dislike your dog licking your feet, you can train (check out our favorite puppy training tips) them using positive reinforcements. Do not punish your dog for licking your feet as this is natural for them, so only use treats and toys to distract them.