Why does your dog lick you?

We are honoured to be part of Hounslow Pet Network National Pet Month Campaign for London Borough of Hounslow. We are going to write a blog a day until 3rd May covering all aspects of dogs health, ownership and fun food to feed your dog.

Todays topic is why do your dogs lick you?

Personally we think this is adorable , “Doggy Kisses” a sign of a dog’s affection they say! Dog’s usually display this as a result of the love drug.

The Love Drug:

When humans bond with their dogs, however they choose it triggers the hormone Oxytocin, Oxytocin is the best antidepressant for us humans but dogs also feel the effect of this and display signs such as licking, pawing, nose nudging and sniffing.

This is an important factor of building and maintaining bonds between humans and dogs(Morell, 2014).

Sometimes this can be unwanted attention from your dog, but remember this is the only thing they have to give you to show you they appreciate your care.

Can licks mean something else?

Yes of course, obsessive dog licks can be a sign of a Compulsive Disorder (Yes dogs can display this too) It can also be a sign of a mineral deficiency , if they’re licking brick walls and paving stones they could be trying to get trace minerals from them such as sodium!

Can dog licks make you sick?

It’s rare but they can especially if they lick and open wounds or practically lick your tonsils with an enthusiastic lick, you know they ones! This is due to bacteria in their saliva such as Capnocytophaga, Capnocytophaga can cause opportunistic infections, this usually happens to those with weak immune systems though. Unfortunately it’s that rare that there's no “shot” to prevent /cure this however antibiotics are typically prescribed.