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Why do dogs lick your face?

Do you ever wonder what your dog may be thinking when he licks your face like a lollipop? Chances are you either like it or are a little disturbed by this behavior. Though we may never understand the real reason your dog comes straight to you dying to lick your face when you get home, it does help to understand the psychology of the lick.

Licking comes naturally for the dog. It is an inherent characteristic from the time puppies are born since their mother licks them as a way of cleaning, comforting and marking them. From about six weeks of age, some puppies will begin to lick their mother’s face and lips when they want her to provide some food for them.

With this in mind, we must expect the dog to use the power of licking to play some role in their interactions with people. As any dog owner knows, dogs will lick your face for a variety of reasons. Here are some reasons why dogs lick your face.

To communicate
Licking is an instinctive behavior that dogs use to communicate with people and other animals. Though we might not be good at interpreting the action, most dogs will try to tell you all sorts of things. Anything from ” I am hungry”, “hello, glad you are home” or “let’s be friends”. If your dog licks you with unusual intensity, take a look around to see if anything is amiss, just in case.

To show affection
It is common for dogs to lick you just to show how much they love and appreciate you. For some pet owners, the dogs can get carried away but they only want your attention. You can stop the behavior by ignoring them and walking away whenever the licking starts. You also can just give in as licking allows the dog to release pleasurable endorphins that calm and comfort them.

To explore
Dogs will use their tongues to acquaint themselves with their environment and the people around them. Your dog is curious to know how you feel. They use special receptors found in the nose and mouth to interpret the scented human sweat and determine whether you are happy or stressed.

While many dog lovers may enjoy the action, it may not be wise to let them indulge in baby kissing or those with lower immune levels. Practice routine veterinary care and simple sanitary practices to ensure your dog stays clean and doesn’t pose any health risk to you or others.

 

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