Dogs and licking surely are 2 inseparable things. You’ve surely noticed it since the day you started observing and memorizing. Then, have you ever wondered why do dogs lick? Find the 7 main answers to your question right below.
- Licking Is An Instinct To Dogs
From the moment puppies are born, their mom starts licking them. It’s not only her way to communicate and show love but it’s mainly just to keep them alive. In fact, newborn puppies are brought to life blind, deaf and really helpless. They can’t even eliminate their waste on their own. It’s the reason why their mom licks them.
Licking encourages puppies to breath and stimulates their genitals to help them urinate and defecate. Female dogs also tongue its newborns in order to clean them from any remnants for the purpose of hiding any tell-tale odors from potential predators. The newborn puppies thus retain the licking habit from the moment they’re brought to life.
- Dogs Lick To Show Submission
When living in groups or packs, the more subordinate dogs would lick the more dominant ones. That’s actually kind of important in maintaining the pack’s harmony. Domestic dogs also use this instinctual behavior when interacting with their owners whom they consider superior to them.
- Licking Is Essential for Dogs’ Grooming
As strange as it may sound, dogs ARE concerned with their hygiene. In fact, you may often notice them licking to clean themselves.
- Dogs Lick to Heal Their Wounds
Yes, you heard it right! Dog saliva is antibacterial. It contains chemicals and enzymes that kill off bacteria. Licking superficial wounds also gets rid of remaining dead tissues and dirt in order to facilitate the injury’s healing. Of course, tonguing won’t always cure the wounds. Some dogs may even reopen lesions and cause other types of harm through excessive licking.
- Dogs Lick to Relieve Stress
Licking releases endorphins that do not only hinder the communication of pain signals but also give dogs feelings of pleasure and comfort. Sadly, this habit can actually become a compulsion. Thus, if you notice a dog excessively licking the same object or area over and over again especially whenever it seems scared or nervous, it might be suitable to seek a veterinary’s help. In fact, like with some human habits, while licking can be a healthy stress reliever, obsessive licking merely reinforces anxiety and worsens the problem.
6. Dogs Lick to Communicate
From “I’m hungry”, “I submit to you”, “Let’s play”, “Let’s be friends”, “Pet me more” to ‘I love you”, licking is one of the communication tools dogs use to express themselves both with fellow canines and people.
7. The Thing the Dog Is Licking Is Tasty
This is, surely, one of the simplest answers. When you see a dog licking a plate, this reason certainly is obvious. But what if the dog licks you? As gross as it may seem, our sweaty salty skin can be intriguing to dogs and may look delicious to them. That, along with the fact that the caring owner’s scent is comforting to them, is the reason why dogs often steal the master’s socks and underwear.
To sum up, as listed above, there is a plethora of healthy and natural reasons why dogs lick. However, licking may reflect underlying medical issues especially when it becomes excessive.
If you know other reasons why do dogs lick, kindly comment and share them with our viewers.