Why do Dogs Lick Feet

Why do Dogs Lick Feet

Author WDF Staff


Licking is a normal way for dogs to examine their environment. However, when it comes to dogs licking feet, that sort of behavior can become unpleasant and unacceptable for some dog owners. It is important to know that this is not uncommon in the canine kingdom, and there are many reasons dogs will lick their owner’s feet. Here is what you should know about why do dogs lick feet.

Why do dogs love licking so much?

One of the first things we need to understand is that dogs soak up information differently than we do. What they lack in apposable thumbs, they make up for in other sensory organs. Dogs can’t hold an object and observe it, so an excellent way to examine something that interests them is by chewing or licking.

Dogs have a sensory organ called Jacobson’s organ. This organ connects the roof of their mouth to their nasal cavity, which allows them to taste and smell at the same time. The human version of that organ would be the vomeronasal organ. This organ will help the dog get more information from licking or chewing.

Dogs love licking different things, and sometimes, we cannot understand why they do what they do. Some cases are pretty clear; if a mother licks her puppies, she is providing them with necessary care and affection. If your dog licks their paws, there might be an indication they are in pain or something is bothering them between their paw pads. Licking is a part of the dog’s world, and you shouldn’t be surprised dogs love licking their owners.

Dogs love licking things. Check out this article for more information - Why do dogs lick?

But why do they love feet so much?

Dogs have a completely different definition of disgust from us. While smelly, stinky, sweaty feet might be unappealing to you, your dog might find them irresistible. Human sweat contains salt, and dogs love licking salty things. The first possible reason your dog is licking your feet is simply cause they enjoy the taste.

The sweat from your feet is packed with information dogs can examine. It contains pheromones, which are basically biological data your dog can process. By licking their owner’s feet, dogs get different information directly from your body.

The third possible reason is that your dog is simply asking for attention. When your dog licks your feet, there is a great chance you react immediately. Dogs can pick up on that and learn that their feet licking will cause an immediate reaction from you. They can quickly learn and start doing that when they want your attention.

Another possible reason dogs lick your feet is because they are anxious, stressed, or scared of something. Licking their owner’s feet can make them feel safer and comforted. Their owner’s scent is generally very soothing to dogs, and it is no wonder they want to lick the source of their comfort. It is crucial to understand why the dog is doing what they are doing and determine the best course of action.

Dog owners generally don’t like that behavior, and they will do anything to save their feet from further tongue assault. There are ways you can easily teach your dog that type of behavior is unacceptable.

Another thing dogs can lick obsessively is their paws. Check out this article for more information - Why do dogs lick their paws?

How to teach your dog to stop licking your feet?

One of the first things you should remember is that dogs think there is nothing wrong with licking feet. That is normal behavior, and they won’t understand why you would prevent them from doing it. Never punish your dog for that behavior.

Instead, you can divert their attention to something else. It is a similar training technique to stop a dog from barking. If you notice your dog is aiming at your toes, you can distract them with something else. Make sure you use plenty of positive reinforcement and reward the behavior you want to encourage instead of punishing the behavior you want to discourage.

If your dog is licking your feet as a way of soothing and comforting themselves, the best way to stop that behavior is by dealing with the cause of the problem. If your dog is stressed, anxious, or scared, make sure you help them feel secure and confident in those situations. By taking care of that problem, you will put an end to the unwanted feet licking.

What to do if the behavior continues?

If feet licking is allowed, it can grow into compulsive behavior. Compulsive behaviors can become problematic and mostly require experts to solve. You can check with your vet or a dog behaviorist about what to do if feet licking continues. They can give you further advice on how to approach dealing with this unwanted behavior.

Getting rid of compulsive behavior can be tricky. Professional dog behaviorists might advise you to increase your dog’s daily activities. Dogs tend to develop compulsive behavior when they are bored or anxious. Keep an eye on signs of separation anxiety or any other possible stressors in your dog’s life. If you resolve those issues, it is most likely you will fix your dog’s compulsive behavior.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo