Why Does My Dog Lick My Face? Should I Allow It?

Why Does My Dog Lick My Face? Should I Allow It?

Author WDF Staff


As a dog owner, you catch your dog doing things you can't entirely understand. One of that behavior is face licking. Many owners have noticed that their dogs like to lick their faces. But is that a good or a bad thing? We will explain the question “why does my dog lick my face” and determine if you should stop that kind of behavior.

Why does my dog lick my face?

This is one of the most exciting questions, and dog behaviorists are still debating the real reason behind dogs licking their owners’ faces. We stand firm by our theory of kisses! However, some professional behaviorists and veterinarians mention these reasons;

  • Natural instinct - Researchers of wild canids, such as wolves or wild dogs, said that puppies often lick their mom’s muzzle when she comes back from a hunt so that she regurgitates the food and feeds them.
  • Affection - This is something we felt was the correct answer even before we read it. Licking can be a sign of love in the same way it provides comfort to pups that lick their mothers in the litter.
  • You taste good - This was a bit of a surprise to us, but the reason behind it is pretty logical. Humans might simply taste good to dogs. We have slightly salty skin, especially after a whole day of sweat. After we eat something tasty, a dog might want to lick your face or fingers.

RELATED: Why Do Dogs Lick?

dog licks owner face

Is it ok to let my dog lick me?

Whether an occasional lick is acceptable will mostly depend on the owner’s personal preferences. A cut on your skin should not be licked by a dog because it is not suitable for your health. Their saliva may keep the wound moist and open, leading to an infection of the skin.

A dog licking a person’s face or another body part should offer no risk to most healthy people. Any open skin wound should not be allowed to be licked by dogs if you have any concerns.

RELATED: Why Does My Dog Lick Their Lips? Should I Worry?

How do I stop my dog from licking me?

Even though dogs cannot comprehend your objections to being licked, they are perfectly capable of understanding their own motivations for doing so. If you wish to discourage a behavior, you should do it gradually.

If you reward your dog for licking your face, he will be more likely to do it again. In the same way, giving food to a dog that licks your face or mouth while eating encourages the habit to continue.

dog tongue

You need to ensure that the lick encounter is still providing them with what they need.

RELATED: Should Dogs Lick Their Wounds? Will It Heal Them?

Should you let your dog lick your face?

When your dog licks your face, it’s usually nothing to worry about. If you’re an adult in good health, there’s no need to worry that your dog’s saliva contains bacteria that could harm you.

Another thing to consider is how other people would respond if your dog kisses them in the face. Your dog will be more likely to lick the faces of guests and strangers if you let them. Some visitors might be put off if the dog has a fearsome appearance, even if you don’t mind your dog licking your face.

RELATED: Dog Licking Paws - What Does it Mean

World Dog Finder team

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