Reason #1: Affection
This is one of the main reasons why dogs lick. They do it to show affection and it is their way of giving kisses. Another aspect of this is that when dogs lick, their bodies release endorphins which make them feel reassured and calm. They also may lick if they sense that you are upset or sad. This is their way of trying to make you feel better.
Reason #2: Attention
Dogs will sometimes lick to get your attention. They may want your attention for anything from wanting food to just wanting to be petted. They might also be jealous if you are paying attention to something else and they want to be the center of attention.
Reason #3: Submission
Some dogs lick as a way to show submission. They do this because they view you as the dominant leader of the pack and they want you to know that respect you and give you their obedience. They may do this to anyone in the household that they see as the alphas. This is normal since most dogs have a pack mentality and know that you are the alpha of your pack.
Reason #4: Communication
Just like when they lick for attention, sometimes they lick in order to communicate with you. They might be trying to tell you they love you or they might be saying their water or food dish is empty. Since dogs can’t talk, this is one of the ways that they try and let you know what they are wanting or thinking.
Reason #5: Exploration
This is another big reason why dogs lick. Just like humans use their senses to find and explore new things, dogs do the same thing with taste. By tasting things, it helps them know if something is familiar or if they have never encountered it before. This can be from people to objects and sometimes they will lick the same things over and over, either because they didn’t remember it or they just really enjoy it.
Reason #6: Identify Your Taste
Not only can dogs recognize you by the way you smell but they can also recognize you by the way you taste. Everyone has a different taste and those help your dog to know when you are around. They also might lick because they like the salt that is on your skin.
Reason #7: Enjoyment
Some dogs will lick you because they think you enjoy it. For example, if they lick you and you let them do it then they automatically think you like it. That, in turn, makes them do it over and over again. They want to make you happy and if they think you enjoy something then they think they are making you happy.
Reason #8: Grooming
Dogs will lick you just like they lick their puppies. They care for you and love you and want to make sure that you are clean. If this is the case, they will keep licking you until they feel like you are completely clean.
Reason #9: Healing
Dog saliva has enzymes that help progress healing. If you have a cut or wound, they will lick it because they can smell the blood and they know that it’s not right. They will do this to try and help you heal quicker.
Reason #10: Playing
Some dogs may lick as a way to play with you. This is also true if you play with them by kissing them then pulling back. Them licking you is their way of playing the same game. It is also a way to play rough except without teeth because they don’t want to hurt you.
As you can see, there are many reasons why dogs may lick. There’s no reason to be alarmed because most of the time it is completely out of love and affection. When you’re around your dog for a long enough time, you will be able to sense exactly why he’s licking you.