Have you ever wondered, “why do dogs lick your feet”? While it may seem strange to us, it can be pretty normal behavior for dogs, and a way for them to communicate and get information across. It is also a form of bonding.
But you may be curious about what exactly causes your dog to sit and just lick your feet. These 7 reasons break it down for you and help you to understand your dog just a little bit better.
Why Do Dogs Lick Your Feet? 7 Reasons
1. As a Form of Bonding and Respect
Dogs will lick the feet of the people that they respect. For dogs, taking care of each other involves cleaning the members of their pack. To bond and to show respect, dogs will lick the feet and exposed skin.
2. To Groom
Cleaning is also a form of grooming. It is common for animals that care for and love their owners to groom them by licking, especially the feet as they tend to be the smelliest and dirtiest.
3. For Comfort When Anxious
Since your feet are strong-smelling, dogs licking and rubbing up against them can help reduce their entirety. Licking already is a way for dogs to reduce their anxiety, which is why lick mats work so well.
However, licking your feet specifically might be a way to also get a lot of your scent on and near them, which may further reduce their anxiety.
4. To Seek Attention
Dogs may also lick your feet to get your attention. Since most people don’t like their feet being licked, they will tend to react, by pushing the dog away or making a lot of noise. This may even entice you to pet your dog in an effort to get them to stop. This gives them the attention they need.
They may also just be reminding their owners that they are there, and letting them know that they want some attention.
5. They Are Learning about Your Day
When you walk around, you take in a bit of the smell of the area. They absorb into your socks and shoes. You also sweat and release smells based on your emotions. Since the feet are an area of your body that releases sweat, it is an easy place where your dog can taste your emotions and where you have been throughout the day.
6. Your Feet Taste Good
Sometimes, your feet just taste good. They may be salty, which sometimes dogs crave, or maybe you stepped on something and didn’t realize it. Either way, your dog is possibly licking your feet to get something delicious.
7. The Behavior Has Been Reinforced
It’s also possible that your dog first licked your feet for one of the reasons above. However, over time, you might have reinforced the behavior. For example, if you rubbed your foot against your dog to get rid of their drool and saliva, they might have thought you were petting them after every lick.
This can lead to positive reinforcement where they find out that if they lick you, they get pets or attention.