Dogs have a lot of strange behaviors and this is just one out of many other funny stuffs that dogs do.
As a dog lover, you will definitely come to that point where you start asking why do dogs lick your feet. Some of the reasons for this strange behavior will shock you.
For starters, dogs are fun-loving animals, and this makes them play a lot and tease you whenever they see that you may not be in the mood to play, they try to get a laugh out of you by licking your feet.
I know you have been in that position when your dog starts licking your feet and you feel that tingling sensation and laughter coming on.
The truth is that, not all dog owners like dogs licking their feet, but a lot of us do like the joy that comes with knowing that our dog is trying to make us laugh,
yet there are some people that see the act of dogs licking their feet as unpleasant.
I had the opportunity to talk to some dog grooming professionals and vets about this strange dog behavior, asking them “why do dogs lick the feet of their owners”.
Some dog grooming experts explained the main reason why dogs lick feet is because they are trying to get your attention.
They are simply showing how much they love you, it is a sign of submission, it is an attempt to gather information about the person whose feet they are licking.
So, it is safe to say that this strange act is just a way that dogs relate with people and especially people they like.
This act of care that dogs show human is actually a natural root behavior, meaning that it is an act dating from the days of their ancestors.
It is like breathing air, it is like eating food and like any other natural hunger, in fact, this is the way to show that they are truly dogs and not any other animals, so it is okay to let them do it unless you are uncomfortable with dogs licking your feet.
The first thing a mother dog does after birth is to lick off the newly born puppy in an attempt to clean him up while showing him love at the same time. There is no doubt that it is weird when dogs lick your feet, but just know that this behavior is a sign of love.
Another important purpose of dogs licking the human feet is to show respect, dogs like humans a lot and they are always looking to show you they honor you for being their owner.
They appreciate you for allowing them to be your pet and your companion and also for taking care of them and the way they show this appreciation is by licking your legs and feet and sometimes other parts of your body like your face. See why dogs lick your face and what it means.
Dogs are intelligent animals, they make use of the information you give them to understand how to relate with you. Dogs don’t speak human language but licking parts of your body and seeing how you react can tell them more about how you feel.
Licking your feet can also be to get your attention and let you know that they want something from you, like taking them for a walk, giving them food to eat, or trying to get you to play with them and rub their body.
You know how kissing a loved one can give you pleasure, and release happy hormones in your body, dogs lick humans to feel that same pleasure. They usually go for the parts of the human body that produce more scents and smell, because this gives them the most pleasure.
If you feel concerned that your dog may be licking your feet too much than normal, then it is okay to see a vet and find out if everything is okay with the dog. There is usually no cause for alarm but with excessive licking, you might want to check the dog.
Why Dogs Choose Your Feet Out Of Other Parts Of Your Body
Yes, dogs benefit from each part of the body they choose, but there is a reason why they choose the feet in this case.
The feet are usually sweaty, and this sweat is quite a pleasure for dogs. The scent of sweaty and salty feet is what a dog aims for to gather biological information about its owner and at the same time get the pheromones content in the feet by licking it.
Although this is a big reason why dogs lick the human body if you notice they do it excessively then it is time to get them checked.
There is a tendency for dogs to be addicted to licking feet and develop behavioral problems.
The issue of behavioral problems can occur if your dog notices that every time they lick your feet you switch to a playful mood or you react in a playful manner or do something that the dog likes.
This reaction can make a dog think that this is actually how to play, and then they will always repeat the licking process to get that reaction that they love.
This can also be a form of dog training, so it is important that you pay attention to how you react each time your dog does some of these repeatable actions, and use them as an opportunity to train them to act the right way.
Some Disturbing Reasons Why Your Dog Lick Your Feet
1. Your Feet Are Stinky
Dogs enjoy the scent of stinky feet. If you pay attention to dogs in general and not just your dog, you will notice that dogs love dirty things, like the garbage, like baby dirty pampers, dogs love to scavenge for dead things and also eat poop.
This behavior of liking the taste and scent of dirty things is the same reason that propels your dog to like the scent and taste of your feet.
A dog will always be a dog and love nasty things, in fact, if your feet can get dirtier than it already is, it will increase the urge for a dog to want to lick it.
After keeping your leg in a shoe for the whole day at work you naturally get a stinky foot, and this is pleasurable to a dog. But the good thing is that this behavior can be controlled if you wish to avoid it.
2. Dogs Love The Meaty Texture Of The Feet
Dogs are natural meat and bone lover, as much as the dog chew on your feet, they also like the sensation of licking on the flesh of your feet. With the urge to always want something to lick and chew on it is only natural that they lick your feet if it is available for them to lick.
The meaty texture of your feet feels good to them, and although they won’t actually bite you off because they know and love you, they can still do the next best thing which is to lick your feet.
3. It Can Be a Behavioral Problem
When licking your feet becomes excessive or when you unintentionally use this phenomenon of feet licking to cause your dog to constantly go to your feet. This can cause the dog to develop a behavioral problem of wanting to lick your feet every time.
It is okay for your dog to occasionally lick your feet but when it becomes a got attitude then there is a problem, this can turn into compulsive behavior.
Stressed dogs can use the act of liking your feet to actually deal with stress, and other times it can be a sign of an underlying disease. Either way, it is important to always pay attention to your dog’s attitude especially when they lick your feet.
4. You Just Can’t Stop Them From Licking Your Feet
To a dog, licking feet feels as good as licking the owner’s feet, the only difference is that you can hold him back from licking your face but you can not from licking your feet.
And it’s even harder to stop them from ravishing your feet if you are more worried about hitting them in the process.
5. They Perceive That You Like It
This still boils down to grooming. You know dogs love humans, they are more interested in pleasing a human than you can ever imagine. So they try to read your mood when they attempt stuff to make you laugh, they can take it as a sign to continue doing it over and over.
When they are on your toes, you tend to have that tingling sensation that comes with a dog’s tongue on human skin, if you don’t react negatively they can also take that as a signal that you are into it.
Hence they will continue to do it from time to time and maybe even become addicted to it. If you really think about it, you have the option of covering your legs with a piece of clothing or socks, so maybe you actually like it.
How Can You Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Feet?
It is easy to get annoyed when your dog is doing something you don’t like, and sometimes you might even want to chastise them for it.
But according to grooming experts, it is better not to use force on your dog, they advise that you use a technique called “the positive reinforced training technique“.
The positive reinforced training technique is simply a technique that requires you to use rewards like dog treats, dog toys, and any other form of reward you can give a dog including praising the dog, In other to make him get used to the desired behavior.
You can check out more on dog positive reinforced training techniques or you can talk to your vet to help you design a best-fitting training technique for your dog.
Dogs love humans, and most of the way they relate with us is just another form of how they communicate. So, it is okay to pay attention to what your dog is doing and see if there is an underlying reason or if he just teasing you by licking your feet.