Article: Why do Dogs Lick?

In articles on March 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm
Written by Pet Library Editor
Dogs use their long tongues for mopping up lunch crumbs, removing mud from their feet, and cleaning their privates. And yet, when they give our faces sloppy licks, there’s something endearing about it. Apart from occasional attempts to retrieve bits of glazed doughnut from our chins, dogs lick us because they like us. It isn’t a kiss, but it’s close.

Dog Licking: Can Dogs Give You Germs When They Lick Your Face?

Almost as soon as they’re born, dogs experience the soft warmth of their mothers’ tongue,
which bathes them with maternal affection. The licking never really stops after that. Mothers take advantage of their puppies’ relative immobility during nursing to lick them clean. They also lick their bottoms to jump-start their impulses to relieve themselves.

Puppies do their share of licking too. They lick older dogs’ chins and faces to greet them and show respect. And when they’re hungry – and puppies are perpetually in search of something to eat – licking their mother will sometimes stimulate her to regurgitate a meal, which the puppies regard as an appetizing lunch.

As dogs get older, they lick each other less often, but they never quit entirely. At the very least, in the absence of hands and hairbrushes, they do each other’s hair with their tongues.

A Show Of Respect

Dogs don’t lick people because they’re hoping for a hot meal. They lick because we’re their parents, or at least the head folks in the house. Even when dogs are old, gray, and grizzled, they see themselves in some ways as being our children, and a lick shows how much they respect us.

You can tell a little bit about your dog’s personality by how much licking she does. Dogs who are very bold or independent are restrained with their licking because they don’t feel as though there is anyone they have to win over. Outgoing, sociable dogs, on the other hand, lick everyone all the time.

We play a role in all this licking too. It doesn’t take dogs very long to learn that laying a wet one on the cheek is a great way to get cooed over and rubbed the right way. So in a way, the instinct to lick is both ancient and immediate; dogs do it naturally, and we en- courage them to do it more.

People are never sure how to react to licks. The first emotion is generally “Aw, that’s cute,” closely followed by “Yuck.” Imagine where that tongue has been! But it’s not as unhygienic as it seems. At worst, dog licks are like wiping your face with a slightly dirty washcloth. Not exactly cleansing, but hardly worth worrying about. In fact, there’s some evidence that it may be good for you.

(source: http://www.petlibrary.co.uk)

  1. Hehe, i dun really let my dog lick my face, tho it wont give me germs, but i think it will give my pimples, haha! So now my dog always licks my feet! The more i wont let him lick my face now! =P My hubby always says he likes to lick my feet cos its smelly as dogs seem to like smelly things! =P But i must clarify, my feet not smelly hor…he licks my feet cos he respects me even more! Muhahahaha! =P

    • haa haa haa…. but i think dog’s saliva has antibacterial effect coz they also lick to clean themselves and clean up wounds and clean their puppies too… maybe its ok? but since turbo cleans ur feet… errrmm… lol πŸ˜›

      eh.. no need to clarify la.. think we all noe le *pinch nose* haa haa haa πŸ˜› hee

  2. Wei! Please hor, i no smelly feet! My feet smell so nice! muhahaha! =P

    Eh, you are right, they lick to clean themselves, that includes licking their own asshole where there are leftover sai sticking on it lor! =P

  3. -_-!

    *wipes her mouth…*

    haa haa

    hey hey… got dog seminar.. interested in gg?

  4. When? Where? Msg me the details in MSN k? Thank you! =)

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