This article will talk about the different reasons why dogs’ lick humans feet and their own feet as well.
Why Dogs Lick Human Feet
Some people (like ourselves!) love the licking while others do not. If you fall in the latter group, it is important for you to know why the dog is licking before you decide to eliminate this behavior.
Another great website that celebrates the absurdities of dog tongues is Chris Sembrot’s Humans Kissing Dogs. Check it out if you are into looking at people making out with their dogs. If you are not into that then steer clear!
Ever since we first got our dog, Bunk, we have always wondered why he licked our feet. Every single time, while he snuggles into the blankets with us, he will go and sit on top of one of my foot and start to lick it!
This is why I decided to do some research.
I Want Your Love
There are two many reasons why dogs will lick human feet. They are quite similar to the reasons why a dog might lick a human’s face. The main reason that a dog lick’s a human’s feet is to be able to indicate their feelings to the humans. This happens when a dog is trying to show its master that he understands who the master is and that he is loyal to the master. It is to show status.
To show its acceptance in a human family, a dog will lick the feet of those people to whom the dog feels affection or submissive. By showing affection and submission, a dog may ensure its place in the family by showing acceptance of the social order in its home.
Your dog’s licks are his way of telling you that he loves you and that he wants your affection and approval. It is possible that being pushed away after ‘kissing’ you might make him try harder to lick you, thinking that he didn’t deliver his message well enough the first time.
On the other hand, Jennifer Shryock, BA, CDBC of Family Paws Parent Education asserts in her article My dog loves my Baby…he always licks him! that licking is, in some cases, a way to communicate that the dog wants space. Shryock call it a “lick to dismiss.” I will keep an eye on Bunk and his licking habits in the future, but I’m pretty sure he licks me because he likes the taste of my feet. Haha!
Searching For Information
The second reason a dog lick’s a human’s feet is to gather information. A dog is able to use millions of scent receptor cells in its nose and mouth to process information about a human through a human’s feet.
As a human body secretes sweat, the sweat releases information about the individual that can be processed by the dog. The human body cools itself through a sweat gland system that emits moisture that can be evaporated from the body. This evaporation action cools the body.
The human foot is a location in which many sweat glands can be found. As such, it is possible that human feet are a source of information about their owner for the dog. Sweat glands release moisture that contains salts, water and waste products. This is typical of the eccrine glands that are located on the feet and the rest of the body.
Sebaceous glands release sebum and are located near hair follicles. The sweat can mix with the sebaceous gland secretions to produce an even more complex message to a dog about the human whose foot is being licked.
The dog is a very social animal that processes information about the humans with whom it has contact. When a dog licks human feet, the dog is making a signal about its position in relation to the human and it is learning about the human.