Why Do Dogs Lick and How Does Grooming Factor Into This?

lab-licking

Whenever you’ve been apart from your dog—no matter how short that time is—you may notice that upon your return, they can be quite ecstatic about it. This job often manifests itself when they leap upon you and try to lick your face.

Licking

Why do dogs generally lick people’s faces? This is something that a kid may ask an adult. If we look at the reality of the situation, this is something that even adults tend to ask themselves—we know that we did. With this in the forefront of the discussion, we’d like to explore this concept a bit further. We thought about it quite a bit and narrowed it down to these particular reasons:

Exploration

Dogs rely upon their senses quite a bit. In order to determine things around them, they make use of their noses, their ears, their eyes, their paws, and even their sense of taste. You’ve probably seen it at work. Dogs often smell things first before they try to take a taste.

This is how they end up judging something as good, bad, and absolutely delicious!

Affection

Dogs are naturally rather affectionate creatures. If you manage to get past their guard and get to trust you, they are not shy about showing how much they care. They will often invite you to play, they’ll stay around you if they think you’re sad, and they will be the happiest things to exist and will show it through showering your face (or whatever body part they can get close to their mouth) with licks.

You should generally consider yourself lucky if a dog greets you with happy licks rather than apathy.

Grooming

So how does grooming factor into this?

A lot, actually! Dogs tend to put a lot of odd things into their mouth because of their innate curiosity and their explorative side. So, of course, if they put something funky in their mouth, it’s going to reflect in their breath. If you aren’t careful, you will get that stuff on your face and you risk getting infected with whatever germs are in their breath.

As a pet owner, it would be important for you to set boundaries on when it would be okay for your pet to lick your face. Ideally, it would only be okay after you’ve brushed their teeth. Licking can be pretty a healthy part of your relationship with your dog. You know, provided that their mouths are clean. We’d love to know your thoughts on this. Why do you think dogs lick and how does grooming factor into it?

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