Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

3 mins read
Long-coated Brown and Black Dog on Focus Photo

What are your thoughts on the fish spa? Do you think your drooling dog can give a tough competition to the fishes with its passionate (and frequently excessive) foot-licking habit? They are most likely eating away the dead cells more efficiently than the fish.

However, why a spa specifically for dog pedicures doesn’t exist remains a mystery. Is anything (fishy?) else happening here, or should you seize this historic chance to turn your Shih Tzu into the first ever dog masseuse in history?

Let’s delve deeper into our dogs’ minds to comprehend the licking enigma further and determine if you have struck it rich with your business concept.

Five Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Your Feet So Much

man in green jacket holding white and brown short coated dog

1. You’re merely a well-seasoned steak

We all know salty foods are a universal favorite, and what’s common between your feet after a tiring day of hustling in unbreathable shoes and something like pretzels and popcorn is— yes, you guessed it—salt. Now, I’m not saying your feet at the end of a sweaty day are just well-seasoned meat on bones, but your dog’s taste buds may argue otherwise.

But that’s not all—dogs also possess a particular organ known as Jacobson’s organ, which integrates the senses of taste and smell. Your clever dog is likely figuring out the places you’ve been the whole day while sniffing and licking your feet.

2. Your feet are unclean

Unless you have a Shih Tzu with coprophagia (tendency to eat stool), be prepared for a shocker if you thought your fur buddy treating you like steak was nasty. Dogs enjoy everything unpleasant, including rolling around in the dirt, rummaging the trash bins, and the coprophagia mentioned above. We can therefore guarantee that your loyal friend won’t be fussing if you have filthy, unsanitary feet. Your dog essentially feasts on your dirty, stinky feet each time you return home and fail to clean them. Consider it time to treat the fungal infection in your feet yet?

Also Read:  Golden Retriever: All You Need to Know

3. They’ve got you, and they know it

Let’s talk about something more pleasant instead of unsettling (disgusting?) reasons why dogs obsess over feet. Your dog could be licking your foot out of affection, just like they do with your face. Licking is one of the many ways dogs communicate, and it’s frequently the most important. Early in a dog’s life, the mother would lick the puppies to show them that she loves and cares for them. Dogs lick their favorite humans in the same playful manner as they lick their fellow littermates during puppyhood. You may ask, “Okay, but what’s with the feet? Well, since dogs are aware that, barring a very slim chance that you may kick them, you are essentially powerless, and at their mercy, they are free to lick you until their heart is satisfied.

4. Perhaps your dog suffers from OCD

Every dog occasionally licks its owners’ feet, but what if your canine just won’t stop? Your pup might be experiencing a compulsive disorder in this situation. When dogs are stressed out or anxious, it manifests in them excessively licking, whining, or barking, depending on your dog’s personality. Due to the deep bond between humans and canines, dogs regard their owners as their safe place. Therefore, when experiencing anxiety, your canine companion may curl up next to you, lick your feet, or sit on your lap. Visit the veterinarian to find out the underlying cause and course of action to understand your dog’s compulsive licking fully. 

5. Positive Reinforcement

When your dog licks your foot, do you feel ticklish? Can’t help bursting into laughter? Do you laugh at your dog when it licks your feet or even yell at it? Every time you laugh, according to dog behaviorists, you’re signaling your dog that you adore it. Dogs lick more and more because they want to make their owners happy and pleasure them. The strange behavior of feet licking may also be explained by the fact that while you yell at your dog, you still give them the attention they crave, hence reinforcing them. 

Also Read:  Fruits and Vegetables your Dog Can Eat

Should Dogs Be Licking Your Feet?

Generally speaking, as long as your foot hygiene is good, you can let your dog lick freely. However, watch out for your dog licking any creams or ointments you’ve just applied. Considering that they can be dangerous and harm your pet’s health.

How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Licking My Feet?

Dog Lying on Floor

Pet parents generally tolerate the foot bath; however, for some, it may be rather unpleasant—especially when ticklish. So how can you stop dogs from acting in this way?

Firstly, toys or treats have the same effect as your feet, so for breeds that are particularly mouthy and want something in their mouths all the time, replacing your feet with a toy or treat they love can work. Start by rewarding your dog with a goodie to inculcate this behavior whenever they reach for your feet. All dogs can be treated this way because they enjoy munchies and their favorite stuffed toys.

Furthermore, the silent approach will be effective as well. Because dogs desire to make humans happy, as was previously mentioned, they gain encouragement from your laughing, even the involuntary type. To convey to them that you don’t enjoy it and they have nothing to achieve from it, it is better to ignore them as they lick your feet. When your dog understands this, it will immediately quit tonguing.

Even after doing everything, if your dog doesn’t quite get it, there can be a hidden behavioral or medical issue. Ask your veterinarian if there are any health complications with your dog.

Also Read:  Top 10 Dog Breeds for Seniors

Lastly, before you leave, my apologies to anyone who imagined starting a Shih Tzu Spa and turning your pup into an internet phenomenon was a good business plan. But, hey, perhaps your dog could be the next Instagram sensation! It’s not that bad, really.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Husky Dog Price in India (2022)

Next Story

German Shepherd Dog: Everything You Need to Know