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If your dog is licking your feet it could mean a lot of different things. As a dog owner it is important for you to understand the hidden meaning behind this behavior in order to strengthen the bond. By the time you finish reading this piece, you’ll not want to stop your pet the next time it licks your feet. barkpost.com
An expression of Love: Dogs will lick the feet of those humans in the house for whom they feel affection. In the animal world licking is used to groom one another and is a non-verbal way of expressing love and trust within the family/pack. Studies have corroborated the release of oxytocin hormone when dogs lick one another. Oxytocin is also referred to as the love & trust hormone.
To show submission: A pet dog will lick its master’s feet to show submissiveness. It wants you to know it’s happy with you as its pack leader. Licking is a way of saying, ‘’yes! I accept the hierarchy set by you in the house.’’ The doggy wants to guarantee its position within its human family pack.
To get your attention: Your four-legged baby loves you to bits and may want your undivided focus. Licking your feet is one way it tries to communicate this need. Also sometimes it may want to direct you towards fulfilling something it wants at that moment. Perhaps you forgot to refill its water bowl or its time for you to serve it lunch. Also for shorter dogs it’s simpler reaching your feet than licking your hand.
To gain some information: When a dog licks the sweat off human feet it is trying to gather info about the person. Dogs have scent receptors present in their noses and mouths that send signals to the sensory nerve, thereby processing information. Sweat contains salt and often mixes with oil secreted by the sebaceous gland. The taste of salt and other secretions can help the dog garner a great deal of detailed info concerning the person involved. Canines are also attracted to the sweat on our feet as its salty taste appeals to them.
Stress Buster: it is believed that licking can release endorphins within the brain and nervous system that have a calming effect. Therefore your dog will lick your feet to release stress. Dogs can also lick their own paws to relax.
Food Crumb: A morsel of good smelling food you just consumed could have fallen on your foot. And your pet cannot help but taste the yummy crumb off your foot.
Never punish it even if it indulges in excessive licking behavior as it will only weaken your bond with your pet dog. Replace obsessive licking with some desirable behavior. Counteract it by encouraging the dog to sit or practice the stay command. Distract your furry baby with some toy or allow it to perform a trick. Remember to reinforce positive behaviors with a reward. Also your vet can offer advice on other ways to modify constant licking.