Why does my dog keep licking? Here’s What to Expect

Clubs Offering:

  • Many dog owners view dogs’ licking as a sign of affection similar to kissing.
  • Obsessive licking may be a sign of underlying issues, including anxiety, boredom, or fear.
  • Trick training is an effective way to redirect problem licking in a positive way.

What’s better than coming home to a kiss from a happy dog? Most dog owners interpret licks from their pets as a sign of affection: in other words, the closest your canine companion can get to kissing. But is this accurate? And what can you do if your dog’s licking is out of control?

Seeking attention or saying hello

Sometimes dogs lick us as a form of communication.1 They may lick you to get your attention if you’re focused on something else. If you notice the licking happens when you first come home, or when greeting new people, it might be a way to say hello.3 Just like we pet our dogs when saying hello, dogs use their tongues to give their own greeting.

Your dog may simply be excessively licking out of habit. In cases like these, redirecting his attention to other things when he’s licking could help.2

A dog may also lick you simply because she likes how you taste.1 Try to look for connections that might indicate this is the case, such as if she licks you after you’ve been cooking or exercising.

A dog may lick instinctually out of hunger. In the wild, when a mom returns from a hunt with food, her pups might lick her lips to show they’re ready to eat.1


There are many reasons why a dog may be nauseous or vomit. Some of the more common causes include a blockage of the digestive tract, a dietary indiscretion (eating non-food items), a diet change or sensitivity, inflammation, an infection, parasites, pancreatitis, toxicities, or diseases of other body systems.

Standard diagnostics, such as x-rays and bloodwork, can help determine the cause and treatment for your pet’s nausea. If your pet is lethargic and cannot hold food or water down, seek emergency care immediately.

why do dogs lick you?Why does my dog keep licking me?