Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

Is there any better feeling than getting home after work and kicking off your shoes and collapsing on the sofa?

Work takes up so much of our days, be it running around an office, stacking supermarket shelves and everything in between – we all love that feeling of switching off and chilling at home with our four-legged friends. 

However, when your dog welcomes you home he lays at your feet and suddenly starts licking them… all you can do is sit and wonder what on earth is going on in your dog’s mind!

Some people actually enjoy this experience and find it ticklish or relaxing, but a lot of us find it disgusting and your feet feel a bit gross. 

Your dog however will love the taste of your feet even if they have been sweating in your shoes all day. It sounds strange, but read on to find out more and to understand why your dog licks your feet.

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Communication And Respect: Why Does My Dog Like To Lick My Feet?

Dogs’ brains are wired differently to us humans, for instance, the way that they communicate and show affection is specific to their breed and the nature of that breed.

Licking is something that dogs just do, whether this is by licking other animals, people or even themselves.

Today we are talking about why your dog licks your feet and seems to enjoy it, and actually, there is a purpose to this.

Dogs will lick your feet to show respect and honor. This sounds a little far-fetched, but it is absolutely true.

They understand that they are the pet and that you are their master, and similar to the way in which they lick your face to show affection, your dog licks your feet to show that they love you and to give you attention.

Your dog is also playing detective by doing this and is gathering information on you, and they are communicating to you.

They may want your attention, food or even a walk – and one way that they can notify you of this is by licking your feet. This derives from dogs growing up as they lick other animals, more specifically their mother as a way of interacting in their relationship. 

Your four-legged friend might also lick you as a source of enjoyment. They have created the habit so naturally they will enjoy it quite a lot. When your dog licks you habitually, they have pleasure endorphins released. 

Whether your dog is grooming you or enjoying your natural scent, there is a reason why they are choosing your feet. Your feet are more moist than any other part of your body and so, the sweat and perfume of your skin will be stronger than anywhere else on your body. 

Do All Dogs Lick Their Owner’s Feet?

Some dogs might do this but others might not, it just depends on your dog. The only time that feet licking would be a major cause for concern is if your dog licks your feet obsessively. If this is the case then we suggest that you take your dog to a veterinarian. 

If your dog licking your feet is not to your taste, then by no means do you have to oblige. But, it is important to establish why your dog is licking your feet and if they want anything in particular.

If your dog is licking your feet purely out of want and desire, be it because they are wanting attention from you or because they want you to feed them, it might be better to let your dog carry on licking your feet and maybe even go as far as encouraging them to do this. 

Should I Worry About My Dog Licking My Feet?

It is important to stress that licking of any kind from your pet is nothing to worry about. This is how animals communicate and is in no way harmful to you or to them.

So, if your dog is licking in a natural way then encouraging it might be the best thing to do for them if it is what they need to do to communicate with you.

Additionally, licking can also help soothe your dog as your feet may give off your scent and the taste could actually soothe any anxiety or negative emotion that your dog is feeling.

If your dog licking your feet is making you feel uncomfortable because you feel that it is happening too often, it might be best to help them cope with anxiety or help them to communicate.

If your dog seems to be struggling and cannot find a new way of coping then taking your dog to a veterinarian will be beneficial. This means that your dog will be able to heal in some capacity, so your dog licking your feet becomes more balanced. 

Is This Embarrassing Or Completely Normal?

So here is the thing, the act of your dog licking is completely natural and this is something that all dogs do.

When it comes to licking your feet, this really is not something that you should be concerned about. It does not make your dog weird or embarrassing, it is just part of their nature.

From being a pup, your dog will start their life licking their mother as a way of interacting with them and some dogs stop doing this and others will just carry this habit with them throughout their lives. 

The way your dog is behaving is down to your judgement entirely, and if you feel that when your dog licks you it is an issue, then you might want to help your dog slow down their pace or the frequency that they lick your feet.

If your dog is in a state of distress then help them to feel comfortable and safe so the act of licking your feet does not become obsessive. For your dog, licking your feet is their way of feeling loved and it is how they can communicate with you.

Our advice? Just go with it, unless it becomes a major issue. Your dog licking your feet is just their way of showing you how much they love you because you make them feel calm and safe. 

PuppyLists is written by J., who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 14 year old Lab mix.