Ever Wonder Why Dogs Lick Your Feet? Know It Here

Dogs like to lick food bowls, the face of humans, other dogs and even themselves, but why do they lick feet? Many times I see people complaining that their dogs like to lick their feet very much. But before you decide to eliminate this from your dog’s behavior, aren’t you curious to know the reason behind this? Well, let me clarify in advance, it’s natural tendency of a dog to lickfeet, and anything done against nature would not bore fruit.

As dog can’t communicate with their owners, they use licking as a means to communicate. Understanding why your dog does certain things is essential for building your bond and growing your friendship between you and your dog. So continue reading further to get enlightened.

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Some Reasons Why Dogs Lick Your Feet

Attention Seeking

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Your dog may lick your feet because it wants attention. He may be trying to tell you that he want your approval and care. When he misses your hard stare or all his consistent efforts to grab your attention fails, he comes to your feet.

This is more prevalent in the case of short dogs (by short I mean height-wise) that they grab your attention by licking your feet as those little ones can’t reach up to your face or in front of your eyes.


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One of the main reasons a dog licks a person’s or his owner’s feet is to indicate their feelings towards them. The common feeling of all the dogs is submissiveness to their owner. Most importantly he shows his happiness in this role. By demonstrating submission and domesticity, a dog ensures his place in the family by showing acceptance to the social order in the home.

The licking of feet by your dog is his way of showing you that he loves you and wants your affection too. Your dog tries to make you feel affectionate towards him by licking your feet, which play a vital role in improving your relationship with your dog. This also happens in the case when your dog is trying to show you that he understands that you are his master and he is loyal to you.

Gathering Information

why dogs lick your feet

Another reason that your dog licks your feet is to collect information. A dog being an inquisitive animal contains millions of scent receptor cells in its mouth or nose. With the help of these cells, he can process information. We all know that humans sweat. This sweat gives the information about the individual that a dog can process.

Sweat contains water, salt, and waste products. Sebaceous glands release sebum. This sebum can mix with the sweat to provide more complex information to the dogs regarding the human they licked. Therefore, by licking your feet, dogs gather information.


why dogs lick your feet

Sometimes there could be a minor and straightforward reason for your dog licking your feet. It may be because there is a bit of food on your foot that you don’t even notice. But to a dog, it can serve as “lighthouse in the fog” and prove mouth-watering since the dog is a foodie animal.

Wants You To Join Him

According to a study by the Journalism of Evolutionary Biology, the private behavior, as depicted through preening, grooming, licking, etc., motivates the participants to coordinate their actions which are directed towards a common goal and that enhances the fitness of each.

Similarly, when a dog licks your feet, he might be trying to induce you to join him in some activity that fulfills both of your physiological needs. This could be finding food, playing or any other activity that you both might be able to perform together.

Stress Relief

why dogs lick your feet

The licking of your feet might act as a stress relief for your dog. In fact, licking is an act of self-soothing which releases endorphins. So, your dog can lick your feet to take relief from stress. He might also be doing as he thinks this as a soothing way to pass his time.

Tasty Sweat

There may be some sweat on your feet, which may appear very yummy to your dog. Although yucky, this is one of the most common reason that your dog licks your feet.

The salt flavor stimulates the brain nerves of a dog, and he perceives the taste of the salt. Therefore, they touch our feet to get the taste of our sweat. You can see a video which shows that dogs love licking feet.

When Should You Worry?

Licking in dogs is normal to see as stated above. But it must be within some limits. When licking of your feet by your dog becomes abnormal or repetitive to the point where the dogs become obsessive with it, it is a cause of worry. This indicates some problem.

Under normal circumstances, constant licking can become a learned mechanism to deal with stress. But when it reaches to the point of obsession, it does not help in stress reducing but rather is a warning for you that something is wrong with the health of your dog.

This may require behavior modification which means you should try to get him rid of this habit. When your dog is performing unwanted licking, you should distract him from that action and replace it with the action you desire like doing the trick or sitting calmly. Then you should reward him with food or some toy. You can buy some fantastic toys for your dog from Amazon.com

But when licking by your dog cannot be controlled by behavior modification it means that your dog requires possible medical intervention. For this, you should take your dog to a vet as he is the best person to guide you in such a situation.


Concluding it, I would say that dogs lick feet for some reasons as mentioned above. Foot licking is a part of a dog’s behavior and can be seen when he is stressed, relaxed or is bored. And there is nothing wrong in it. You just need to change your perspective of seeing licking by dogs as a bad thing. You should understand that dogs cannot communicate with you in words.

Therefore, they communicate with you through these behavioral mechanisms such as licking. A dog shows all feelings such as love, affection, and attention through his licking.

Also remember, that your dog doesn't know that you don’t like his licking. He thinks you love it and please don’t try to correct their misconception. As a response to his licking, don’t act harshly or don’t punish him. This will only damage his trust in you. If you are finding the licking by your dog out of limits, take him to a vet rather than dealing with him yourself.

I hope you like this article and don’t forget to ask your questions by leaving them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!!!


Hello there, I am an animal lover, especially of dogs. I have over two years experience of working and taking care of dogs in animal protection society. What I look forward to my share is useful to you, because I know you also love dogs. If you interested in my article, please share it with everyone. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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