Why Do Dogs Lick Your Feet? All You Need To Know

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Dogs lick their humans for a variety of reasons. It could be a sign of affection, a way to show submission and even a request for attention or food. One of the odd habits is to lick your feet, and this perplexing behavior can be explained by looking into why dogs do a lot of the things they do. It’s important to understand why they do this, as well as the dangers of letting them lick your feet, to ensure that everyone stays safe and healthy.

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Dogs may lick your feet for a number of reasons. They may be expressing affection, trying to get attention, or exhibiting submissive behavior. Some dogs may lick their owner’s feet as a result of stress, as a sign of anxiety, or as a way of self-soothing. It’s important to observe your dog’s body language and determine the context of licking to better understand why they are doing it.

Expressing Affection

Dogs often lick their owners’ feet as a gentle gesture of affection. This behavior is also known as “boxing,” which is the act of closing their eyes and rubbing their face against the owner’s feet. It is believed that this behavior is related to their licking habits when they are puppies, as they lick their mother to show respect and affection. Dogs may also lick their owners’ feet if they are feeling relaxed or content. This type of licking may indicate a desire to show appreciation for the owner’s attention and care.

Trying To Get Attention

Dogs lick owners’ feet to try to get their owner’s attention in order to get a reaction or to seek some form of gratification or reward. Dogs often use licking as a form of communication, and when they lick their owners’ feet it is usually a sign of affection or that they are looking for attention. Dogs lick feet because they associate it with positive reinforcement, and they are naturally drawn to the saltiness of their owners’ feet. In some cases, dogs may even try to lick their feet to let their owners know it’s time for something, such as going to the park, or as a reminder that they are hungry.

Exhibiting Submissive Behavior

Dogs may lick their owners’ feet as a sign of submission. This behavior is typically seen as a sign of love and respect, and it is commonly seen in dogs who have been taken into a family recently or who have been particularly closely bonded to their humans. Licking can be an indication of the pet’s desire to please its master. The dog may also be showing its owners its desire for safety and security, as the act of submission is a way for it to show that it understands and accepts the owner’s dominance. The lick may also be a sign of the dog begging for attention or affection from its human.


Some dogs may express stress by licking their owners’ feet out of affection. Licking releases endorphins that can calm the dog down and make it feel better. It can also be a way for a dog to seek comfort from its owner, which relieves stress. Additionally, the act of licking can be a form of attention-seeking behavior, as the dog may be looking for reassurance from its owner.

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Sign of Anxiety

Some dogs may express stress by licking their owners’ feet out of affection. Licking releases endorphins that can calm the dog down and make it feel better. It can also be a way for a dog to seek comfort from its owner, which relieves stress. Additionally, the act of licking can be a form of attention-seeking behavior, as the dog may be looking for reassurance from its owner.

Way of Self-Soothing

Dogs licking their owners’ feet is a form of self-soothing for them. Dogs have scent glands located between their toes and they will instinctively lick and chew at their feet when they feel stressed or anxious. The act of licking can release hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which can help them calm down and relax. This is a way of self-soothing for the dog and helps them to feel more relaxed.

Is It Bad For Your Dog To Lick Your Feet?

In general, it is not bad for your dog to lick your feet. However, if your dog has an open wound or a disorder that causes excessive drooling, it could lead to a skin infection. Therefore, if your dog has an open wound or an underlying health condition, it is best to keep their tongue away from your feet.

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With My Feet?

It’s possible that your dog is simply displaying an obsessive affection for you. This could be due to a lack of boundaries and structure in his activities, which can cause him to latch onto any form of attention he can get. He may also be trying to assert dominance or mark his territory. It is important to provide appropriate outlets for your dog’s energy and redirect his attention away from your feet. Obedience training and exercise can help your dog develop healthier interactions with you and your family members.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet Before Sleeping?

Your dog may be showing signs of affection and bonding when they lick your feet before sleeping. Dogs are very social animals and this is a way to show you love and trust. Additionally, your feet may have a salty taste due to your sweat which may attract your dog as an additional reward for licking. Some dogs may also enjoy the feeling of being snug and close to their owners when they lick their feet.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet for Hours?

Dogs may lick their owners’ feet for a variety of reasons. It could be due to anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, or just an expression of love and affection. Some dogs may even see your feet as a tasty treat!  In general, if the licking becomes excessive or develops into a compulsive habit, it’s best to discourage it so it doesn’t become a problem behavior.

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Why Do Dogs Lick Stinky Feet?

Dogs may lick stinky feet due to scent glands, or simply because they enjoy the taste of salty skin. Dogs may also lick your feet as part of their overall grooming ritual, as they will typically groom themselves and other animals with their tongues. In addition, dogs may perceive licking as a sign of affection and loyalty. So if your dog licks your stinky feet, it’s likely out of love.

Why Do Dogs Lick Your Feet After A Shower?

Dogs have a natural instinct to groom and clean the people and things around them. After a shower, your feet may be salty or wet from the water, so they will lick them in an attempt to groom and clean them. It is likely also a display of affection as well.

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  1. It Can Be Relaxing: Dog-licking feet may be calming for both you and your dog. Dogs use licking as an endorphin-releasing mechanism as a natural form of emotional healing and comfort. By licking your feet, your dog can promote relaxation and provide a sense of security.
  2. It Can Help With Stress: Licking may be your dog’s way of helping you unwind in times of elevated stress. Since your feet have many nerve endings and contain sweat glands, your dog may view licking as a comfort measure.
  3. It Can Help Wounds Heal: Some dog owners report that their dogs lick their wounds to help them heal. While there is no scientific evidence to support this, some believe that licking may help the healing process because the saliva of dogs may contain natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
  4. It Can Prompt Bonding: Dogs frequently use licking to show their affection for their owners. If you allow your dog to lick your feet, it can strengthen the bond with your pet and foster an even closer connection.

What Should I Do If My Dog Licks My Feet Too Much?

If your dog is licking your feet too much, it could be a sign of anxiety or stress. In this case, you should try to reduce the amount of stress your dog is experiencing. Give your dog extra attention and provide more exercise or appropriate outlets for energy. You can also distract your dog with an interactive treat or toy. If the behavior persists, you may want to consult a professional veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

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The first step in interrupting the behavior of your dog licking your feet is to identify the underlying cause for why it might be doing it. Dogs may lick people as a sign of affection or as a way to show dominance. Determine the reason and work to address that need in a better way.

If the licking is due to an issue of dominance, make sure you are setting clear boundaries and expectations around behavior and enforcing them when those expectations are not met.

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If the licking is a sign of affection, offer an alternate form of attention like petting or toy play, instead of allowing your dog to lick your feet.

When you catch your dog licking your feet, firmly say “no” and then redirect the behavior (for example, asking them to sit). If this does not work, use a tasteless bitter spray deterrent on your feet. This will create an unpleasant sensation when your dog licks and should serve as a reminder to stop.

You can also try to make it less appealing for your dog to lick your feet by making it difficult for it to reach. This can be done by wearing shoes, slippers, or socks around the house so that your feet are not accessible.

Finally, reward any behavior other than foot licking with treats or other forms of positive reinforcement. This should help to reinforce the behaviors you DO want from your pet and create an association between rewards and not licking your feet.


Q. Is it OK for my dog to lick my feet?

A. It is up to individual preference as to whether or not your dog should lick your feet; however, some medical professionals advise against it due to the possibility of bacteria and parasites from the dog’s saliva being transferred to the skin. In addition, some people have sensitivities or allergies to their dog’s saliva which can cause irritation or infection. Ultimately, it is important to assess the risk factors and act accordingly.

Q. Why does my dog keep licking my infected toe?

A. Your dog may be licking your infected toe in an attempt to groom and show affection for you. Dogs use licking as a form of communication. However, it is important to be aware that licking your infected toe can make the infection worse, as it may transmit bacteria into the wound and cause further infection. It is best to stop your dog from licking and to speak with your veterinarian about proper treatment for the infected toe.

Q. Why do dogs lick their privates?

A. Dogs lick their privates as a way to self-groom and clean themselves. Licking helps them remove dirt and debris, as well as spread natural oils throughout their fur to keep their coats looking shiny and healthy.


Dogs licking your feet is a sign of affection and appreciation. It is a way for dogs to show their love and to help you feel relaxed and secure. The behavior of licking your feet can be due to adaptations developed by the animal to show some sort of dominance, but this is now rarely seen in today’s domesticated dogs. While it is not an entirely accepted behavior, it is mostly harmless and can be a sign of a good relationship between the two of you.

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