Your dog licks your leg while you’re talking with someone.
They do it even when you just got out of bed.
You also notice that your dog does it a lot when you’re fresh out of the shower.
It’s an everyday thing. You can’t help but wonder if it’s normal.
Keep reading to learn:
- Tips on how to stop your dog from licking your legs.
- 13 odd reasons why your dog licks your legs frequently.
- When this habit becomes an indication for health problems.
- And much more…
Why does my dog lick my legs all the time?
Your dog licks your legs all the time to show affection or empathize with you. Your dog can also be exploring, seeking attention, getting information, or trying to groom you. At times, dogs lick your legs because they’re anxious or have a medical condition.
13 reasons why your dog licks your legs all the time
#1: Your dog is exploring
Dogs use their tongues to perceive the world around them. Licking people and objects is their way of touching things. Just like we do with our hands.
When dogs are still young, one of the first ways they investigate their surroundings is by licking and sniffing.
If your dog is a puppy, they’re probably exploring when they’re licking your legs.
The habit of licking objects will stick with them as they get older, which is why they will naturally lick very frequently.
Your dog explores the world through their mouth. Aside from licking your legs, do you see them eating grass?
To feed your dog’s explorer nature, you can take them on hikes and walks.
Seeing and enjoying the world enables them to have physical and mental stimulation.
Walk your canine friend for at least 30 minutes per day. If you don’t have enough time, you can hire someone to walk them.
#2: Your dog likes the taste of your skin
Most dogs would try everything to get their hands on food.
They’re generally the first to get involved.
Whether it’s licking crumbs off the floor, grabbing the last remnants from their dish.
Or cleaning up after a spill.
The same thing is applicable when they lick us. Dogs may be able to lick the final pieces of food we’ve eaten, but they’re also drawn to the taste of salt on our skin.
Because salt isn’t often found in nature, your dog may be licking the salt off your legs to get essential nutrients or to enjoy a salty snack.
Our sweat glands constantly produce sweat and oils that can be tasty for our canine friends.
Do you like to use body wash, or do you like putting on lotion?
The smell can also be attractive for them. That’s why they lick you.
It may seem like our furry friends like to lick and eat just about anything, but they also have favorites.
What tastes do our dogs find delicious?
Testing in canines shows that they prefer pork and beef rather than chicken and lamb.
Avoid serving your doggie cold and hard meals. They like warm and moist food.
If you want your doggo to enjoy licking their food instead of licking you, try these tips:
- Place two kinds of food in different bowls.
- Cover the separate bowls with a screen or a mesh.
- Let your dog smell the 2 kinds of food in the bowls.
- Remove the cover and place the bowls away from them.
- Take note of whatever food your dog attempts to eat first.
To further prove your experiment, you can do it several times or with another set of meals.
In this way, you’ll know soon what your dog loves to eat. They may stop licking you all the time.
#3: Your dog can empathize
Was there ever a time that you were feeling blue, and your dog licked you?
It turns out that licking indicates that our dogs are concerned about us if we’re anxious or unhappy.
According to one research, dogs licked, nuzzled, or smelled their owners more often while they faked to cry than when they were humming or chatting.
This response pattern should be reassuring to dog owners, especially those who can attest that dogs perceive when their humans are sad.
Adult dogs are thought to have a mind comparable to a human toddler in terms of mental abilities, emotional intelligence, and vocabulary.
Even if your dog isn’t sure how you’re feeling, they recognize that you’re in distress and seek to comfort you.
The emotional bond you have with your furry friend enables them to take notice of how you’re feeling.
It’s why dogs are trained to help people through therapy. They provide emotional support for those who are undergoing depression or other mental health problems.
Your doggo licking you when you’re down in the dumps is their way of saying, “I’m here for you, hooman.”
#4: Your dog is submissive
The licking can be a sign that they’re trusting you and they’re submitting to your authority.
A submissive dog can be obedient, but we surely don’t want them to be more than that.
An overly submissive dog may be too shy or insecure which can create some problems.
How to know if your dog is overly-submissive?
Aside from licking, your dog may do the following:
- Lying down.
- Frequent urination.
- Avoids eye contact.
- Lowering their gaze.
- Moving their ears back.
They can also show this behavior towards other dogs. If your aim is for your dog to be more confident and secure, there are several things you can do.
You can’t just tell your dog to stop being submissive. Training can make your dog more confident.
Here’s how to do it:
- Introduce them to visitors calmly.
- Avoid scolding or yelling at your dog.
- Play games to build confidence like tug.
- Avoid locking your dog when visitors arrive.
- Reward your dog when they approach visitors.
- Socialize your dog with other humans and canines.
- Avoid cuddling too much, especially around people.
Your submissive dog will gain confidence with the proper training and the right amount of affection.
#5: Your dog is showing affection
One of the main reasons is affection, and their licks are one of the ways they demonstrate their love for us.
They may also be a gesture of appreciation, which is frequent when we shower them with attention and embrace them.
The dogs will give you a nice lick in return.
Licking is a natural behavior in dogs.
They learned it from their mothers’ grooming and affection when they were puppies.
It doesn’t necessarily imply that if a dog doesn’t lick, they’re less affectionate.
They could have learned differently as a puppy or merely disliked licking.
When your dog licks your leg, endorphins are released, making your dog feel happy. It’s also an indication that your dog loves and respects you.
What are other ways that our dogs are showing their affection?
Observe for the following love languages:
- Eye contact.
- Tail wagging.
- Nose nudging.
Give back the love and affection by petting your dog. You can also rub their belly or give them rewards.
#6: Your dog is seeking attention
You’re busy with other things, and suddenly your dog licks you.
Do they often do it when you’re not paying them enough attention?
There are a number of reasons why your dog is seeking attention. It could be your lack of time, mental stimulation, or exercise.
Licking can be their way of saying, “Notice me, hooman.”
Dogs are intelligent and sociable animals. They will try to get your attention in various ways.
When your doggo says “hi,” it’s natural for them to lick both humans and other dogs. The greeting is often accompanied by tail wagging and body wiggling.
Dogs tend to do less attention-seeking behavior as they grow old. But if licking gets noticed a lot, they may continue to do it.
If you have been away from your furry friend for quite some time, their licking indicates that they’re craving your attention.
However, if it’s accompanied by other attention-seeking signs, it might be time to address the issue.
Other attention-seeking signs that need to be managed are:
How do you handle it if it’s getting out of hand?
You can train your attention-seeking dog in a lot of ways.
Since the goal is to get your attention, it’s best to ignore your canine when they lick or nudge you.
They will get the hint that they’re not getting the goal with their behavior.
When your dog is well-behaved, make sure to praise them and reward them with a treat. Your dog will understand that their best behavior got your attention.
Do you know that you can give your furry friend structured attention? Instead of being with them all the time, play with them 30-45 minutes a day.
Allocate several minutes of short cuddling, grooming, or petting.
#7: Your dog is bored
They might be bored and seeking methods to entertain themselves.
Dogs may also lick their owners’ legs to cope with boredom or any stressors in their lives.
They may start to lick their paws and then onto your legs to get your attention when they’re bored.
Destroying stuff around the house, excessive barking, digging, and chewing are other signs of boredom.
Dogs need activities to stimulate them. They’re active species that need to release their stored energy.
Mental stimulation is also vital so that your dog won’t get bored. It also results in better canine behavior.
How do you keep a bored dog busy? Try these fun activities with your furry friend:
- Take a trip.
- Play tug of war.
- Give them chores.
- Set up a dog playdate.
- Hiding and sniffing treats.
- Change your walking routine.
- Give them time to explore during walks.
- Use interactive toys like Kong Wobbler.
- Leave them with a puzzle game dog toy.
There are countless ways on how to prevent your dog from getting bored. All you need is time, effort, and a splash of creativity.
#8: Your dog has a medical condition
Occasional licking is normal for dogs.
It’s also a sign that they’re bonding with you and want to tell you how much they care.
It would be best if you didn’t prevent your dog from doing this as long as it doesn’t start interfering with your daily activities.
But dogs licking excessively than usual could be a sign of some medical issues.
Allergies are the most common possible cause of excessive licking.
Dust, pollens, and airborne particles that build upon their skin can cause itchiness and may lead to skin irritations.
How to know if your dog has allergies? Aside from licking too much, they may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Watery eyes.
- Inflamed skin.
If your dog has these symptoms, it’s time to bring them to the vet.
Your vet can provide appropriate medical treatment for your furry friend.
#9: Your dog is getting information
Sweats and natural oils accumulated from your feet can reveal what kind of a person you are.
Their hypersensitive olfactory abilities can unravel us.
And of course, It only applies to our furry buddy.
Whenever you bring a new puppy home, they lick and cling onto you so that they can familiarize themselves and know you more.
They also lick your guest every time you bring them because they know them through licking.
Your dog’s mouth and nose will be able to acquire a wider range of information than humans can.
Dogs use their tongue to comprehend the world around them. They don’t only use it to eat and drink.
Because of their enhanced senses, dogs will occasionally lick another dog’s urine to comprehend better the information they smell.
It may appear disgusting to us, but it enables your canine to determine whether the dog is male or female, neutered or unneutered, and even stressed, all from their urine.
Amazing, isn’t it?
#10: Your dog needs you
Your dog wants to tell you that they need something.
Licking is yet another way for dogs to talk. They lick or even paw at you to get their point across.
Your dog may be indicating that they’re hungry or need to go potty.
Dogs know that by doing it, they certainly get your attention.
You may pet, interact with them or even give them treats. We may not always understand what our dog is trying to say through their behavior.
How can you tell what your dog needs?
Observe how your dog moves or barks. Licking isn’t the only way they can convey what they feel.
Walking in a straight line means that they’re getting hyperactive. A not so straight walk indicates they’re trying to be friendly.
If your dog is walking or standing by his dog bowl, they want to say, “I’m hungry.”
Is your furry friend staying by the door? It means, “Let’s take a walk, hooman.”
Barking can also give you a hint of what your dog needs. Prolonged barks mean they need companions.
A short alarming bark means they’re calling you or informing you of a possible threat.
The tail can also indicate different signs. A wagging tail means happiness. A lowered tail can tell they’re sick or anxious.
These telltale signs can help you communicate better with your furry buddy.
#11: Your dog is anxious
Dogs may lick their parents’ legs if they’re anxious, bored, or experiencing separation anxiety.
Anxiety is a common problem in dogs.
They may also lick their legs or feet to communicate their distress.
When we’re feeling anxious, our dogs can also sense it. They might get anxious as well.
If your dog licks your legs and appears scared or anxious, observe their actions.
Behaviors like shaking, hiding, whimpering, and cowering indicate anxiety.
There might be several triggers that cause your dog to get anxious. We aim to help you find out why.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- “Did I yell at the dog?”
- “Did I leave my dog alone for a long time?”
- “Is it possible that the dog has been seriously hurt?”
- “Did I or somebody else punish my dog for misbehaving?”
- “Was there a loud noise that could have scared the dog?”
If you already have the answers, you can start addressing the cause of your dog’s anxiety.
First is removing them from the trigger, such as loud noises or people yelling.
If your dog is hurt, give extra care and attention. Make sure to treat them when necessary.
What if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety?
Watch this video to get tips on how to help dogs with separation anxiety.
#12: Your dog is hungry
Licking is a means of communication for dogs.
They may be compelled to lick your feet if hungry.
Puppies and young dogs lick their mother in the hopes that they will regurgitate food for them.
Your dog may have passed on this early behavior to you and your feet.
Licking may indicate that they want to let you know that they’re hungry.
It could happen after a long day at work when they’re ready for dinner.
Is your doggo standing near the food bowl? They’re trying to say, “Hooman, I’m hungry.”
How to ensure that your furry buddy is well-fed?
Schedule feeding time with your dog. A pup should eat 3 times a day while an adult dog is okay with 2 scheduled mealtimes.
Make sure that clean water is accessible for your canine friend.
It’s essential to make sure that they’re getting the nutrition they need. Always check the label for natural ingredients when buying dog food.
Do you want to prepare fresh food for your furry buddy?
Your dog will enjoy the following:
- White rice.
- Peanut butter.
- Plain popcorn.
- A small amount of milk and cheese.
What shouldn’t you give your dog?
- Citrus fruits.
#13: Your dog wants to groom you
Your dog may want to clean and dry you after taking a hot or cold shower.
They lick to clean themselves. They may also feel the sense of duty to clean you up since you are family.
When they lick you, they consider you to be a member of the pack.
You’re a part of their family, just as they’re part of yours.
Grooming you is essentially another way for them to express their love for you.
In the nonverbal animal kingdom, grooming is a sign of affection. It strengthens the bond of a pack of animals such as dogs, wolves, and other canines.
It’s shared by parents, children, and other members of the pack.
The act of licking and being licked causes positive hormones to be released in dogs.
You may not need the grooming by your furry buddy, but they need you to groom them.
But how do we exactly groom our dogs at home?
Bathing, brushing, and grooming ways that our dogs need.
When brushing their coat, make sure to do it from the fur to the skin to remove foreign particles.
Bathing can also be done once a week. Too frequent baths can make their coats dry.
Brushing your dog’s teeth is also essential but make sure to use a canine toothbrush and toothpaste. You can do it every 48 hours.
Take note that their mouths are shaped differently. That’s why they need a suitable toothbrush.
Don’t forget to trim their nails as well. Nail trimming should start when they’re puppies, so they’ll get used to it.
In cleaning the ears, use a soft cotton ball or a damp cloth. Be calm and relaxed during grooming time so that they’ll feel secure as well.
Does your dog love the outdoors?
Clean them with a damp cloth afterward. Check their paws for dirt and grass.
As fur parents, making sure that our furry friends are clean and healthy should be a priority.
Clean and healthy canines are happy companions.
Why does my dog lick my legs when I get out of the shower?
Your dog licks your legs when you get out of the shower to groom you. Your dog licks himself after a bath.
Your dog thinks that one of their responsibilities is to clean you up.
When you use a body wash that has an appetizing scent, your dog will probably like the smell and will try to lick.