Why do dogs lick you? Explaining why your pet does it and when it might be too much. – USA TODAY


Sometimes, it’s easy to tell how dogs feel.
If your dog wags its tail when you arrive home or while you’re playing with it, the American Kennel Club says that’s likely a sign you make it happy.
According to the Bouton Veterinary Hospital in Littleton, Colorado, your dog may tuck its tail between its legs if it is feeling submissive or nervous.
Man’s best friend has evolved to better express itself to humans. According to PNAS Scientific Journal, dogs have an inner eyebrow muscle that wild canines like wolves lack, “specifically for facial communication with humans.”
When your dog is licking you, though, it’s not always clear why.
According to The Kennel Club of the U.K., dogs use their tongues sort of like humans use their hands. We typically groom ourselves, interact with objects and greet others with our hands. Dogs use their tongues instead.
For this reason, it might mean a few things when your dog licks you. The Kennel Club says licking can show affection, empathy or a need for attention — or you might just taste good, especially if you’re sweaty.
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Although most dogs use licking as a form of expression or exploration, there are some dogs that spend too much time licking their owners, themselves and their surroundings.
Excessive licking could be a sign your dog is anxious or has OCD, according to The Kennel Club. If you are worried about your dog or just want to check in about its behavior, you should consult a veterinarian.
A textured lick mat with some peanut butter, yogurt or soft banana could help your pup fixate on an object other than you and could even help dogs calm down after anxiety-inducing stimuli such as thunderstorms and fireworks, according to Rover’s Amber Christensen.
If you’re worried about your dog’s licking habits, it’s never a bad idea to check in with a veterinarian.


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