Is your pooch trying to tell you something? Here’s how to find out.

One of the most common questions that emergency and critical care veterinary specialist Mariana Pardo, DVM, gets is "why does my dog lick me?" Like many questions about animal behavior, Pardo says there are several different explanations. Here are the basics of why dogs lick their humans:

  • It might just be that they like you! Just like mother dogs who lick their pups when they're young to show affection, dogs often pass that behavior on to you.
  • Or it could be for attention! Maybe they just want to play, or they're trying to tell you something—like they need to go outside or they're ready for dinner.
  • And finally... some dogs just like the salty taste of your skin!

That said, if you're afraid your pup's licking habit is bordering on the obsessive, be sure to contact your vet. They'll be able to help figure out what's causing the licking, and the best way to resolve it.