why does my dog lick my legs

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

Pets express love and affection in different ways. Some show it with their voice and some with their behavior. Dogs often use tactile contact with people by licking them. Many pet owners wonder why does my dog lick my feet. The reasons should be sought in the psychology of your pet.

The reasons why do dogs lick your feet

The way of acquaintance and remembering

Probably all pet owners have noticed that when meeting a new person, the dog always sniffs and sometimes dog licking feet of people who came to visit you. Thus, the receptors located in the nose and tongue of the animal, accumulate and store unique information about the person and help to recognize him immediately the next time they meet.


In some dogs, this response is possible as a greeting in the morning after sleep. They may lick their owner’s legs out from under the covers or jump up on the bed to reach for his face.

This is how they show their affection for someone they care deeply about. This behavior is instilled in pets on a subconscious level and is associated with the first pleasant memories when they were licked by their mother.

Ownership Instinct

Another common reason explaining why do dogs like licking feet is the desire to possess their owner entirely. By licking a person’s leg or hand, the dog puts a certain mark, leaving a unique smell, stating that you belong only to him.

An expression of love and loyalty

This is the most common reason for a dog licking my foot. Dog licks feet meaning of expressing feelings is based on childhood memories of a mother licking her puppies, showing concern for her offspring. Animals don’t have the ability to express their emotions as humans do. And they do it in the way that is available to them. That’s why does my dog lick my feet, it shows its sympathy and love. 

Sense of respect

Dogs are pack animals, and their behavior pattern was formed according to the hierarchy and relationships in the pack. Often the pet considers its master to be the leader and thus expresses its respect for him.

Manifestation of Cunning

With the arrival of the puppy in the house, all members of the family often cuddle him. In this case, the pet gets used to such treatment. In response, he tries to lick feet. Many owners encourage such behavior of the dog, stroking it, as well as giving him a favorite treat.

ATTENTION: Over time, the puppy turns into a dog, but his habits developed from childhood remain.

The mature dogs licking my feet when he wants something tasty or to pay attention to himself. However, by this point, many owners no longer have such enthusiastic feelings for their mature dogs. Such behavior no longer seems quite appropriate and unclean to them.

A way to get attention

A sense of loneliness characterizes dogs. That’s why dogs lick your feet when you are busy doing other things. In this case, the animal tries to attract the attention of the person, to interest him, and get a portion of affection.

why does my dog lick my feet


Dogs are sensitive to smells and take them extremely seriously. If he smells something (be it sweat or soap scent) from his feet and thinks it might pose a threat, he tries to quickly fix the problem by licking it. In this way, it shows its concern for its owner.

In the wild, where dogs come from, pungent smells attract predators. It may lick its owner’s legs in an attempt to protect itself and you from possible attack by other larger animals. For a dog, any unnatural smell will be seen as a threat to the pack, whether it’s the smell of scented soap or sweat.

The presence of scratches or wounds on the person’s feet

Upon noticing a cut on a person’s leg, the pet will show concern by trying to heal it. The most effective “medicine” the animal has is its own saliva. That is why dogs lick my feet.

Making up for micronutrient deficiencies in the diet

If the dog’s menu contains few foods that are sources of chlorine and sodium, the body is deficient in them. To make up for it, the pet licking sweaty feet of the person. In this case, you can remedy the situation by adding salt to your dog’s food. It improves the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and thus normalizes the digestive process.

You can check if the leg licking is really caused by a lack of trace minerals by putting salt in one bowl and pouring water next to it. To restore the mineral balance in the body the dog will approach each of them alternately. Once the deficiency is corrected, the habit of licking the owner’s feet will go away.

Sense of Fear

If a pet begins not only to lick its owner’s feet but also snuggles up to them and whines, this reaction indicates that it is frightened. In this case, he is looking for reliable protection in the person of his owner. In this situation, you should take the dog in your arms or pet him to calm him down. These actions allow you to instill confidence in the dog, he will feel how dear he is to his owner.

A dog senses the mood

Pets are very sensitive to their owner’s moods. Therefore, if he is sad or emotionally exhausted about something, they try to distract him from his problems and sad thoughts. One way to support him is to lick his leg.

The dog wants to play

If a pet wants to play, he will signal this in every way possible, including licking. In order to satisfy his need, it’s important to make sure he has his favorite toys to lick.

what does it mean when a dog licks your feet

What to do if dog licks my feet often

If the dog licks you too often and causes irritation, you need to resort to correcting the behavior. Never punish or scold your dog, just remember that he means well. Try effective methods to stop dog from licking:

  1. Change hand cream or body lotion. Dogs don’t like the scent of citrus, and it’s unlikely they’ll enjoy licking you again. A cardinal measure is natural lemon juice, which is highly disliked by animals;
  2. Try to distract your dog by putting on socks and turning his attention to a toy;
  3. Ignore your dog’s behavior. If the dog lick your feet while you are petting him, stop the petting immediately. If that doesn’t work, walk away to another room. Stick to this behavior tactic every time the incident is repeated, over time the bad habit will go away;
  4. Praise your dog for good behavior. A common reason why dog licks my feet is to get attention. Don’t deprive him of this pleasure, play with him more often, pet him, allow him to lie next to you in the evening;
  5. Be consistent – if you’ve decided to wean him off the habit, don’t change your mind and ask other family members to support you in re-training him;
  6. Make sure it puts in plenty of energy, spend time outside with him, and encourage him to run and play and play with toys.

Experienced dog owners recommend weaning your four-legged friend from unwanted behavior from an early age. Animal training can help with this. Success will depend on how clearly the dog has learned and complies with the forbidding commands. 


Now you know the answer to a question: “Why does my dog lick my feet?”. You should not scold the puppy for uncomfortable behavior, try to be correct and patient. As the animal matures, it will learn to behave properly and get rid of the unpleasant habit.

Try to identify the reasons why dog lick my feet. Maybe something is bothering him, or maybe by doing so he shows how devoted he is to you and how afraid he is of becoming unwanted. Or maybe he just lacks your attention and affection.

If your dog is constantly licking its owner or its lips, the habit appeared suddenly and cannot be corrected, you should show your dog to the vet. There may be a more serious cause that requires medical attention.

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