Why Dogs Licks Your Face

Your face, along with your hands, is the part of your body that is exposed to the outside world the most, so it takes in a lot of unique tastes and scents. Additionally, since you probably touch your face frequently, your dog will have even more opportunities to lick your face!

Both types of sweat glands are located on your face, as was previously described. Dogs are sure to like the salty taste left by the eccrine glands on your cheeks and forehead. However, the apocrine glands in your eyelids and nostrils give those locations a moderate but distinctive odor that your dog’s highly developed nose can easily detect.

Your mouth and lips contain a variety of tasty and appealing smells for your dog as a result of the food you eat, which may help to explain why some puppies really want to place a slobbery kiss directly on your lips!

Apart from all the aromas and scents your face offers, your dog is probably licking your face out of habit. Licking your face is a genuine indication of affection since dogs groom and communicate with one another by licking each other’s faces.

Why does my dog lick my face so frequently?

Although it is tough to pinpoint the precise reason why your dog is licking your face, experts have identified the three most common causes. By observing how dogs interact with one another, these three factors have been established.

To Get Food

When they are puppies, dogs first begin to kiss one another’s faces. Wolf pups specifically kiss the mouths of adult dogs in an effort to induce regurgitation. However disgusting it may sound, this is how wolf pups shift from mother’s milk to solid food.

The puppies lick the adult wolf’s mouth to cause regurgitation, which is how it works. The dog will regurgitate partially digested food when this occurs. Although this food has a greater degree of solidity than mother’s milk, it is not yet entirely solid.

Although it’s unlikely, it’s possible that your dog isn’t licking your face for this reason. This is just a behavior for wolf puppies, as we previously stated. Adult dogs are not very likely to behave in this way. Adult dogs may also occasionally do this to you, but puppies still have a chance to do it.

Appeasement Gesture

Your dog is most likely licking your face to pacify you, which is the most plausible explanation. Licking someone’s face is a typical social habit for dogs. Usually, they do this out of respect for humans and other canines.

For a variety of reasons, dogs may desire to exhibit social reverence. They might do it, for instance, to ask for food, learn social cues, express love, or get attention. House dogs are probably either asking for food, displaying affection, or asking for attention.

It’s frequently because of these factors as well if your dog licks a stranger’s face. Dogs will lick visitors’ faces as an expression of affection or appeasement to deter them from acting dangerously or threateningly.


Dogs like to lick your face for three reasons, including grooming. Dogs groom themselves and other people through licking, as you are well aware. Dogs groom one another, thus it’s possible that your dog is simply licking you to aid in your grooming, just like your dog would do to other dogs.

If a dog licks your face, what happens?

According to Dr. Julie Russak, MD, FAAD of the Russak Dermatology Clinic in New York, “Unless you have allergies to dog saliva or dandruff, which is very common, there is nothing unique about dog saliva that is detrimental to the skin. Putting something filthy on your face is never a good idea, and that goes for filthy pets as well. If the dog is frequently bathed and groomed, everything is fine.

While canine saliva may include bacteria, Dr. Hadley King of HCK Dermatology notes that it also has “antibacterial qualities and would be an unlikely cause for infection.” Although many dermatologists and other skin specialists in the area concur with Russak and King that this behavior is often innocuous, the opinion isn’t universal.

Giving your dog a lick is not advised if you have been religiously following your skin care regimen, suggests Dr. Joshua Zeichner of Zeichner Dermatology. I don’t suggest letting your dog’s saliva come into direct touch with your face if you’re taking proper care of your skin with the appropriate moisturizers and cleansers, he says. Dog saliva probably won’t cause much damage to healthy human skin, but if your skin barrier is breached, it could cause irritation or even infections. If the saliva makes contact with your mucous membranes, such those in your mouth, you are most at danger.

Additionally, you don’t want your dog to consume any substances from any skin care treatments you may be using on your face.

However, some medical professionals caution against more dangerous results than just infections and outbreaks. Dr. Neilanjan Nandi of Drexel University College of Medicine cautions that most animals’ mouths are home to “an huge oral microbiome of bacteria, viruses, and yeast,” referring to a New York Times piece from 2016 on the same subject. Although the act of self-licking might promote psychological or physical health (consider stress release or self-cleansing), earlier study on the subject indicates that some dog-specific bacteria is “zoonotic,” which means it can transmit disease from dogs to the humans they adore. Yikes!

John Oxford, a professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London and an authority on microbiology, concurs and states that he wouldn’t permit a dog to lick his face merely on the grounds that dogs naturally have a propensity to sniff around and cover themselves in excrement or other “nasty corners” and do so frequently.

Is it okay for your dog to lick your face?

“There will be very little absorption through the skin when canine saliva contacts undamaged human skin, especially in a healthy individual, thus it is exceedingly unlikely to create any difficulties,” stated Dr. Kaplan in an email.

However, a person’s nose, mouth, and eyes have mucous membranes that can absorb a dog’s saliva and viruses more easily. Despite the rarity of infections being spread in this way, Dr. Kaplan advised against letting your dog lick specific areas of your face.

According to The Hippocratic Post, John Oxford, a professor of virology and microbiology at Queen Mary University of London, stated he would never permit a dog to lick his face.

He stated, “It is not just what is carried in saliva.

Dogs spend the majority of their lives with their noses in unsanitary areas or close to canine waste, which leaves their muzzles covered in a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other germs.

Why do you think your dog loves you?

You can know if your dog is loving you by looking for the following signs:

They can’t wait to see you. This scene is one that all dog owners have seen. When you open your front entrance, a playful fur storm greets you. It’s possible that your dog will leap up on you, lick your face, and wag its tail. One way to know someone loves and misses you is by their excitement and joy when they see you.

They want to be touched. The infamous lean, a short nuzzle, or a cuddle are all examples of this. These are all indications that your dog wants to demonstrate affection. The best course of action is to let them complete this on their own terms, so resist the impulse to tightly hug them.

They wish to rest close to you. Dogs naturally sleep adjacent to each other in packs. They put their noses to the breeze to detect any odors that might indicate danger. Your dog is expressing trust and security when it curls up next to you or wants to sleep in your room.

They look at you sweetly. Dogs reserve the ability to maintain eye contact with someone they love and trust since it is a huge move. Direct eye contact is an aggressive action in the wild. They employ this strategy to scare one another and assert their supremacy. Your dog is staring affectionately in your direction when they meet your right in the eyes and maintain eye contact without their pupils expanding.

They inquire after you. cooking, watching TV, and using the restroom Your dog tries to be there for you throughout the entire experience. Your dog might visit you in bed once or they might follow you around the home all the time. One of the many ways your dog displays affection is by checking in on you. They are checking on your wellbeing!

When they lick you. There are a variety of reasons why your dog might lick you, but in the end, it’s always out of affection. They want to talk to you and get your attention. They can be getting ready to play or simply giving a kiss before a snuggle. They want to let you know they care in either case.

Their toys are shared. When your dog wants to play, they may occasionally tease you with their toy, but when they truly want to show their love, they’ll give it to you as a gift. They want to give the person they care about their most precious thing. It certainly sounds like a lot of love.

Only when there is food involved are you second. A dog that loves you will put you before everything—even a full bowl of food. Only then will they fall head over heels in love with anything else.

Why is my dog touching me with his paw?

Pawing at you is one of the most frequent ways your dog will try to communicate with you, along with barking. The majority of dog owners have probably had their dog paw at their legs. This is your dog’s attempt to communicate with you, even though you may find it bothersome at times.

Your dog may be expressing his love for you by placing his paw on you. To show our love and affection for our pets, we pet them. Evidently, they act similarly. He is extending touch and showing you affection by placing his paw on you while you are patting him. Your dog’s pawing at you may be seen as a display of love, but there are many other emotions that could be at play. He may be in pain, agitated, or he may just want to play or eat. While it is usually a form of encouragement for your dog, it can also be a tiny cry for assistance. It’s important to watch out for the various cues your dog is giving off through body language. Be sure to monitor your pets’ vital signs and look for any observable behavioral changes.

Your dog can seem needy and trying to get your attention, which is a hint that you should give him a little more affection. Another possibility is that your dog is attempting to express his hunger. What is your dog actually trying to communicate, and how can you tell? Everything hinges on the viewpoint.

Consider your dog’s other body language as well. It’s likely that your dog is merely expressing love in return if you’re just cuddling up on the couch or massaging his belly. When your dog exhibits anxiety symptoms like lip-smacking, yawning, and flat ears, it’s possible that he’s insecure and seeking attention.

It’s kind of like your dog is stroking you back when he places his paw on your arm or leg when you are patting him. While most dogs are unable to really stroke you, they can express affection, proximity, and trust by placing their paw on you. He does this to build a unique connection with you. If you’ve been petting him for a while and stop, especially if he reaches for your hand and says, “Tell me more, please,” it can also mean that I like it; don’t stop.

Their pricked ears, wagging or upright tail, alert gaze, and relaxed mouth are a few instances of their body language signals. This indicates that they want to interact with you and probably play. They want to do something, like play with their chew toys, chase their ball, or even go on a walk, since they are excited.

Prickly ears, a lowered tail, a shifting of the gaze, a tight jaw, and panting may be signs of anxiety or a hint that your dog is experiencing pain, particularly in relation to a paw. Consult your veterinarian as soon as you notice any additional odd behaviors or indications that your dog is in pain.

A puppy who wants your love and attention will probably exhibit relaxed ears and mouth, a low tail wag, and a soft look. Giving your dog your full attention will strengthen your relationship and build trust, plus it’s just the cutest thing ever. You’re the one crying, not I am!

Do you have to let the dogs lick you?

According to Reynolds, dogs do expose individuals to new and different forms of bacteria, but there is no proof that this increases your resistance to any diseases. She claims that since humans are unable to develop tolerance to certain of the illnesses that dogs carry (such as parasites), they can just keep infecting you. Simply said, certain of the microorganisms that dogs carry in their saliva are not suited for humans to endure. “If you can, try to stay away from them.” Even though you shouldn’t completely stop allowing your dog to lick you, you should try to keep your face and any open sores off-limits.

Do dogs become upset if you refuse to let them lick them?

It might be challenging to know when to stop cuddling and becoming close to our canine friends. They are so charming and lavish their pet parents with love and affection, to the point where they are occasionally even tempted to behave just like their four-legged family member. The majority of the time, the behavior should not be imitated, notwithstanding human curiosity. A good example of this behavior is licking your pet. Recognizing that human psychology and canine psychology are different will help us comprehend why it is improper to respond to certain canine behaviors. As a result, different acts will signify and express different meanings. Face licking is a canine expression of deference and submission to the pack leader. If you have more than one dog, you may have observed this behavior between the siblings. There is typically a dominating, alpha-dog, or pack leader in a home. All the other dogs obey, respect, and submit to this dog.

Licking the alpha’s face and shrinking in size in his presence are two ways they demonstrate their submissiveness. Since doing so would bring down his status in the pack and encourage the other dogs to challenge him for leadership, the alpha dog never returns the licks. There is always a pack leader, and in most circumstances, that person is the dog’s owner, regardless of whether your furry friend has canine siblings or is only a member of the human family. Your dog may occasionally lick or make an effort to lick your face as a sign of respect because he likely sees you as the dominant person in the family. It could be tempting to repay the favor, especially when it resembles giving someone a second high-five or returning a cheek kiss of goodwill. Sadly, no, it is not. Instead, your dog will probably become quite confused and dislike having his mouth licked by you. It can also entirely confuse him, surprise and annoy him, and even cause an unanticipated outburst of aggressiveness.