Why Does My Dog Lick Me When I Scratch Him?

Dogs are naturally curious and sociable animals that love to explore the different things around them…including humans!

If your dog licks you whenever you scratch or tickle them, it might just mean that your dog is being playful and affectionate.

It could also mean that your dog wants attention, or maybe your dog is just showing you that they love you!

Why Does My Dog Lick Me When I Scratch Him

Still, if you’re noticing that your dog is frequently licking you each time you scratch or pet them, then it’s only natural that you might begin to wonder why.

In this article, we are going to be talking you through some potential reasons why your dog might be licking you, as well as tell-tale signs to look out for that could be indicating an underlying problem.

So, whenever you’re ready, let’s begin!

Why Does My Dog Lick Me? Possible Reasons

Your Dog Licking You Could Be A Sign Of Anxiety

If your dog is licking you because they want to show affection and attention, then it could simply be because they are anxious.

This is not always the case, but when dogs are anxious, it can often manifest itself in different ways. For example, they may start to bark more than usual, or even become aggressive towards other animals or people.

If your dog is constantly licking you, then it could be a sign that they are feeling anxious about something. It may be that they are worried about something happening at home, or perhaps they are trying to tell you that they need to go outside.

Whatever the reason, make sure that you are paying attention to any changes in your dog’s behavior.

Your Dog Might Just Want To Show Affection

This one seems pretty obvious – your dog loves you, so they will want to give you lots of kisses and cuddles. For this reason, there are times when your dog might be licking you each time that you go to pet them because they want to let you know how much they care about you.

When you see your dog giving you lots of affectionate gestures, try responding by rubbing their head, scratching behind their ears, or stroking their body.

Dogs are very sociable and like to form bonds with those that they live with, and one way that they do this is through physical expression, and that can sometimes mean licking.

Your Dog Has Been Stung By Something

It’s possible that your dog was stung by something, like a bee sting or spider bite. The best way to deal with these types of injuries is to wash the area thoroughly and put antiseptic cream on it.

After that, cover the wound with bandages and take your dog to the vet. Usually, the licking will be accompanied by signs of distress, such as whimpering.

Your Dog Is Trying To Tell You That He Needs To Go Outside

Your dog may be telling you that they need to take a walk around the block. Perhaps they feel like they need to stretch their legs, or perhaps they are just tired from all the excitement of having visitors over.

Either way, it’s important that you listen to your dog and allow them to express themselves so that you can understand what they are trying to communicate with you.

Your Dog Is Telling You That He Is Hungry

Your dog may be telling you he needs food. They may be hungry because they haven’t eaten for a while, or maybe they are thirsty.

If you notice that your dog is licking you, then it’s probably because they are trying to get your attention. Try feeding your dog some dry kibble, or if they prefer wet food, give them a bowl of water.

Your Dog Might Be Trying To Comfort You

Sometimes, your dog may be licking you as a form of comfort. As we’re sure you’ll fully agree, dogs are highly intuitive and can often pick up on our mood shifts.

So, if you’ve had an argument with a loved one or just feel a little down in the dumps, your dog might be able to pick up on this and, in turn, try to comfort you in one of the few ways he knows how: licking!

When Does Licking Become A Problem?

dog licking owner's nose

Licking is a normal part of a dog’s life. Even though it doesn’t cause any harm, it can still be annoying. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether, or not, your dog’s licking is becoming problematic:

  • Does your dog seem to do it more frequently than usual?
  • Are you noticing any signs of discomfort?
  • Does your dog seem unwell?
  • Does your dog seem stressed out?
  • Is your dog displaying signs of separation anxiety?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to talk to your vet. As we have already mentioned above, for the most part, licking is normal behavior that dogs exhibit in order to interact and explore the world (and people) around them.

However, if your dog’s licking is linked to any of the points we have raised above, then there could be an underlying problem that needs to be addressed by your vet.

What Can You Do About Excessive Licking?

The first thing you should do when you suspect that your dog has a problem licking is to seek professional advice. There are many reasons why your dog may start licking you, but if you don’t know what’s causing the issue, then you won’t be able to address it properly.

If you’re feeling particularly concerned or worried about your dog’s excessive licking, then we strongly recommend that you opt to take your dog for a visit at the vet’s.

Once you are there, you will be able to explain the situation to your dog’s vet, who will then be able to check your dog over and begin working to get to the root issue of what is causing your dog to lick you so frequently.

If there aren’t any underlying medical issues, then your vet might encourage you to seek assistance from a dog behaviorist.

A dog behaviorist is someone who specializes in helping owners deal with their dogs’ behaviors. These experts will be able to help you work through the various factors that are contributing to your dog’s problem licking.

It’s important to remember that no two dogs are alike, so you shouldn’t expect to find a solution that works for all dogs. Instead, you need to learn which strategies work best for your individual dog.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Licking Me?

Once you have consulted with your vet, you will hopefully have learned a lot about the problem that your dog is experiencing.

The next step is to implement a plan of action to stop your dog from licking you. This means that you will need to make changes to your daily routine and environment.

Your dog may benefit from having his own space. If he feels comfortable enough, you may even want to give him his own room where he can retreat whenever he wants to.

He may feel more secure knowing that he has his own space to relax and retreat in, especially if your dog gets easily stressed or nervous.

As a side note, you may also want to consult with a veterinary behaviorist to see if they think that your dog has some sort of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders often cause a dog to become overly sensitive to his surroundings, and this could lead him to behave in ways that seem strange to us. Your veterinarian will be able to tell whether, or not, your dog suffers from an anxiety disorder by performing simple tests.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our guide to understanding why your dog licks you helped answer your question “why does my dog lick me?”. We also hope that we were able to provide you with enough information to help you understand what your dog is trying to tell you.

Remember that no matter how much you love your dog, sometimes they will try to communicate with you through different methods. This is perfectly natural, but it’s up to you to figure out what those messages mean!

Megan Turner
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