Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

If you can't be around your dog without socks on to keep them from licking, you've probably wondered "Why does my dog lick my feet?"

Your dog’s excessive licking habit might be something to laugh about at first, but after a while, it gets pretty annoying. If your pooch licks your feet when you’re doing the dishes, sitting on the couch, or trying to do anything without wearing socks and it’s driving you insane, we have the reason behind this strange behavior and how you can make them stop. Learn about these ways your dog may be asking for help.

Why do dogs like to lick?

From the moment dogs are born, licking plays a key role in their development. All dogs have an additional organ called the Jacobson’s organ. It connects their nasal cavity to the roof of their mouth allowing them to taste and smell at the same time. New moms lick their puppies to clean them off, help them start breathing, and stimulate digestion and puppies will lick them in return.

As dogs get older they continue to lick people, things, or other dogs to show affection, to get attention, or as a slobbery greeting. If you want to know more, this is what it means when your dog licks you.

Why does my dog lick my feet?

If your dog constantly goes after your feet with their tongue it’s because they love the sweaty salty taste of your toes (gross) and they want attention, says Dr. Gary Richter, Veterinary Health Expert with Rover.com. Chances are every time your dog licks your feet you react by laughing or yelling at them to stop. Even though you might yell in a tone that means trouble, you’re still giving your dog attention every time they do it. Therefore they associate licking your feet with you interacting with them and will continue to do it when they want to play or want something from you. They see it as a game.

How can I get my dog to stop licking my feet?

Dr. Richter suggests offering your dog something else that they like to have in their mouth, such as a toy or treat, every time they go to lick your feet. As your dog starts to learn that you want them to stop the licking, make sure to use positive reinforcement when they stop licking so they know they are doing something right. Simply ignoring the behavior and walking away is another way to curb the licking.

If your dog can’t seem to keep their tongue in their mouth no matter what you try, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian to see if your dog has any underlying medical conditions. Now that you know the answer to the question, ‘Why does my dog lick my feet,’ learn the reasoning behind your dog’s other strange behaviors.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is the Assistant Digital Managing Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. When she’s not writing for rd.com or keeping the 650+ pieces of content our team produces every month organized, she likes watching HGTV, going on Target runs, and searching through Instagram to find new corgi accounts to follow.