Nothing says puppy love like a dog licking your leg. It feels odd, but it’s actually a frequent occurrence for pet owners. This leaves many of us wondering, why does my dog lick my legs?
Dogs lick your legs to show affection, tend to a wound, and to enjoy your scent. Dogs may also lick debris like food and hair off of your legs. Dogs lick your legs as a sign of respect and also to gain your attention.
If you have found yourself in that awkward position of your dog lapping at your leg for seemingly no reason, here is some information that can help you get a better understanding of why he is doing the things he does.
Reasons Dogs Lick Your Legs
Here are some important reasons to keep in mind when a dog licks your leg.
Your Dog Is Expressing Love
Your dog cannot walk over and tell you he loves you or send you a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day. So, to show their affection, they are going to lick you as their ancestors had done to them.
It’s A Sign Of Respect In Dogs
Another reason for a dog to lick is to show you their respect. This, too, has come from the days of them roaming the wild. To show the alpha dog respect and loyalty, one wolf would walk over and lick the face of the top dog.
To your pup, you are the “top dog,” and licking you shows you that they know this and respect you.
Your Dog Wants Your Attention
If you are walking around doing chores and not acknowledging your dog, they may walk up behind you and lick the part of you nearest to them to get your attention.
Your Dog Is Being Playful
Your dog may also be licking at the back of your legs if they are in a playful mood. Some dogs resort to licking when they want you to get down and engage with them.
You Have A Wound
Dogs are very intuitive and observant creatures. If you have a cut on your leg, they will notice it, and because they love you, they will want to treat it for you.
Because dogs lick their wounds to heal them, they will also do this for their humans to help take care of the people they love.
You Have Food On You
Every dog lover out there knows that if you have even the slightest bit of grease or leftover baby formula that somehow made it to your leg, your dog will find it, whether you notice it is there or not.
Dogs sense of smell is far beyond that of humans; in fact, your dog can smell up to 20 miles away. So sniffing out a little extra food on your skin is nothing to your pup.
You Taste Good To Your Dog
If you have ever watched your dog attempt to eat out of the garbage or roll in something that may or may not have once been alive, you know their sense are not like ours.
So it makes sense that they could find your scent appealing. It may be the perfume you are wearing, the laundry soap you use to wash your clothes, or even simply your natural odor.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs
Your dog is licking your leg to communicate with you. They cannot tell you that they love you and respect you, so they are licking your leg to show this instead. If your pup is near you when you are standing up, your legs are probably the easiest thing for them to reach.
Why Do Dogs Lick Your Legs After A Shower
If your dog is licking your legs after you get out of the shower, it’s a safe bet to assume they are doing this to lap up the extra drops of water on your skin. They may also like the taste of the soaps or lotions you used.
Another reason your pup could be licking your legs right after you step out of the bath or shower is that they want to help you dry off. Dogs naturally dry themselves off by licking at their fur, so of course, this is how they believe they can help you dry off as well.
Why Does My Dog Lick My Legs After Drinking Water
Has your dog ever walked over to you after a good long drink of cool water from their dog bowl and just started to lick your legs? This could be because, after a nice refreshing drink, they want to share some of their happy feelings with you.
A nice refreshing lap of water could put your dog in a great mood, and they want to show you their appreciation for this.
Why Does My Dog Lick The Back Of My Knees
For many people, the back of your knees tends to be a collection space for a lot of sweat. If you find your dog is licking the backs of your knees after a long dog of chores or even after a jog, they may be doing this because they like the way you taste.
Or, as noted multiple times, they want your attention, and the back of your knees are the accessible places to reach you.
Is It Good To Let Your Dog Lick You
If you feel like your pup is licking you out of love and respect, there is no reason you should not allow them to do so. Although, there is a catch.
Because a dog does tend to enjoy the much nastier things in life, their saliva can carry many diseases that won’t necessarily harm them but can make you sick. So it would be best if you avoid letting your pup lick your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Another highly debated topic is whether or not you should let your pet lick your cuts. Some people believe that allowing your dog to lick your cuts can help clean them out and heal them quicker. Through some research and a lot of reading, we have to admit there is a lot of support to back this up.
It has been noted that a dog’s saliva has various amounts of antibiotic compounds that can clean your wounds and even speed up the healing process.
On top of that, the licking action itself is suitable for cleaning wounds, as it can clear away dirt and debris and activate your body’s response to begin the healing process.
Things To Consider
It is not hard to notice dogs can do some ridiculous things; licking your leg is one of them. However, to your dog, the act of licking isn’t to be goofy, and it serves its purpose.
Licking is a form of communication for your dog. Whether they are communicating with you or other dogs in a pack, this is how they “talk.” So if your pup is licking your legs, it may be because they are trying to tell you something.
If your dog does have a habit of licking at your legs frequently, try to avoid using any types of lotions or perfumes that could be toxic to them or find a way to curb this behavior. Although dogs have excellent instincts, sometimes they don’t understand the dangers of the chemicals we use.
Finally, if your dog is licking your legs and you don’t feel comfortable with them doing so, try to pinpoint the reason for this behavior and redirect it with another.
If your dog licks at your leg when you get a cut, allow them to sniff at it, but pull away when they begin to lick. This way, they feel they did their job by alerting you, and you can now take control.
No matter why your furry friend is licking at your legs, rest assured it is out of love, and it is widespread.