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Why Does My Dog Lick My Mouth? 5 Likely Reasons

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

shih tzu dog licking the girl's face

Dogs are one of the happiest and most cheerful animals out there, which is why they are one of the favorites in the pet community. They show their emotions through a variety of different behaviors. Dogs are known to lick everything they see, including your mouth, whether they are interested in the taste or expressing their happiness.

If you’re wondering why your dog is licking your mouth, you are in the right place! Reasons can vary from wanting your attention to simply showing affection.

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The 5 Likely Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Your Mouth

1. Showing Affection

Dogs are introduced to licking from a very young age—after being born, they were licked by their mother so they could survive. That’s the first thing that happens to them, so, often, they use licking to show their emotions. The most common reason dogs lick you is because they are thrilled to see you! It is how they bond with each other in the wild, so in some way, they want to show you that they look at you as their pack member. When dogs lick your mouth, they may just want to show their respect and gratitude.

dog licked the pet owner
Image Credit: Roman Michael Gottfried, Pixabay

2. They Want Attention

Dogs are highly social and, most of the time, active animals, so they may lick your mouth because they just want to play with you. Especially when they are young, dogs need a lot of playtime, which is also a great way to bond with your dog. So pups will call you to play with them by barking and licking. Keep that in mind next time they start to lick your mouth!

3. They Like the Taste

When we go outside and come back into the house, we bring a lot of different smells, such as sweat. When we sweat, we release salt from our bodies which is tasty for dogs, so they lick us even more. When they lick our mouth, they may also sense that we ate some food recently and it often happens when people put cosmetic products on their lips or face. But be careful because some of the cosmetic products that we use can be toxic for dogs.

two children lying on grass with an australian sheperd dog licking the girl's face
Image Credit: Maria_Usp, Shutterstock

4. They Are Anxious

Licking is also a type of behavior that can help your dog feel calm. In stressful situations, your dog often looks at you as a source of comfort, so licking you will make them feel more at ease. This behavior is often seen with stray dogs that are adopted but still anxious around other people and pets, so they look at you as a source of protection. In some cases, the dog may feel uncomfortable if a person comes too close to them, so as a sign of discomfort, they may lick your mouth. You will know that this is happening because they change their body posture, and their ears go back.

5. They Sense Your Mood

Dogs are called “man’s best friend” for a reason. When they connect with their humans, they sense everything from happy moments to sadness or anger. You have probably noticed that whenever you get angry or sad, your dog starts licking you. That’s because by licking, they feel even closer to you and feel like they are comforting you in some sense.

dachshund dog licking licking its owner
Image Credit: A Traves del Prisma, Shutterstock

How to Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Mouth

When your dog licks your mouth, you may find it charming, but problems can arise when your dog starts jumping on people and strangers and licking their faces as well. Before solving this problem, you should know that this is perfectly normal behavior that they display from a young age. However, if you feel uncomfortable that your dog is licking you or other people constantly, you should try to train them not to do it. The first thing you should try is to move your head away every time they start to lick your mouth. Try to stay neutral and ignore them for a few minutes. You can also leave the room briefly so that over time, they will know that it’s unacceptable behavior.

You can also distract them whenever they lick you by introducing them to a toy. Exercise is also a great way of solving this problem because it will reduce their anxiety and stress. And most importantly, you should always be consistent because this behavior they learned from a young age, so it will be difficult to change their habits.

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Dogs are our best friends, and we all want to make them happy and make their life as comfortable as possible. When they lick our mouths, we should perceive it as a special moment because they just want to express their feelings. If you think your dog is licking you as a sign of stress, try finding the source of stress. If this behavior is something that you want to reduce, you should start with proper training from an early age.

Featured Image Credit: Magicovice516, Shutterstock

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