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Dogs lick their mouths: The Curious Canine Behavior Explored



Dogs lick their mouths – a curious behavior that piques the curiosity of many dog owners. This seemingly simple action can have different meanings and play various roles in canine life. As we observe our four-legged friends engaging in this task, it is natural for us to question the reasons behind this common behavior. In this article, we will explore the fascinating nature of mouth licking in dogs, investigating its origins, functions, and meanings. Get ready to uncover the secrets of this canine behavior that goes far beyond simple oral hygiene.

Since time immemorial, dogs have been considered loyal and affectionate companions to human beings. Throughout our coexistence, these animals have developed their own language to communicate with us and other members of their species. Among the many communicative behaviors of dogs, mouth licking emerges as an intriguing and meaningful gesture. But why do dogs lick their mouths? Is it just a way to clean themselves, or is there more to this seemingly instinctive act?


The answer to these questions lies in the complexity of the canine world. Dogs lick their mouths for a variety of reasons, ranging from expressing affection to seeking personal hygiene. Understanding these motives allows us to delve deeper into canine psychology and establish a deeper connection with our beloved furry friends. Join us on this fascinating journey as we unravel the mysteries behind mouth licking in dogs and discover the secrets that our canine companions hide beneath this seemingly simple action.

Why dogs lick their mouths: Exploring the reasons behind this canine behavior

Dogs have a peculiar behavior of licking their mouths, and understanding the reasons behind this action is crucial to better comprehend our canine friends. There are several motivations behind this behavior. Firstly, it’s important to highlight that mouth licking is a form of canine communication. When dogs lick their own mouths or the mouths of other dogs, they are conveying social messages and expressing feelings.


Additionally, mouth licking can also serve a hygiene purpose. Dogs lick themselves to clean up leftover food, dirt, or other substances that may be present in the oral area. It’s a natural way for dogs to keep their mouths clean and free from possible contaminations.

Lastly, mouth licking can be a manifestation of affection from the dog. When they lick their owners’ or other dogs’ mouths, they are demonstrating love and emotional bonding. It’s a form of social interaction that strengthens the bonds between dogs and their owners. Observing and understanding this canine habit allows us to establish a deeper connection and better comprehend the needs and emotions of our four-legged friends.

The Benefits of Licking: How Dogs Use Their Mouth to Communicate and Interact.

The licking of dogs plays an important role in canine communication and social interaction. Through this behavior, dogs can convey a variety of messages and establish emotional bonds.

First and foremost, licking of the mouth is often used by dogs as a gesture of submission and respect. When a dog licks another’s mouth, it is demonstrating recognition of social hierarchy and seeking to establish a friendly relationship.

Furthermore, licking can also be a way to express affection and care. Dogs often lick their owners’ mouths as a demonstration of love and emotional bond. This action can trigger feelings of pleasure and security for both the dog and the human involved.

In summary, licking of the mouth is a valuable tool that dogs use to communicate and interact with other dogs and their owners. It is a way to establish social connections, demonstrate respect, and express affection. By understanding this canine language, we can strengthen our relationship with our four-legged friends.

The importance of canine oral hygiene: Understand why dogs lick their mouths to clean themselves

Oral hygiene is crucial for the health of dogs, and licking their mouths plays an important role in this aspect. Dogs have the habit of licking their own mouths as a way to clean themselves and maintain their oral hygiene.

When dogs lick their mouths, they are removing food residues, bacteria, and dirt that can accumulate on their teeth and gums. This action helps prevent dental problems such as the buildup of bacterial plaque and tartar, which can lead to periodontal diseases.

Furthermore, licking their mouths also stimulates the production of saliva, which has natural cleaning properties and helps keep dogs’ mouths healthier. Therefore, it is essential to understand the importance of this canine behavior in maintaining oral hygiene and to take additional measures such as regular tooth brushing and veterinary visits to ensure the oral health of our four-legged friends.

Dogs lick their mouths: A natural instinct of care and affection

The action of licking the mouth is a natural instinct in dogs and is associated with care and affection. This behavior can be observed both among dogs and in interactions with their owners.

When a dog licks another dog’s mouth, it is a way of showing concern and care, especially in moments of vulnerability, such as after a fight or when a dog is sick. It is a way to calm and comfort the other canine individual.

Similarly, when a dog licks its owner’s mouth, it is showing affection and love. This action creates emotional bonds and strengthens the relationship between the dog and its owner, generating feelings of security and well-being for both.

Therefore, licking the mouth is a natural instinct in dogs that reflects care and affection. This form of affectionate demonstration is one of the ways dogs establish emotional connections with other dogs and their owners, strengthening bonds and promoting a healthy and loving relationship.

Lick Limits: How to Teach Your Dog to Control this Behavior

Although licking is a natural behavior in dogs, it is important to establish boundaries to control this habit. Fortunately, it is possible to teach your dog to control licking through training and proper guidance.

An effective approach is to use commands like “no licking” and reward the dog when they refrain from excessive licking. It is essential to be consistent and positively reinforce the desired behavior, for example, by offering treats or praise when they exercise control.

Additionally, distracting the dog with interactive toys, such as a Kong stuffed with treats, can redirect the licking energy towards more appropriate activities. Over time and with practice, your dog will learn to respect boundaries and control the urge to lick at inappropriate moments.

Excessive licking: When the act of licking the mouth can indicate health problems in dogs

Although licking is a common behavior in dogs, when it occurs excessively, it can be a sign that something is not right in terms of health. It is important to be attentive to signs of excessive licking and understand what they may indicate.

Firstly, compulsive and constant licking can be a symptom of skin irritation, allergies, or infections. Dogs that excessively lick their paws, for example, may be suffering from food allergies or dermatitis. It is essential to consult a veterinarian to identify the underlying cause and seek appropriate treatment.

In addition, excessive licking can also indicate discomfort or pain. Dogs with joint problems or wounds may repeatedly lick the affected area in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort. In these cases, a veterinary examination is crucial to determine the cause of the discomfort and provide the necessary treatment.

Overall, excessive licking can be an indication of health problems in dogs. Observing abnormal licking patterns and seeking veterinary guidance is essential to identify and treat any underlying condition, ensuring the well-being and health of your pet.


Dogs lick their mouths – an intriguing behavior that allows us to delve into the complex and fascinating world of canines. Throughout this article, we explore the multiple facets of this seemingly simple action, unraveling its motives and meanings. We understand that licking the mouth goes beyond mere oral hygiene, involving communication, care, affection, and even indications of health problems.

By observing our dogs licking their mouths, we can now interpret this action more consciously. We understand that by licking their own mouths or the mouths of other dogs, they are conveying social messages, demonstrating respect, submission, affection, and solidarity. We also recognize the importance of licking for canine oral hygiene, as it aids in the removal of dirt and debris, contributing to the oral health of our furry companions.

However, it is essential to maintain a balance and establish limits for excessive licking. In this regard, we learn the importance of training and redirecting this behavior, aiming to avoid unwanted actions and ensure a healthy and harmonious coexistence. Being able to identify when licking becomes excessive can be crucial in identifying underlying health problems and seeking appropriate veterinary assistance.

In summary, licking the mouth is one of the many aspects that make dogs so special and captivating. This action plays a vital role in communication, care, and the expression of affection between canines and their guardians. By understanding and appreciating this behavior, we strengthen our connection with our four-legged friends, establishing a deeper bond and providing a happy and healthy life for them. So, the next time you see your dog licking its mouth, remember to appreciate the complexity and meaning behind this seemingly simple gesture.

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