You’re home after a day of work. You take a shower and watch TV.
But your dog keeps licking your freshly cleaned ears.
You might be confused about the reason for this kind of gesture.
Why does my dog lick my ears?
Dogs lick ears for many reasons. It can be for grooming and exploring. Another reason is showing submission to you. It might also be that they are telling you they trust you. Again, it is because they want attention. And it could also be a sign of an underlying mental issue.
But that’s just the preface.
To understand this behavior, you need to know the details.
Let’s jump right in!
7 Reasons Why Dogs Lick Your Ears
Dogs are quirky. This is why they bring so much life into your house. They keep you on your toes.
Although it may be easy to figure them out, some natures are exclusive to animals. Such as dogs licking your feet. And, of course, the ears can be licked too.
Here are seven reasons why dogs lick your ears.
Reason 1: Grooming
Dogs have a pack system just like wolves. Grooming is a common practice among animals to help each other.
How? By helping them scratch hard-to-reach areas! More of an exchange that says, “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”.
Pack animals will help others in grooming.
If your dog licks your ears, it means they are grooming you. Or, they’re thanking you for all the scratches you gave them. And considers you a part of their family unit.
Isn’t that adorable?
Reason 2: Submission
In packs of canine species, there are ranks. Those of lower levels are submissive to higher grades.
A wolf or dog of a lower rank will groom that of a higher one. But they’ll only do so if they submit to the higher rank’s authority.
If your dog licks your ears, they consider you a higher-ranking member of their pack.
Some other common submissive behaviors are exposing the belly, tucking the tail, and crouching down low. Another sign of submission is your dog licking your hands.
Reason 3: Expressing Comfort and Trust
Grooming is not only for helping out a pack member or expressing submission. They also do the licking to tell you they feel content and safe with you.
It also expresses their love for you. You can know this by seeing your dog’s face. They are relaxed if they don’t have any tense muscles along their brow line.
Reason 4: Exploring
Animals are forever curious. Especially domestic pets. It’s like having a little police in the house.
Dogs are known for their high sense of smell. Hence they’re such great search animals.
But dogs also explore with the help of their mouths. When sniffing doesn’t give them enough information, they’ll lick.
Does your pup lick your ears after you come home? Then, they might be trying to figure out where you’ve been.
Reason 5: They Like the Taste
Dogs like the foulest and weirdest of things. No surprise there.
As gross as it might be, it includes earwax. They might like the saltiness of it.
Even if your ears are clean, they might lick you and find it tasty.
Reason 6: Wants Attention
Are you ticklish when you’re getting licked in the ear? If you giggle, then maybe that’s what your dog wants to hear.
It means your dog loves seeing you smile. Also, they might consider your reaction to being ready for playtime.
If you give them tons of attention, they will repeat it.
Reason 7: Underlying Medical Issue
Not all dogs have a habit of licking their ears. Dogs eating everything is understandable behavior, but licking could be a sign.
If you or another pet gets an ear infection, the smell of the ears may change. Your dog can pick up on that. And they might want to investigate.
It’s best to get the host checked out.
You can see that there are many reasons for dogs licking your ears. But to simply put it, it’s a behavioral trait.
Should You Stop Your Dog?
If you don’t have an issue with it, there’s no reason to stop your dog. Enjoy while your dog shows you love.
But we understand that not everyone is fond of it. They won’t understand what they did wrong. Letting them carry it out while you get annoyed, and pushing them away later, isn’t right.
In this case, you can try getting out of their reach. Offer them a treat or distraction. Such as playtime.
Remember, habits don’t go away immediately. You have to be patient with them while curbing unwanted habits.
You can also try offering them chewy toys or plushies. If you have a hard time picking, we’re here to help.
Here are some of our top favorite chewy toys for dogs:
Your dogs will love you more for these toys. Make sure to invest some time from your day to play with them.
There are some situations where you should not let your dog lick. Two of them are mentioned below:
Your dogs may have an obsession with licking. You can know this if they are licking in many ways. But a lot.
Dogs lick to get relief from tension and stress. But some dogs can overuse this. Hence, introduce chewing toys.
If your dog has a habit of obsessive licking, it might start licking its wounds. And end up reopening them.
But these habits can come from underlying issues. Such as separation anxiety. In this case, it’s best to contact doctors for your dog.
They might need training sessions. Getting rid of this habit can further help in wound healing.
Licking Kids’/Toddlers’ Ears
It would help if you did not let your dog lick children’s ears. It would help if you always supervise your pets around babies and toddlers.
Babies are sensitive in terms of health and strength. If you do so, it might lead to them licking your baby’s entire face. This playful act can lead to accidents.
In this situation, discourage your dogs. And lift your baby out of their reach. Use small objects to distract and separate your dog from the baby.
As most toddlers reach the height of dogs, they might get tempted to lick the toddlers. If your toddler doesn’t like it, they might end up hurting your dog.
In families where there are both babies/toddlers and pets, supervision is needed. They shouldn’t be left alone with each other.
Why do dogs have wet noses?
Dogs lick their noses a lot. To maintain body temperature, they may release secretions through their nose.
Why do dogs lick pillows and blankets?
Dogs have an appeal to salt. Pillows and blankets contain your sweat-dead cells. That’s what your dog’s trying to taste.
Why does my dog lick dirt?
It might be out of boredom. Or that they found something tasty mixed in the mud. It could also signal underlying health problems.