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Why Does My Dog Lick My Hands: 8 Reasons That Explain It

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Majid Tanveer, DVM

Is your dog licking your hands concerning you lately?

We can understand your fears when you’re responsible for a dog.

Why does my dog lick my hands?

If your dog licks you, it demonstrates devotion to you as the pack’s leader. It also relieves the tension of attachment issues if you’ve been gone. Licking your hands is an everyday hound activity. It even dates back to when canines originated from wolves in the wilderness.

Feel like we’re on the right track? Then read on to learn why your dog might be licking your hands. 

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Your Hands

We’ve discussed the eight most likely reasons your dog licks your hand.

Reason 1: Grooming

To maintain her offspring, mother dogs will lick them. It is a habit that a dog will exhibit during its life. Following excretion, dogs may groom or lick their butt.

You can only hope that your dog decides to lick your cheeks first. Frequent licking is such a thing that you should keep an eye out for. It could be a sign of specific underlying health issues as well.

Reason 2: Communication

Dogs can lick your hands to connect with you. While friendly licking is generally peaceful, a dog’s licking could become more frenetic in other conditions. If your dog is enthusiastic or frightened, it may lick more furiously to express its feelings.

Your dog’s licking might be too much at times, mainly after you arrive home from work. Initially, the pup kisses you since he is delighted to see you. However, everything else begins to transpire afterward.

Most of the enthusiasm and joyous kissing cause a flood of stimulating chemicals. Licking gives your dog a euphoric feeling that encourages him to lick more.

Reason 3: Compulsion

Licking hands could manifest obsession in certain dogs with obsessive behaviors. It’s more than simply your dog licking their paws. They’re also possibly constantly licking a couch or an unfilled dish.

Reason 4: Affection

Licking is a show of love. Since they adore you, your dog may lick your face and hands! Licking may feel wonderful to your dog because it releases endorphins.

Some scientists agree that kissing, in addition to love, is a gesture of respect. It could imply that your canine regards you as the leader of the household or pack.

Whenever dogs lick another dog’s nose or a person, it’s usually an act of obedience. It’s your dog’s way of expressing, “Hey, you’re the boss around here.”

Reason 5: Skin issues or allergies

If your dog licks his skin excessively, it could be a skin condition or allergens. You’ll need to take him to the vet for just an examination to figure out what’s wrong. 

Hopefully, it will be as simple as some moisturizer or relaxing baths.

Here are some recommendations for moisturizers for dogs that you could look at:

Product 1
Product 2

Don’t worry if you think we’re suggesting sub-par products. All of the products we recommend have been tested by us in advance. That’s why you can buy them without worrying about the quality.

Medicines or diet modifications may be used in other sensitivity therapies. Pick a local produce regimen for your dog. Especially one prepared with minerals such as omega-3 fatty acids. They will help mitigate and avoid common skin concerns.

Collaborating with a veterinarian to control your pet’s dermatitis may end the scratching. For a while, it would work, but it may develop a bad habit and become obsessive. When you’ve dealt with medicinal difficulties, you can handle behavioral disorders.

Reason 6: Taste 

Dogs can consume anything with a delicious taste, from food crumbs to spill cleanup. Your dog will never stop licking your hand if it discovers intriguing human smells. 

It will do it more if it tastes salty again; it may be sucking up the remaining pieces of food you’ve consumed.

Reason 7: Submitting

Licking is a common canine habit that evolved while they roamed in the wilderness with wolves. Whenever the “alpha” pack leader returned to the pack, the other dogs could lick him. This symbolized respect, loyalty, camaraderie, and the knowledge that they had missed him.

Canines are members of the wolves species. This innate characteristic reveals itself as far as how they interact with their humans.

Finger licking is a gesture of surrender. It also relieves anxiety when you’ve been apart for a long time. Another reason your canine may kiss your hand would be that they think you’re the pack’s leader.

Reason 8: Greeting

Puppies are complex beings who can be overjoyed to see you after a long day. These dogs show how much they wanted you while you were gone. They show how much they love you and will embrace you with affection. Their primary mode of communication will be frothing every inch of your palm.

It also doesn’t stop with your dog. Other dogs in the field or along paths can seek you out again to welcome you by licking. So the way to approach a new pup is to raise your fingers to them. It’s the same as humans embracing close relatives they haven’t seen for a long time.

We’ve broken down everything we know. We hope that it helps you understand your dog’s ticks and traits.

How to Stop a Dog Licking Your Hands

If your dog licking hands is bothering you, the cure is teaching him not to do it. That’s why here we’re recommending some tips for you. Take a look.

Tip 1: Don’t Encourage the Licking

You might ignore them while they lick your palm and eliminate the incentive for them. After that, remove your hand from their reach. If the licking becomes a severe issue, then proactively repel them with just a firm no.

Attempt to deflect their focus away from your fingers. You can always use a forceful no to interrupt the licking.

Tip 2: Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an excellent approach to teaching your companions cues and reinforcing the desired attitude. Some actions may require some time for the dog to acquire. You might have to utilize a method known as “shaping.”

This entails encouraging a reaction that is similar to the expected response. But you’ll progressively seek much more from your dog before rewarding them with a treat.

Once your canine begins trying out a new habit, treat them each time they perform it. After your dog has learned the proper response, you may shift to periodic support. This is referred to as continuous reinforcement.

Initially, present them with a goodie four every five times they learn effectively. Throughout repetition, start limiting the reward to three times out of five. This will continue to the point where you only award at particular times. If you reduce the tips too soon, your dog may become irritated or confused.

You might contact a behavioral expert if the above two suggestions don’t work. Your local vet likely knows some good ones.


Is it okay to let your dog lick your hand?

A joyful, healthy dog should want to lavish you with kisses on your arms. Licking your hand is the most excellent way for your dog to communicate, ‘I love you.’ It’s ultimately a form of connection and love. 

Do dogs notice when you cry?

Findings reveal that when individuals weep, their pets also become upset. Dogs are not simply concerned when they see their humans upset. And will seek to assist in every way it can.

Should I pet my dog while sleeping?

Snuggling dogs while they are asleep can cause them to wake up. As a rule, it’s best to avoid handling a resting dog. In that case, a soft stroke can assist in calming the dog.