Vet Vs The Net: Why does my dog lick my face?

Some of us love it, some of us not so… but why do they do it? Dave the vet looks at what possesses dogs to like humans’ faces…

Why does my dog lick my face?

Dogs lick humans’ faces as a sign of affection, or because they are trying to communicate. The act of licking releases endorphins within the dog that make them feel calm and comfortable.

Is it bad if my dog licks my face?

It’s best not to let them lick your mouth – this will help prevent the spread of unwanted bacteria. The same applies if you have young children.

As Dave explains, it’s best to keep an eye on your dog and to be aware of when you definitely don’t want them licking you, such as just after they have licked their own bottom, or if they have been smelling another dog’s droppings.

It can’t hurt to clean your face after your dog has licked you either, especially if you’re in close proximity with others or if you’re handling food.

Want to find out more?

If you want to find out more about why dogs do what they do or if there is an aspect of your dog’s behaviour you’re particularly concerned about, contact your vet. They will be able to tailor their advice based on your specific dog. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.