Cute terrier with brown ears licking his owners feet.

Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet? 7 Most Likely Reasons

Have you experienced the warm, wet, tickling sensation of your dog’s tongue on your feet while sitting on the sofa or in your favorite chair? If so, you are not alone! Dog owners often report that their dog loves to lick their feet. But why are dogs so interested in our feet?

Dogs like to lick our feet as an expression of affection and a way to bond. In addition, licking can be a way of getting our attention. And, since your feet are often on the floor, they are also at dog level and present an easy target for licking. Additionally, your dog may be curious about the scent or taste of your feet. Finally, licking is an everyday grooming behavior dogs offer to other dogs or their favorite person.

Keep reading to find out more about this habit and what to do if it seems excessive.

What Makes Your Feet So Interesting for Your Dog to Lick?

Dogs love to lick a lot! They often have their tongues sticking out and ready to lick, smell, and taste something. Your feet are no exception. And feet are an easy target since they are often dangling off of the sofa or on the floor when we are sitting in a chair. Here are the seven most probable reasons:

1. Licking is a Sign of Affection

According to WholeDogJournal, licking is an established canine social behavior. When dogs lick, they communicate feelings of peacemaking, submission, and affection. In addition, licking releases the “love hormone” oxytocin and makes dogs happy.

Sometimes your feet may be the only part of you your pup can reach. So, if you are sitting on a chair with your shoes and socks off, don’t be surprised if your pooch plops down on top of your feet and starts to lick them.

2. Your Dog Wants to Bond with You

Affectionate licking can also turn into a deeper level of bonding. Your pup may be trying to deepen his connection with you and the more he licks you, the greater the bond.

One of my dogs frequently sits next to me when I am in my recliner reading. She often licks my dangled hand or the tops of my feet and will look up at me expectantly if I shift or move away. She seems to enjoy this daily connection.

3. Your Dog May Be Grooming You

Both of my dogs groom each other most mornings by licking each other’s eyes, ears, nose, and face. Because we are all part of the same pack, I certainly do not escape being groomed. But often the only part of me they can reach are my feet. So, my ankles and toes often get a nice cleaning!

4. Your Dog May Enjoy the Taste or Scent of Your Feet

Your dog may also be interested in the scent or taste of your feet, especially if you have been out for a long walk in your sandals. He will want to check out all the exciting smells from your travels, including the pheromones of other critters you may have encountered.

Or, if you have just stepped out of the shower, your dog may enjoy licking and tasting the sweet fragrance of your shower gel.

5. Dogs Lick as a Self-Soothing Behavior

According to, licking releases endorphins that help dogs feel calmer and more relaxed. It is a self-soothing activity that elicits feelings of healing and well-being. See my post 10 Ways Dogs Calm Themselves for more information.

6. Your Dog May Lick Your Feet to Get Your Attention

Licking can also be a way of getting your attention. If you ignore your dog and he needs something, he may engage in vigorous and slobbery licking to communicate. For example, he may need to go outside, want to go for a walk, or let you know it is time for dinner. If staring or pacing does not work, he may try licking your feet!

7. Licking Your Feet May be a Sign that Your Dog is Stressed or Anxious

A dog who is overly stressed or anxious may lick you excessively. Not only is he trying to communicate with you, but he is probably trying to comfort and calm himself. Try to determine the source of your dog’s distress and take measures to comfort and connect with him.

Newly adopted dogs are often anxious, especially if they have been recently rescued from a negligent or abusive owner. Additionally, any dog undergoing a significant transition, such as moving or meeting new family members, may need additional connection and reassurance.

What to Do When Your Pup is Licking Your Feet Excessively

First, pay attention to what may be going on with your dog. If she follows you everywhere and continually wants to stay close, she may have separation anxiety. Licking excessively is a way of trying to comfort herself and feel close to you.

You may need to spend more time with your dog, then leave for short periods, eventually followed by longer times away. Getting your dog a crate may also be helpful as it will feel like a den and a place of safety and security while you are away. Please take a look at my post about clingy rescue dogs for more help with this.

Second, you may be reinforcing the behavior. If you laugh or giggle when she licks you or pick her up and pet her, this will reinforce the behavior. As long as your dog is being rewarded the behavior will continue and may increase.

Finally, if the licking seems excessive to the point of being emotionally unhealthy, seek the advice of your veterinarian. Your dog may have a health problem that is making her more needy. Her licking may be her attempt to let you know that she is not feeling well.

The important point is that you should not disregard your dog’s behavior as something that is simply annoying. She may be trying to communicate with you in the only way she knows how.

Final Thoughts

Our dogs love to lick, and they love to lick us all over including our feet. This is normal behavior, and one of the ways dogs communicate with us and show us affection. However, if the licking seems excessive, pay attention and try to discern what your dog needs. Be sure to see my post, Why Does My Dog Lick My Nose Every Morning for more about dog licking!

Scroll to Top