The Sweet Reason A Dog Licks The Person They Love Most

Appreciate their slobbery kisses while you can.

dog licking the person he loves most Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

If you own a pet, chances are you treat them like a first-born child — they’re one of the most important things in your life. Pet owners are always trying to give their animals the healthiest, happiest, and most fulfilling lives — without ever being able to talk to them. 

However, despite dogs and other animals not being able to talk to us, they still convey a great deal of messages to us through other avenues, like their behavior. From barking to setting their heads on your lap, dogs use their body language to communicate — telling you what they need, how they’re feeling, and what’s on their mind. 


Dog experts like @utahgoldendoodles on Instagram admit that there are tons of behaviors that dogs use to show their owners that they love them — including licking them a lot. 

“Some people may get irritated when their dogs lick them,” they start in a recent video, “but next time you get annoyed, just remember,” it actually has a sweet meaning. 

Dog experts suggest dogs lick the person they love the most.

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, feeling our dog come over and lick us is sometimes a little bit too overstimulating to handle. We may shake them off and catch glimpses of their longing eyes before getting sucked back into work or school or family life. 




However, the sometimes overstimulating act is actually a sign of something a lot more sweet — they’re expressing their love for us. In fact, many experts suggest that the people dogs lick the most are actually the ones that provide them with the most comfort, safety, and love

RELATED: The Sweet Reason Your Dog Tries To Open The Door When You’re In The Bathroom

When dogs lick us it releases hormones that soothe and calm them — aiding in cultivating a bond between you. 

“Licking releases hormones that soothes and relaxes your dog,” they continue. “It gives them a sense of security and helps them to bond with you. It’s their natural way of expressing affection towards you and thanking you” 


dog with tongue out and person he loves most Wade Austin Ellis / Unsplash

Of course, like any other typical dog behavior, it’s important to trust your gut when it comes to your own personal fur baby. We know them best and have a great gut instinct as to when they’re feeling stressed or in pain. Just like with any other dog tendency, remember that your environment has a lot to do with what they're trying to communicate. 

When you pick up on a strange tendency that your dog has recently started doing, try to keep track of how their behavior changes. If there are any specific triggers or something in your environment has changed, they might be trying to tell you something completely different.


RELATED: Trainer Reveals The 6 Signs Your Dog Does Not Want You To Pet Him Right Now

Other experts suggest paying attention to the entire environment if your dog is licking you a lot — as it can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. 

“Licking is self-reinforcing, so it has actually been proven to reduce the cortisol levels in dogs, which is the stress hormone,” dog trainer Sam Snell said in a TikTok video. “So, if your dog is doing it a lot they could be doing it for attention, but they could also just be doing it to relieve stress.” 



Of course, it’s heartwarming to know that your dog would come to you when they’re trying to calm down or get some love and reassurance, but ensure that they’re not being overly stressed by something that’s controllable. 


If you notice them licking their lips or trying to lick you all the time, it might be a sign that they’re not feeling well or are triggered by something that’s around you. As always, trust your gut — you’ll make the best decisions about your pets, because you know them better than anyone. 

If they’re perfectly healthy and happy, don’t forget to appreciate your dog’s kisses every once and a while. 

RELATED: 4 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is Trying To Tell You Something Important


Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.