What Do Your Pet's Kisses Mean?
Happily, yes! But there are other reasons too.
Cats and dogs get lots of “lickings” when they are young. So licking us can mean they’re secure with us as a part of their family—they’re keeping us clean and claiming us as their own! For dogs, it might also be a gesture of submission, saying we’re the leaders of the pack.
They’re marking us by adding their scent. Cats in particular lick each other as a form of social bonding. Licking is their way of petting, so the next time you’re covered in dog slime or roughed up by a cat’s sandpaper tongue, consider yourself loved.
More Reasons for Kisses:
- Cats who were orphaned at a young age or weaned too early will often develop the habit of licking you to approximate the soothing comfort that nursing would have provided.
- Both dogs and cats may also lick obsessively when anxious. At those times, some extra affection on your part can go along way to calming your pet’s nerves.
- Dogs get a release of endorphins in their brains from licking you, so they literally feel comfort and pleasure.
- To a dog, your sweaty, salty skin tastes pretty yummy.
- Licking can also be a dog’s invitation to play.
It’s important to note though that excessive licking of themselves by either a dog or cat can be an indication of a medical/ behavioral issue. If your pet is losing fur in the area being licked, seek assistance from your veterinarian.