You may be a pet owner and more specifically, a dog owner. The dog life is full of fun and adventure, with amazing energy and outdoor walks. Dogs are the best pets to have since they offer protection and good company. You do know that gods wag their tail whenever they are happy. They may also get too close to you and lick your face. Have you ever wondered why do dogs lick our faces? Wonder no more and read on.

Why Do Dogs Lick Our Faces?

By observing your dog you may have noticed that it licks itself to keep clean. However, at some point, depending on how you relate with it, it may lick your face. Is this normal behavior? Should you allow it to continue licking your face? The licking behavior in dogs evolved from the wolf puppies that were about to stop suckling. They would lick the adult wolf’s face to prompt the regurgitation of partially ingested food, which they would then eat. Here are some reasons as to why dogs lick our faces.

As a Sign of Affection

Although you may feel like they are too close for comfort and all in your face in the most literal sense, licking of faces in a dog’s world is seen as a sign of affection. Dogs that love each other do not growl at each other but groom each other by licking the other dog’s face. When they are close with you, they will get close to you and lick the part of your skin that is exposed and if they get close to your face, they will lick it.

To Appease

If you get a guest with whom your dogs get close to, they will possibly try to bond with them. After the dog studies the person and determines that they are good, they will then try to get in their good books. To do this, they may sit on their lap, jump on them, try to play with them or even lick their face.

To Clear Food Particles

This is something that dogs mostly do to little children and babies. If your household has a dog that is friendly to the little ones, it will probably walk with them through their daily activities. If feeding time gets messy and the furry friend is nearby, you can bet that it will lick the food particles from your child’s face.

Is a Dog Licking Your Face Risky?


Dog saliva has no known effect on human skin. A dog licking your face is mostly safe and should not be a cause for concern to you. However,  it is not advisable to allow a dog to lick your face if you have open wounds, cuts, or sores. The moistness will provide a good environment for the bacteria, and this may lead to an infection. Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a bacteria that is found in dog and cat saliva. The cases in which this bacteria has been found to be harmful is when it is highly concentrated in the dog saliva and a dog licked a human’s open wound. If you have a known allergic reaction to dogs, do take precautions.

Enjoy Dog Life and Dog Love

You definitely loved your dog from the first time you saw it and it will be loyal to you for all time. Enjoy the ‘dog life’ and dog love. Plenty jumps, wagging, and licking of your face is bound to happen!

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Last Update: June 4, 2020