Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other

Dogs are known for their loving and affectionate nature. They communicate with each other in various ways, one of which is through licking. If you’re a dog owner, you must have witnessed your furry friend licking another dog or even yourself. But have you ever wondered why dogs lick each other? In this article, we will dive deep into the reasons behind this behavior.

The Social Aspect of Licking

Dogs are social animals, and they use different forms of communication to interact with each other. Licking is one of these ways. When two dogs meet, they sniff each other’s faces and bodies to gather information about the other dog’s identity, mood, and health status. If they feel comfortable and safe with each other, they may start licking as a way of greeting and showing affection.

Licking also has a calming effect on dogs. When a dog licks another dog’s face or ears, it releases endorphins that help reduce stress levels in both dogs. This is why you may notice your dog licking its playmate during playtime to keep the interaction calm and enjoyable.

In some cases, dogs may lick each other as a sign of submission or respect. The submissive dog will lick the dominant dog’s face or paws to show its respect and willingness to follow the leader’s rules.

Grooming Behavior

Dogs are naturally clean animals that like to groom themselves regularly. However, sometimes they need help from their canine friends to reach certain parts of their bodies that they can’t get to themselves. This is where licking comes in handy.

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If you observe two dogs grooming each other, you’ll notice that they target specific areas such as the face, ears, neck, and genital area. These are the spots that require regular cleaning but are often hard for dogs to reach on their own. By licking these areas, dogs help remove dirt, debris, and excess fur from their companion’s coat.

Motherly Instincts

Have you ever seen a mother dog licking her puppies? This is not just a grooming behavior but a crucial aspect of maternal care. Mother dogs lick their newborn puppies to stimulate their breathing and circulation, eliminate any amniotic fluid or membranes that may obstruct the breathing passages, and encourage urination and defecation.

Licking also helps strengthen the bond between the mother dog and her offspring. Puppies learn to associate their mother’s licking with feelings of comfort, safety, and love. As they grow up, they may continue this behavior as a way of showing affection to other dogs.

Medical Reasons

In some cases, excessive licking may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Dogs may lick each other’s wounds or areas affected by allergies or skin infections to relieve itching and help speed up the healing process. However, if you notice your dog excessively licking another dog or itself, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian to rule out any medical issues that may require treatment.


Dogs are social creatures that use various forms of communication to interact with each other. Licking is one of these ways and serves many purposes such as greeting, bonding, grooming, and even health-related matters. As a dog owner, it’s important to understand the reasons behind your furry friend’s behavior and provide them with a safe and comfortable environment where they can express themselves freely. So next time you see two dogs licking each other, remember that it’s not just a random act but a beautiful display of canine affection and bonding.