Is A Dog Licking Your Face A Sign Of Affection?

Is A Dog Licking Your Face A Sign Of Affection?

As pet parents, especially dogs, we constantly get licked by our furry boys and girls. They give us these kisses on various occasions, no matter whether they are happy or sad. But why do our beloved babies lick us? That is doubt in most of our minds. 

So, Is a dog licking your face a sign of affection? The meaning of your pet’s kisses may differ depending on the situation. Yes. Sometimes it does happen out of love and affection, but there could be many different meanings behind this licking habit your pet brings since puppyhood.

In our minds, being optimistic, we interpret all these licks as kisses we get out of love from our sons and daughters. But is it really true? Let’s find out.

Is A Dog Licking Your Face A Sign Of Affection? 

As I said before, we get licked no matter what moods we or our pet is in. but, unsurprisingly, these kisses have different meanings according to different perspectives. 

  • Getting Licked By Your Dog When He’s Angry 

We have had multiple situations where your dog gets mad at someone or something for some reason. There are also some situations, rare it might be, where your dog is angry at you.

But when a canine gets a sudden emotional rush like this, he only knows how to calm him down by licking you non-stop.

And then you’ll pet him until he’s back to normal cooing. Hasn’t that worked for you? The same thing applies when the dog is sad too. 

  • Thanking You Or Saying I Love You

Our pets can’t talk or show their emotions to us. The only way to do this is by licking you.

If the canine is licking you after a meal or a nice walk outdoors, he might be thanking you or saying how much he loves you. Is that not lovely? 

  • Asking You For Food Or A Treat

When dogs are hungry (especially my dog), they lick your face, feet, and hands. My pet Sparkles licks me and will run to where his food bowls are placed.

Then I know he’s hungry for hours. Even though I don’t let him eat out during his meal time, rarely, when he asks me for food, I will give him a small treat to satisfy him. If he keeps asking, I’ll take his mind off food by bringing out his favorite toy. 

Therefore, if your dog is licking you and you’re questioning, is a dog licking your face a sign of affection? Yes, it is a sign of affection. But not all the time. 

There could be different meanings for this on different occasions. Additionally, when you return home after going out, your canine will run to you like a bullet. He won’t stop there. He’ll sniff you, lick you, and just about do a security check on you.

That’s how he’s showing how grateful he is for you to be back home. And by sniffing you, he’s trying to get an idea where you have been all that time.

Should You Let Your Dog Lick Your Face? 

Now, if you’re a pet parent trying to get answers to “is a dog licking your face a sign of affection?” This is another part that you may come across. Should you let your dog lick you? Is it healthy? 

While there’s no risk involved when the canine kisses healthy adults or children, you should not let him lick any irritated skin.

If you have a wound, cut, or rash, allowing the pet to lick it could worsen the situation. The germs in the dog’s saliva and rough tongue could further infect and open up the wound. 

Moreover, all of us are well aware that germs and other unhealthy microbes could be in your pet’s saliva.

Therefore, it’s always better to stay on the safe side and wash off after your pet licks you. I either wash my face, hands, and legs with water or sanitizer gel. 

As a person who always likes to be on the safe side, I take safety precautions to keep my health intact. But, it doesn’t mean you should completely forbid your furry friend from licking you. They do this primarily out of love or to convey something on their mind to you. 

Therefore, if you stop letting your best friend do what he has been doing his whole life to talk, he’ll lose all means to communicate with you. How lonely would that be for your bestie? 

So, no, when you’re trying to figure out whether a dog licking your face a sign of affection or not never stop him from licking your face. If you’re really concerned, don’t let him lick your mouth area and injured skin.

Other than that, if your fluffy boy is licking you on the face, pet him and say I love you too. Because he’s telling you “I love you!” to you. 

Can This Licking Trait In Your Dog Become A Problem? 

Yes. There are some situations where this habit becomes a problem. One such occasion is when the pet licks you on a wound or mouth.

As I explained earlier in the article, it could transmit millions of germs to the gash making it highly vulnerable to infections. 

Next, if the dog starts licking your face and other body parts excessively or aggressively, it might be pointing to problematic situations such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, or depression. 

In OCD, the canine’s brain constructs an abusive habit of licking that the dog cannot control. He’ll be forced to comply with his brain signals despite his need to stop.

As treatments for this disorder, you should get behavioral correcting lessons as well as oral medications for the pet. Unfortunately, neither of them guarantees 100% that your canine will come out of OCD

Anxiety and depression also make the canines lick their owners non-stop. This excessive licking will raise red flags in any dog owner’s mind.

Because excessive licking is one of the significant symptoms of anxiety, you must be very cautious if the dog starts behaving abnormally.

For most dogs, separation from their loved ones, loneliness, boredom, and fear can trigger the roots of anxiety. But, if you ignore getting the necessary medical attention, it could change your doggo’s whole personality; changing his behavior and raising many other issues.

If you’re a dog parent who’s researching “is a dog licking your face a sign of affection,” you must now clearly understand it. Let me give you a summary of today’s article. 

If your dog licks your face, it indeed is a sign of affection. But depending on the situation, the meaning of why your furry friend is licking you may vary.

Moreover, if you ever get the feeling that your best friend is overdoing it, it’s better if you seek medical attention. 

So, is a dog licking your face a sign of affection? Yes, it is. But it could also mean he’s asking for something or your pet isn’t well. It all depends on how well you read and understand your dog.

Thank you for reading and Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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