Why Does My Dog Lick Me After Eating? Explained

Why Does My Dog Lick Me After Eating? Explained

Unlike many other animals, dogs remember and are very thankful for anyone who does him something good. They also wouldn’t forget to show their gratitude. Licking, waving his tail, and having happy smiles on their faces are some of the ways a dog says “thank you!” 

But why does my dog lick me after eating? If your doggo licks your hand or feet after eating, it could mean he’s thanking you for the delicious meal. Also, it could be that he’s asking for more food or searching your hand for some more. 

Why Does My Dog Lick Me After Eating? 

As I said before, dogs lick you on several occasions; to show their love, gratitude, and affection towards you, say thank you, ask for food or a treat, ask you to pet them, etc.

But have you ever noticed that your pup licks you after a meal? If you have, there could mainly be three possible answers for why he does it. 

  • He’s Saying Thank You For The Delicious Meal

You may have poured him some dog food out of a package or prepared some homemade food for your puppy like a good dog parent.

Either way, now that he has finished all the food in his food bowl and filled up his tummy, he’s back to you to say “thank you.” 

After gulping down all the food, he’ll come searching for you and lick your hand, legs, or wherever he has access to show his gratitude. 

  • Looking If You Have Any More Food 

Did your pet gulp down the food you gave him and lick his bowl clean? And is he back licking, nudging, and sniffing at you and your hands.

Then I’m sure of one thing. You’ve done magic with your puppy’s food. If you made it yourself, I’d like to give you a thumbs up for your hard work. 

You must be wondering why I’m praising you. 

Your doggo licked his food bowl clean and is now looking for more of that mouth-watering food you gave him. The taste must have driven him crazy, and your best friend is craving more now.

Because you’re the one who gave him that food, he may be thinking that you have more of that with you. 

If you think it’s appropriate to give him some more and won’t exceed the amount of his daily nutritional intake, you may give him some more. 

  • Mom, I’m Still Hungry!

Are you sure you gave him enough food? Or is your puppy just greedy? When trying to figure out “why does my dog lick me after eating,” one of the answers was that he’s still hangry and asking for more.

Just like in earlier situations, if you think you can give him some more, you may let him eat some more.

But, if you’re 100% sure that your dog is looking for some extra food out of greed, maybe it’s better if you finish up his meal time right away.

What To Do When Your Dog Licks Your Hand After Eating? 

Licking is the dog’s way of conveying his thoughts to you. Though sometimes your pet may lick you for no reason, there might be a hidden reason, too.

Your feet and hands are some of your most favorite licking points for your pup. 

But what does it mean?  Why does my dog lick me after eating all the time? And what should you do when he does that? 

As I said, there might be three main reasons. He might be thanking you, looking if you have food with you, or asking you to give him more food. But before you do anything, you should first understand why he’s licking you in the first place. 

If you give more food unknowingly or without understanding that your pet is not hungry but greedy, you’ll have an obese dog by your side after some time. 

When a dog licks you after meals, he might be saying thank you. Yet if you feel that he’s searching you for some more, thinking maybe you’ve got some hidden with you, don’t give it away immediately.

First, you need to understand if you should provide more. If you’re confident he’s had enough for one meal, you better distract him with something and get his mind off food. 

The same theory applies when he’s asking for more food out of greed. But do remember that if you don’t give him enough food for every meal, the dog will be genuinely hungry and pleading for some more. So, you need to ensure you’re giving him enough food. 

If you decide he’s had enough, give him his favorite toy or start a game, such as a fetch. It will distract him from food for a considerable amount of time. 

Should you stop your dog from licking you? Is it okay to let the dog lick you? Let’s find out further.

Should You Stop Your Dog From Licking You? 

This decision depends on your personality, likes, and dislikes. If you enjoy your dog licking you, you can let him continue. There’s no harm done when your dog licks people. 

Sometimes the reason behind “why does my dog lick me after eating?” might be stress/anxiety.

But, licking helps them to get rid of stress and anxiety. Also, don’t forget that your pup conveys love and affection through this. 

But, if you feel disgusted or don’t like it when your pet smooches you with kisses, you might feel the need to stop it. 

How can you stop an instinctive habit? Let us tell you how to do this very gently. 

  • Say No

You mustn’t scold your dog for this habit. Just say ‘no’ in an authoritative voice whenever your pooches lick you. Or else You can ignore your pet, too.

Yet, please don’t do it in a hurtful manner because your doggo licks you because he loves you. 

  • Distract Him 

Another thing you could do to stop this is to distract him with something else. Play a round of fetch, or give him his chew toy, and it will forget the act he did some mere moments ago. 

  • Use Citrus

Most dogs find the citrus smell and taste disgusting. Therefore if you can use some citrus-scented products, your pet will naturally find it repulsive and back away from you without licking.

Although, there can be some dogs, a minority, who don’t care about this lemony smell. 

  • Consider Taking Medicine

As I said, your dog might be licking you because of stress anxiety. If you can get proper medication for the canine, the habit will change over time. 

Moreover, you can opt for training or some dog-appeasing pheromones. It will calm anxiety in your pet. So do you now understand the answers to “why does my dog lick me after eating?” 

This is it for today’s article, fellow dog parents! We’ll see you with another blog very soon! Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed. Have a wonderful day!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

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