Does your Pug lick your feet whenever you’re reclining on the couch with your bare feet exposed? Maybe she follows you around the house, licking your feet whenever you stop or slow down enough? This behavior can make you wonder “why does my Pug lick my feet” and what can I do to stop it?
So why do Pugs lick so much? All dogs love to lick but some lick more than others and there are several reasons that cause this behavior.
Why Does My Pug Lick My Feet?
This licking behavior is ingrained into your dog from puppyhood when they were licked by their mother to clean them, check on them, and stimulate elimination. As a puppy grows, they engage in licking as a way to communicate love, affection, attention-seeking, behavioral issues, and etc.
Unfortunately, your dog can’t speak to you and tell you why they enjoy licking your feet. It’s up to us as dog owners to figure out what causes this behavior.
If you believe your Pug is dealing with medical or behavioral issues, you should consult with your veterinarian so they can run some diagnostic tests on your pooch.
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6 Reasons Pugs Lick Your Feet
Dog experts everywhere have come up with several different theories on why dogs have an obsession with licking feet. Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons your Pug loves licking your feet.
#1 An Expression of Love
Pugs were bred to be companion dogs, which means they bond with their human companions. They could be licking your feet to show affection and love, especially if they lick your feet and no one else’s in the house.
In the animal world licking is the non-verbal method that is used to communicate love and trust within the family/pack. According to several studies, licking, sniffing, and prolonged eye contact releases the oxytocin hormone, which has also been dubbed the “trust hormone.”
#2 They Love The Taste
I know this sounds nasty, but dogs love gross stuff. It’s not uncommon to see Fido eating poop in your yard. You may have seen your pooch rolling around the yard on dead things, roll around in mud, and rummage in garbage.
If your dog is obsessed with your feet, it could be because they stink, you have blisters, corns, athlete’s foot, or other problems that your dog is attracted to.
Canines are naturally attracted to the sweat on our feet, because they love the salty taste. Your feet are much easier to reach than your salty hands.
Maybe it’s time to take care of your feet better or invest in better shoes so your feet won’t stink at the end of a long day. If you have other foot problems, you may want to consider consulting with a podiatrist.
If your dog licks your feet when you get out of the shower or put lotion on, it could be that they love the smell or taste of the products you’re using.
Make sure you’re not using products with any harmful chemicals that can hurt your pooch!
#3 To Get Attention
Pugs love attention and they may be licking your feet because they know it gets your attention and you like it. If your Pug has started licking your feet all of a sudden, it could be because they need you to refill their water bowl, or they may be trying to communicate they are hungry and you forgot to feed them?
Another reason is that they know you like it. For instance, whenever they lick your feet, you find it funny by laughing and giving them a lot of attention and kisses. They have learned that licking your feet gives them the attention they are looking for.
#4 To Get Information
According to Hohenhaus, “a dog uses their tongue as a way to explore their environment in the same way that babies do in that they put everything in their mouth.” If your Pug licks your feet whenever you come home, it could be they are merely trying to process information about where you’ve been.
The sweat in your feet contains salt and oil that can help your dog gather a great deal of information about where you’ve been.
#5 They Are Stressed
According to dog experts, licking releases endorphins in the brain, which helps make your dog feel more relaxed and calm. This can create compulsive behavior where dogs lick excessively.
This can also lead to your dog licking their feet, lips, or just excessive licking in general.
#6 Looking For Food
Pugs have a great sense of smell and it could be that you dropped a small crumb of good smelling food on your foot. If this is the case, they will likely lick your foot and continue sniffing and licking the floor around you.
How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Your Feet
At first you thought it was cute whenever your Pug licked your feet. However, now you find it frustrating, especially, since your dog doesn’t stop. This behavior has also gotten to the point where they’re licking your friends and families bare feet.
So can this behavior be stopped? Yes, as long as your dog isn’t suffering from medical issues, you can stop this behavior. Just know that it’s going to take time, treats, and patience.
Here are some steps you can take to see if they work for you.
Never Use Punishment
Your dog is not licking your feet to hurt you or make you feel bad. Therefore, you shouldn’t use punishment as a way to get them to stop. This will only cause your pooch to become anxious and fearful of you.
Instead, use positive reinforcement training techniques to distract your dog from licking your feet. For example, have a toy or treat in your pocket at all times, when your dog starts licking your feet, toss the toy a few feet away from yourself. When your Pug chases the toy and starts playing with it, bend down and give them a ton of praise to let them know how happy you are with them.
If the toy doesn’t work, you can give them the treat to distract them from your feet. However, it’s best to give them a puzzle toy with treats in it, as it will deter your dog longer from your feet and they will have to work hard to get the treat.
If nothing you try seems to work, then it’s time to contact a trainer or your veterinarian to help deter your dog from licking.
Don’t Ignore The Behavior
You might be tempted to just ignore the behavior because your dog doesn’t seem to understand you don’t like them licking your feet. However, ignoring the behavior and just walking away won’t make your dog stop.
In fact, trying to get away from your dog when they are trying to lick you will just turn into a fun game of chase for your pooch!
My Pug Is Constantly Licking His Own Feet
If your Pug has a foot-licking habit and is constantly licking her own feet, instead of yours, you will want to take immediate action. Examine their paws closely to see if you notice any cuts or abrasions, as dogs will lick their wounds, to help make them feel better.
When a dog licks their paws consistently, it’s usually due to skin allergies, anxiety, external parasites or etc.
Read this article if your Pug is constantly licking their paws to help get her the relief she needs.
Final Word On Why Pugs Lick Their Owers Feet
No one wants their dog licking their feet when you take off your socks and shoes to kick back. Hopefully, these tips will help you cure your Pug’s feet licking obsession.
You can train your Pug to stop licking your feet, you just need to be patient and give your dog time to unlearn this behavior.
References And Further Reading
American Kennel Club – Anna Burke – Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?
I Love Dogs – Dr. Kathryn Primm – Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?