Does your dog lick your armpits? Licking is a natural behavior of dogs with most owners cherishing the love they get in this way from their furry friends. However, your dog may be particularly fond of licking your armpit, and it may leave you puzzled.
There are a variety of possible causes of armpit licking in dogs, including grooming their owners, boredom, stress, anxiety, to communicate or show affection, or simply because they like the taste of armpits or are attracted to the deodorant.
Keep reading to find out more about why your dog licks your armpits, whether it is safe to let them, and how to get them to stop if the behavior is disruptive.
Before a more in-depth answer to this question, “Why Does My Dog Lick My Armpit,” check out these other dog-related questions answered by our team at We Love Doodles: Why Does My Dog Lick My Eyes? and Why Does My Dog Lick My Arm?.
Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Your Armpits
Dogs are known for showing unusual behavior at times, and your dog licking your armpits is one of them. There are several reasons why a dog might lick a person’s armpits. They range from instinct to boredom. Exploring the meaning behind this strange behavior can help you understand your dog.
Taste and Smell
One reason your dog might lick your armpit is simply because they enjoy the taste. Dogs have a highly developed sense of taste and smell, and they may find the salty, musky scent of a person’s armpits to be appealing.
Armpits have scent glands that give off your specific scent. Your scent is an identification to your dog, not a nuisance. Some dogs are more intrigued by their owner’s scents than others. These dogs are also prone to stealing socks, shoes, and other clothing.
On the other hand, some dogs like the taste of hygiene products and may just like your deodorant. Some deodorant scents may even smell like food. However, check the ingredients of your deodorant for xylitol if your dog licks your armpits. This ingredient can be toxic to dogs.
Communication or Affection
Another reason dogs lick armpits is that dogs use licking as a way to communicate and show affection. If a dog licks a person’s armpits, it could be a sign that they are trying to express to that person that they love them. This is especially true if the dog is also wagging their tail and exhibiting other signs of happiness.
This kind of affection may also be a show of submission to their owners. Pay attention to your dog’s body language when they are trying to lick your armpits to see what they’re trying to communicate.
Licking can also be a way for dogs to groom themselves and their owners. Dogs will often lick themselves and other dogs in order to clean and groom their fur, and they may also lick their owners as a way of grooming them.
This could be especially true if the person has sweat or dirt on their armpits, as the dog may just be trying to clean them.
Anxiety or Stress
It’s also possible that a dog might lick a person’s armpits out of anxiety or stress. Licking can be a self-soothing behavior for dogs, and if a dog is feeling anxious or stressed, they may lick their owners as a way of calming themselves down.
Boredom or Attention Seeking
Finally, it’s worth noting that some dogs may simply lick their owner’s armpits because they are bored or seeking attention. If a dog is not getting enough mental and physical stimulation, they may engage in behaviors like licking as a way of entertaining themselves.
Why they chose your armpits is a mystery. It may be connected to being an area of strong scent. Your armpit is a spot that is appealing and a place where they know they can get your attention.
Are Dogs Attracted to Deodorants?
It is possible that dogs may be attracted to certain deodorants, particularly those that contain strong or unusual scents. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and are known to be attracted to certain smells, such as food and other appealing scents. Some deodorants may have ingredients that are particularly appealing to dogs, such as essential oils or perfumes.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs may also be attracted to other personal care products, such as lotions, shampoos, and perfumes, in addition to deodorants.
It’s also worth noting that dogs may be attracted to deodorants and other personal care products for other reasons besides the smell. For example, they may be attracted to the texture or consistency of the product, or they may simply be curious and want to explore.
While it’s natural for dogs to be curious and explore their environment, it’s important to keep your deodorant and other personal care products out of reach to prevent your dog from getting into them. Some deodorants and other personal care products can be harmful if ingested by dogs, and it’s important to keep them out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion.
In general, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the products you use and make sure to store them in a secure location where your dog cannot access them. If you are concerned about your dog’s attraction to certain products, it may be helpful to speak with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.
Is It Dangerous for Dogs to Lick You?
It is generally not dangerous for dogs to lick people. In fact, many people find it to be a sign of affection and don’t mind being licked by their dogs. However, there are a few potential risks every dog owner must consider.
Bacteria and Parasites
One risk of dogs licking people is the transmission of bacteria and parasites. While a dog’s mouth may not be as dirty as some people believe, it is still home to a variety of bacteria and parasites that could potentially cause illness in humans.
For example, dogs can carry the bacterium Pasteurella, which can cause infections in humans if it enters through a break in the skin. Dogs can also carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause toxoplasmosis in humans. Toxoplasmosis is usually mild and causes flu-like symptoms, but it can be more serious for people with compromised immune systems.
However, these risks can be minimized by taking a few simple precautions. For example, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after being licked by a dog, especially before eating or preparing food. It’s also important to keep any open wounds or cuts covered when interacting with dogs to prevent the risk of infection.
Another risk of dogs licking people is the potential for allergic reactions. Some people may be allergic to a protein found in a dog’s saliva, which can cause irritation if it comes into contact with the skin.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include redness, itching, and swelling. In severe cases, an allergic reaction can lead to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis, which is a medical emergency. If you are allergic to dogs or have a history of allergies, it’s a good idea to avoid close contact with dogs or to take precautions, such as washing your hands after being licked.
Underlying Health Issue
It’s also important to consider the context in which a dog is licking. If a dog excessively licks a person or a particular area of the body, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue. For example, excessive licking could be a sign of a skin condition or allergies. In these cases, it’s important to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause and get proper treatment.
How Do I Stop My Dog from Licking Me?
If you want to stop your dog from licking you, it’s important to first understand why they are licking you in the first place. Dogs often lick their owners and other humans as a sign of affection, to groom them, or to show that they are happy. However, there are also other possible reasons for excessive licking, such as stress or anxiety, boredom, or a medical condition.
It’s important to set clear boundaries with your dog and make it clear that licking is not allowed. Here are some steps you can take to stop your dog from licking you:
Redirect Their Attention
One of the easiest ways to stop your dog from licking you is to redirect their attention to something else. This may be in the form of a chew toy, a treat, or a little bit of playtime.
When your dog starts to lick you, simply say “no” in a firm but calm voice and give them something else to focus on.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Whenever your dog licks you and then stops when you ask them to, be sure to give them plenty of praise and treats. This will help them associate good things with stopping the licking behavior.
Continue to redirect them to something else to engage them and get them away from the root of their licking.
Keep Your Skin Clean
Dogs are more likely to lick areas of skin that are dirty or have a strong scent, such as sweat or perfume. To discourage your dog from licking you, be sure to keep your skin clean and free of strong odors.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
If your dog is excessively licking you as a way to cope with stress or anxiety, it’s important to address the underlying cause of their distress. This may involve providing your dog with more mental and physical stimulation, training them to cope with stressful situations, or seeking the help of a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.
Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, excessive licking may be caused by a medical condition, such as allergies, dental problems, or skin irritation. If you have tried the above steps and your dog’s licking behavior persists, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.
When Does Licking Become a Problem?
Excessive licking by a dog can become a problem when it begins to interfere with the dog’s daily life or the well-being of the person being licked. Here are some signs that excessive licking by a dog may be a problem:
Licking Causes Physical Harm
If a dog’s licking is causing physical harm to the person being licked or to the dog themselves, it may be a problem. For example, if a dog’s licking is causing skin irritation or open wounds on the person being licked, or if the dog is ingesting large amounts of their own saliva due to excessive licking, it’s important to address the issue.
Licking is Disrupting Daily Activities
If a dog’s licking is disrupting daily activities or causing problems in the household, it may be a problem. For example, if a dog’s licking is preventing a person from getting a good night’s sleep or is causing conflicts with other family members, it may be necessary to take steps to address the issue.
If licking is preventing sleep, consider crate training your dog. Dogs enjoy a space of their own, and with training, your dog may enjoy their crate.
Licking is Causing Stress or Anxiety
If a dog’s licking is causing stress or anxiety for the person being licked or for the dog itself, it may be a problem. For example, if a person is feeling overwhelmed or anxious because of a dog’s excessive licking, or if the dog becomes anxious when they are not able to lick, it’s important to address the issue.
Every dog is different, and what constitutes excessive licking can vary from one dog to another. In general, however, if a dog’s licking is causing problems or interfering with daily life, it’s important to take steps to address the issue. With the right approach and training, it is often possible to modify a dog’s licking behavior and help them learn to lick appropriately.
Dogs like the smell of deodorant and may like the taste of some deodorants. Dogs have been known to lick many kinds of hygiene products. Be careful with products that contain xylitol because it can be harmful to dogs.
Armpits are an area of intense smells, and dogs love to smell things. The first reason dogs sniff armpits is because there are glands there, which are a source of a lot of odor. In addition, there may be stinky bacteria living in armpits that dogs are curious about.
Your dog might also sniff your armpit because they are attracted to your deodorant. Deodorant has a variety of complex smells that dogs find interesting.
There are many reasons a dog might lick themselves or their owners. These range from anxiety and boredom to cleaning and showing affection.
If you think your dog is licking because of anxiety, find alternative activities that they can do or supplements they can take. Talk to your veterinarian about this behavior at your dog’s next vet appointment.
Conclusion For “Why Does My Dog Lick My Armpit?”
Even though it’s a strange habit, your dog might lick your armpits for a variety of reasons. These include taste, smell, communication, grooming, anxiety, and boredom. Identifying the reason behind this behavior will understand your dog. Assess the situation and whether or not you are comfortable with this behavior to determine what to do next.
There are straightforward ways for owners to redirect a dog’s licking behavior. If you think your dog’s licking has become excessive or problematic, it may be necessary to speak with a professional about what you can do to curb the behavior.
If you find this guide, “Why Does My Dog Lick My Armpit,” helpful, check out these other dog-related questions answered by our team:
- Why Does My Dog Lick My Underwear?
- Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Ears?
- Why Do Dogs Lick Me In the Morning?
You can learn more about why your dog licks you by watching “Why Does My DOG LICK ME? 🐶👅 (Face, Feet, Hand and Ear Licking)” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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