Why does my dog lick my legs all the time?

Cute dog licking the leg and foot of his owner

Pets can’t communicate the way humans do, so it’s up to you to explore possible reasons why your dog is licking your legs. However, there are several common reasons why your dog is acting this way.

Going for the Salt

Dogs may lick humans for a variety of reasons, such as survival instinct. Licking the salt off of your legs could be a remnant of their evolutionary history. Dogs could often go for days without food, which is why they feel the need to eat salt when they get a chance.

Salt isn’t commonly found in nature, so your dog may be licking the salt off your legs to get necessary nutrients or just a salty snack.


Dogs have a phenomenal sense of taste and smell. They may be licking your legs because they found something interesting on them. Dogs also often love the smell and taste of lotion. The more you sweat or produce oils in your body, the easier it will be to differentiate between different flavors.

Showing Affection

Dogs lick their owner’s legs because they are equivalent to kisses. Dogs licking is a way for dogs to show affection towards their owner. If your dog has really bonded with you and considers you his or her owner, then this is a natural behavior that may be triggered automatically in your pet. 

Licking is a common way of showing affection between humans and dogs. It shows trust, which is essential in establishing a bond with your pet.

In some cases, a dog may lick one of the people in the household because he or she is lonely and has separation anxiety. It can be a way to bond with that family member and start to feel comfortable again.


Dogs lick their owners because they are trying to show empathy. When your dog sees you upset about something, they may be trying to comfort and show their concern.

They want to make you feel better when you’re feeling down, and that could be one reason why they do it.

Submissive Behavior

Another reason could be that they’re trying to show submission. Your pet might try to display submissive behavior with their leg licking if the dog is being harassed, scolded, or abused. Some owners might interpret this behavior as your dog being scared or intimidated by you.

Submissive behavior is a type of canine body language that can indicate a dog’s willingness to interact with its human. It includes actions such as sitting, rolling over, and pawing at the ground. 


Dogs lick their owner’s legs because it’s a part of their natural instinct.

By licking you, your dog is simply cleaning himself. Your dog might also be trying to get rid of any leftovers from its last meal.


Dogs may lick your legs or feet to communicate with you that they are stressed. Dogs tend to lick their owners because of stress or anxiety. Some dogs may lick their owner’s legs in a very intense reaction to stress. Often, this type of reaction can be a way pet owners can help with a dog’s anxiety.


When there’s no physical or mental stimulation for a dog, he/she may end up licking your legs too much to entertain themselves. Dogs will often eat grass, lick their paws, or vibrate their tails when they are bored.

Why does my dog lick my legs after a shower?

Your dog may be licking your legs when you take a shower. It might mean that the dog is seeking affection, tasting water or lotions, or showing submission.

In short, all the same reasons for leg licking apply with a slight twist. Now your legs are wet and smell fantastic, especially to a dog. For a dog, it’s hard to resist the scent and taste sensation that happens when you get out of the shower.

Should I Stop My Dog from Licking My Legs?

Dog licking your legs can be a positive experience. It’s up to you whether or not you should let the dog lick your leg. Leg licking can be normal behavior, so generally, there is no need for concern. 

It is when leg licking becomes excessive that needing help may become necessary. If your dog is licking your legs too frequently or doing it for unusally long periods of time, you should have him/her checked out by a veterinary professional.

How to Stop My Dog From Licking My Legs?

So what can you do to prevent your dog from licking you? There are many options when it comes to preventing your dog from licking your legs. Here are some strategies that you can try.

1. Don’t React

Don’t react to your dog’s tongue pressing on your legs because this will only encourage it. If the dog licks your legs, don’t reward them with attention or affection. Try not to push your dog away either. This action may prompt your dog to do it again.

2. Work With Them

Spending time with your pet can provide them with mental attention. If you have the time, then try taking your dog for a walk or grooming it. Keep in mind that your dog may still lick you even if you are busy, so you must find a balance between what you’re doing and what it is doing.

3. Give Them Something to Chew On

Dogs lick your legs because they are bored. One of the best ways to prevent this is by giving them something to chew on. This will keep them occupied, and it can help them relieve their stress.

4. Train Them to Stop

Dogs aren’t always going to stop licking your legs because you tell them to. You can train them by using a great dog training collar.

This encourages the dog to stop licking you, and it’s an excellent way to keep them stimulated.

5. Changes in Diet

Dogs sometimes lick their owner’s legs due to allergies in their diet. Changing your pet’s diet could make a huge difference. You can try switching to a different brand of dog food, and you may also want to check the ingredients on the label.

It’s also important to check for any changes in your dog’s diet. This could be the reason why they are licking you.

6. Provide Them With Consistent Exercise

Though dogs naturally like to exercise, they may not necessarily get enough movement in their daily routine. If your pet is not getting enough physical activity, it will make them more stressed and anxious. This could also make them lick you more often. So to help them with their licking habit, you should take them for a walk or to the dog park.

Giving your pet exercise can refresh their minds and provide them with mental stimulation.

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