10 Reasons Why Your Dog Licks You Before You Go To Sleep

10 reasond why dogs lick you before bed petrage

If you’re a pet owner or a dog lover, you’ve probably experienced the adorable phenomenon of your pup giving you a goodnight lick before settling down for sleep. But have you ever wondered why dogs do this? It turns out there are numerous reasons behind this affectionate behavior. From showing love and loyalty to marking their territory, dog licking has been a mystery that has puzzled pet owners for ages. In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 reasons why your dog licks you before you go to sleep and shed some light on this endearing habit that brings joy to dog lovers everywhere.

Do certain breeds of dogs lick more than others before bed?

No, the tendency to lick before bed is not specific to any particular dog breed. It is more of an individual behavior that varies from dog to dog. Some dogs may lick more frequently or intensely as a way of showing affection or seeking attention, regardless of their breed.

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Reason 1: A Display of Affection

One of the primary reasons why your dog licks you before you go to sleep is a simple display of love and affection. Dogs are naturally affectionate creatures, and licking is their way of showing appreciation for their human family members. This gesture releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin, strengthening the bond between you and your canine companion. It’s their way of saying “I love you” and expressing their loyalty and devotion.

Reason 2: Communication Through Licks

Dogs are known to use licking as a form of communication, and it’s not limited to interactions with other canines. When your pup licks you before you go to sleep, they are trying to convey various messages and emotions. It could be a sign of their excitement and happiness to be near you, or it could be their way of requesting attention or affection. Understanding your dog’s body language and the context in which the lick occurs can help you decipher what they are trying to communicate.

Reason 3: Grooming Instincts

Just like cats, dogs are natural groomers. When your dog licks you, they may be exhibiting their grooming instincts. Dogs groom their pack members to maintain cleanliness and establish social bonds. So, when your furry friend licks you, consider it a compliment, as they view you as part of their family unit.

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Reason 4: Tasting and Exploring

Dogs explore their world using their senses, and their sense of taste is no exception. When your dog licks you before you go to sleep, it’s not just a sign of affection, but also a way for them to gather information about their surroundings and the people they interact with. Your skin might have traces of food or scents that intrigue your dog, making them want to give you a friendly lick. It’s their way of tasting and exploring the world around them, forming a deeper connection with you through this sensory experience.

Reason 5: Seeking Attention

Dogs are social animals that thrive on human interaction. Licking can be a way for your dog to seek your attention, especially when they notice you getting ready for bed. They might be signaling that they want to be near you and are looking for some cuddle time before you doze off. This behavior is a clear expression of their need for companionship and affection. By licking you, they are trying to establish a connection and engage with you in a meaningful way.


Reason 6: Expressing Submission

Licking is also a submissive gesture in the canine world. By licking you, your dog is acknowledging your role as the leader of the pack. This behavior is deeply ingrained in their instincts, harking back to their wild ancestors’ hierarchical pack structures.

Reason 7: Demonstrating Empathy

Dogs are remarkably empathetic creatures and can pick up on their owner’s emotions. When you’re feeling down or stressed, your dog might lick you as a way to comfort and console you. Their presence and affectionate licks have a calming effect that can alleviate anxiety and promote emotional well-being. It’s almost as if they know exactly what you need in that moment. This display of empathy is just one of the many reasons why dogs hold a special place in our hearts and why they are often referred to as man’s best friend.

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Reason 8: Alleviating Stress

Dogs have their own unique ways of coping with stress, and one of them is through licking. It may seem like a simple behavior, but for dogs, it can be a soothing activity that helps alleviate stress before bedtime. Just as humans might engage in comforting habits like fiddling with their hair, dogs find comfort in licking to release tension and feel more at ease. This self-soothing behavior can help them relax and prepare for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Reason 9: Marking Their Territory

In the wild, dogs use scent-marking as a way to claim territory and communicate with other animals. While licking may not be as obvious as urinating on objects, it does allow your dog to leave their scent on you, indicating that you are part of their territory and pack.

Reason 10: Instinctive Motherly Behavior

Puppies often lick their mother’s face to stimulate her regurgitation reflex, as it helps them consume solid food when they’re young. This instinctual behavior carries on into adulthood, where dogs may lick their owners as a sign of trust and love, mirroring the nurturing they received from their mothers.

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Why Your Dog Licks You Before Sleep – Final Thoughts

Dogs lick as a natural way to show affection and create a sense of security, reminiscent of their puppyhood. The act of licking releases endorphins in both dogs and humans, promoting relaxation and bonding. While occasional licks are common and comforting, incessant licking or for long periods of time may indicate underlying issues that require attention. So, the next time your dog gives you an affectionate lick before sleeping, embrace it as a reminder of the strong bond you share and appreciate the special connection you have with your pup.

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