Have you ever wondered why, after stepping out of a refreshing shower, your dog rushes over to give you a generous lick? You’re not alone. This behavior is quite common among our canine companions. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this unique behavior.
The World of Canine Senses
To understand our dogs better, it’s crucial to dive into the world of their senses. Dogs experience their surroundings predominantly through their sense of smell. A human has around 6 million olfactory receptors; dogs have up to 300 million! This allows them to detect scents at 100 million times lower concentrations than we can.
1. You Smell Different
You wash away many natural oils and scents from your skin every time you shower. Even if you don’t lather with heavily scented body washes or shampoos, pouring changes your scent profile; your dog might be intrigued by this change and lick you better to understand this ‘new’ version of you. So, a dog licks you after a shower.
2. Tasting the Residue
Many shower products leave behind residues, even if you rinse well. Being curious creatures, dogs might be attracted to these residues. The flavor of these products (like tropical or fruity scents) can entice some dogs to give you a taste test.
3. Comforting Behavior
Licking can also be a comforting behavior for dogs. Dogs and wolves lick each other in the wild as a form of social bonding. Your dog might try to comfort or bond with you by licking you after you shower. The change in your scent might make them feel that you need some extra reassurance.
4. Instincts at Play
When puppies are born, their mother licks them to clean and stimulate them. This maternal behavior can continue in adult dogs, making them want to ‘clean’ or ‘groom’ their human family members. After your shower, your dog might think you’re still wet and feel the instinct to ‘dry’ you.
5. Seeking Attention
Let’s not forget the simple explanation: dogs are masters at getting our Attention. If you’ve reacted to your dog’s licking post-shower before—whether by laughing, petting them, or giving them any form of Attention—they might have picked up on this as a surefire way to get your focus.
Should I Be Concerned?
Generally, a dog licking you after a shower is harmless and is just one of the many quirks that make our pets so endearing. However, if the licking becomes excessive or obsessive, it could indicate underlying issues like anxiety or skin conditions. Always consult a veterinarian if you notice any sudden changes in behavior or have concerns about your dog’s health.
Ways to Deter the Licking
If you’d prefer that your dog doesn’t lick you post-shower:
- Distraction: Keep a toy or treat handy to distract your dog when you step out of the shower.
- Training: Train your dog with commands such as “sit” or “stay” when you’re drying off. Reward them for obeying and not licking.
- Barrier: Consider setting up a baby gate or closing the bathroom door to keep your dog out while you dry off.
The bond between humans and their pets is profound. While it’s entertaining (and sometimes baffling) to decode dog behaviors, it’s essential to remember that each dog is an individual. What holds for one might not for another. The reasons your dog chooses to lick you after a shower can range from simple curiosity to deep-seated instincts. Embrace these quirks, for they make our furry companions the unique and lovable creatures they are.
If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with other pet enthusiasts. For more information on dog behaviors and tips, stay tuned!