8 common reasons why your dog licks your hand: sometimes for surprising reasons

Szénási Szimonetta

2023. August 20 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Many people interpret it as the dog's love language when he licks them hand. But there could be many other reasons why your pet behaves this way.


Sure, when your dog licks your hand, it’s for a reason – but it’s a mistake to think that it’s always out of kindness! Let’s take a look at what might be behind the gesture.

1.) Getting to know

Although we usually talk about dogs’ excellent sense of smell, their sense of taste is also very important in exploring the world. That’s why they often use their tongue to gather information. A person’s skin tells us two things: their current mood and their state of health. When your dog licks you, it’s also telling you about your state of health.

2.) This is how he says hello

When you get home from work or meet your dog again after waking up in the morning, the first thing he’ll probably do is lick your hand. This is how he says hello and expresses his pleasure at seeing you again.

3.) Delicious flavours

Yes, there’s a simple reason for licking your hands: the taste of the cosmetics you use. Most dogs love the aroma of creams, perfumes and other skin care products. They especially like fruity products. Just make sure that he doesn’t come into contact with any dangerous substances!

They are the same way about the salty taste of sweat, so you may experience kisses after a workout.

4) Listen to me!

If your pet decides that watching TV or reading is enough and it’s time to spend more time with you, the easiest way to let them know is to lick your hand.

It can also mean that he wants to go for a walk or that he’s thirsty. Listen to your four-legged friend’s signals and you’ll soon find out what he’s trying to say.

5) Dealing with anxiety

He can also use licking to relieve various stressful situations. A loud, thundering storm or the first car journey can be a stressful experience for your pet, and he will want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Dogs can also relieve tension by licking each other.

6.) Clean line

Sometimes your dog may just want to clean you up by licking your hand. Just like a mother dog does with her puppies. It shows that he cares about you and is looking after you.

7) It means you’re the boss

The dog can also use the licking gesture to signal to you that he accepts you as the pack leader and at the same time “makes himself available” to you.

8.) Expressing love

Of course, licking the hand is also the perfect way to express adoration for the master, in this case the equivalent of a kiss or a caress. It’s also a way of showing that he’s happy and enjoying your company.

communications dog and owner dog body language dog human communication dog licks dog sign of love human and dog relationship why

Related articles

More articles

Are cats your favourite too?
Visit our Love my catz page too!