Does My Dog Like Kisses?

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do dogs like kisses

Nothing makes you happier than when your dog smothers you in kisses. But does he like it as much as you do?

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and consultant for Five Barks, to find out if dogs actually like kisses.

Why do dogs give kisses?

Your dog actually gives you kisses for the same reason you do — to let you know how important you are to him.

“When a dog licks you, it is their way of letting you know that you are part of their pack and that they care for you,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo. “Licking can also release endorphins in dogs, meaning they associate it with feeling happy and relaxed.”

He also might just like how you taste. “They may enjoy licking the salt off if you’ve been sweating, or tasting the remnants of whatever you had for lunch on your fingers,” Dr. Simon said.

And if he’s indifferent to kissing you at first, keep in mind that a lot of dogs grow to love giving them out because you love getting them!

“They do not feel any social pressure to appease you, so will only give you licks when they feel like it,” Dr. Simon said. “Having said this, dogs are clever critters who will soon realize if you like to be licked. If you reward them with praise and pets, they are more likely to lick you again in the future.”

Why do dogs kiss each other?

The reason your dog kisses you actually has a lot to do with why they kiss each other.

“Dogs will lick each other to strengthen their bond and show affection,” Dr. Simon said. “This is particularly the case with a mother and her litter.”

Do dogs like kisses?

Most dogs would prefer belly rubs to kisses. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like kisses — your pup might learn to enjoy them because he knows it makes you happy.

“Dogs are clever and adaptable,” Dr. Simon said. “They learn over time that we are happy with them when showing affection and that it can be a bonding moment.”

And if you like to kiss your dog on the mouth, you’ll be happy to know that he’s always happy to kiss you back.

“If your dog kisses you on the mouth, this may well be because they are trying to sample your most recent meal!” Dr. Simon said.

Do dogs understand kisses?

Your pup might not always understand that you’re just trying to show him you love him.

“They are unlikely to be able to fully understand the significance of a kiss, and some dogs can find them unsettling,” Dr. Simon said. “For a number of our canine companions, having their owner in their personal space for long periods, especially while being restrained, can make them feel unsettled.”

So, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s body language to make sure he’s actually up for a smooch.

There are a few things you can look for to figure out how your pup is feeling.

How to tell if he’s happy

If your dog’s enjoying your affection, you’ll notice things like:

  • Wiggly body
  • Soft eyes
  • Wagging tail

How to tell if he’s not happy

If your pup isn’t in a great mood — and probably won’t want to be kissed — you might see things like:

  • Stiff body
  • Lip licking
  • Tucked tail

So there you have it — your dog probably loves giving you kisses as much as you love getting them. And that’s just the best feeling.

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