It's cute at first when you walk in the door and get smothered with puppy or kitty kisses. But when does it become too much and how can you make it stop?
Why Your Dog Licks You
In the dog world, licking is a normal part of pack life. In the wild the alpha dog allows the lower ranked dogs to lick him but only tolerates this behavior while the licking is desired. The alpha dog retains control by stopping the other dogs when he's tired of the licking. Switching to the human world, your dog might obsessively lick you because you are the alpha in your household and this is natural behavior for him. If you want to stop the excessive licking, you'll have to act as the alpha dog and put a stop to it. You can either tell your dog "No!" or you could just try ignoring the behavior. Be the master of your household and control the amount of licking.
Why Your Cat Licks You
Your cat may lick you as a sign of affection. Your cat's mother would have bathed her by licking, so many cats instinctively try to groom others in their social groups. Your cat may lick you in excess if she was separated from her mother too soon. The licking is her way of finding a familiar action to copy with this. If you want her to stop licking you, you'll have to try to either ignore the behavior or put her on the floor away from you if she licks you too much.
What to Do if Your Dog Licks Himself
If you notice that your dog is licking himself more than usual, he might have problems with his skin. If his skin is dry for some reason, he may lick it because it irritates him. It could be that they are suffering from allergies like exposure to dryer sheets or a new kind of soap. Dogs also lick themselves when they are anxious or nervous about a situation, like moving to a new house.
What to Do if Your Cat Licks Herself
It is natural for cats to lick themselves. They lick their fur to keep it clean and make it waterproof. Your cat also licks herself to stay cool, sort of the way that human sweating keeps us cool. When the saliva dries and evaporates it cools your cat. They also tend to groom themselves after you pet them to keep their own scent overpowering your scent on them.
See something on the Internet that you'd like us to profile in this column? Anything about pet fashion, technology or interesting is good. Send us an email to email@example.com or leave a comment below.