Dogs have a unique way of communicating with each other, from barking and tail wagging to sniffing and licking.
While licking is often seen as a sign of affection or submission, some dogs take it a step further and lick other dogs’ eyes.
This behavior can seem unusual to humans, but it is actually a natural and normal behavior among dogs.
In this article, we’ll give you the answer to the question “Why do dogs lick other dogs eyes?”, and whether it is something to be concerned about.
Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Eyes?
Dogs are known for their licking behavior, and one of the most curious things they do is lick each other’s eyes.
This behavior can seem strange to humans, but it is perfectly normal in the canine world.
There are several reasons why dogs lick each other’s eyes, including grooming, affection, motherly care, liking the taste, submission, appeasement, and wound care.
One reason why dogs lick each other’s eyes is for grooming purposes.
Dogs are pack animals and naturally groom each other to keep themselves clean and healthy.
Licking the eyes helps to remove dirt, debris, and other foreign objects that may have gotten into the eye.
Additionally, dogs have a lot of bacteria in their mouths that can help to clean the eye area and prevent infections.
Another reason why dogs lick each other’s eyes is to show affection.
Licking is how dogs show love and affection to their friends and family members.
When dogs lick each other’s eyes, they communicate affection and strengthen their bond.
Mother dogs also lick their puppies’ eyes to care for them.
Licking helps to keep the eyes clean and free of debris, and it can also provide comfort and reassurance to the puppies.
Like The Taste
Some dogs simply like the taste of the salty tears that can accumulate around the eyes.
Licking the eyes can be a way for dogs to satisfy their taste buds and get a little snack.
Submission And Appeasement
In some cases, dogs may lick each other’s eyes as a sign of submission and appeasement.
Licking is a way for dogs to show respect and deference to more dominant dogs in the pack.
Finally, dogs may lick each other’s eyes if there is an injury or wound in the area.
Licking can help to clean the wound and promote healing.
However, excessive licking can be a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder or other medical conditions, so it is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and seek veterinary care if necessary.
Should You Worry About Your Dog’s Eye-Licking Habit?
While it may be concerning to see your dog lick another dog’s eyes, it is generally not a cause for worry.
In fact, eye licking is a natural behavior for dogs and is often a sign of affection and social bonding.
However, it is important to keep an eye on your dog’s eye-licking habits.
If your dog is excessively licking another dog’s eyes or seems to be causing discomfort, it may be a sign of an underlying issue such as eye irritation or infection.
In this case, it is best to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that your dog is healthy and not in any pain.
It is also important to note that eye licking can spread bacteria and viruses between dogs, so it is important to make sure that both dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations and to avoid allowing your dog to lick the eyes of unfamiliar dogs.
When Licking Eyes Is Not Normal
Infection And Medical Conditions
While occasional eye-licking is normal behavior for dogs, excessive and persistent licking may indicate an underlying medical condition.
Infections, such as conjunctivitis, can cause irritation and discomfort, leading to excessive licking.
Dogs with allergies may also experience itchy and irritated eyes, leading to excessive licking as a form of relief.
Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as dry eye or corneal ulcers, can cause discomfort and lead to excessive eye-licking.
Pain And Discomfort
Dogs may also lick the eyes of other dogs as a way to show empathy and comfort, especially if the other dog is experiencing pain or discomfort.
However, excessive eye-licking may also indicate that the dog is experiencing pain or discomfort.
For example, dogs with dental problems or gum disease may lick their own eyes as a way to relieve pain in their mouth.
Similarly, dogs with ear infections or other ear-related issues may lick their eyes as a way to relieve discomfort in their ears.
It is important to monitor your dog’s behavior and seek veterinary attention if you notice excessive or persistent eye-licking.
Your veterinarian can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Discouraging Eye Licking
Excessive eye licking in dogs can lead to irritation and discomfort, and in some cases, it may indicate an underlying medical issue such as allergies or eye infections.
As a responsible pet owner, it is important to discourage this behavior in your dog to prevent potential health problems and ensure a peaceful interaction with other dogs.
One effective method to discourage eye licking is to redirect your dog’s attention.
You can do this by offering a toy or treat that your dog enjoys playing with.
When your dog starts to lick another dog’s eyes, distract them by showing them the toy or treat and encouraging them to play with it instead.
This technique is a positive and effective way to redirect your dog’s attention and discourage the behavior.
Training your dog to respond to a verbal cue, such as “leave it,” is another effective way to discourage eye licking.
Start by saying the cue whenever your dog starts to lick another dog’s eyes, and reward them with a treat or praise when they stop.
With consistent practice, your dog will learn to respond to the cue and stop the behavior before it escalates.
It is important to note that punishment or physical corrections should never be used to discourage eye licking.
This can cause fear and aggression in dogs, which can lead to other behavior problems.
Instead, positive reinforcement and redirection are the best approaches to discourage this behavior and ensure a harmonious interaction between dogs.
In some cases, excessive eye licking may be a sign of an underlying medical issue.
If you notice that your dog is frequently licking their own or another dog’s eyes, it is important to consult with a veterinarian.
They can examine your dog and determine whether there is an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.
In conclusion, while eye licking is a natural behavior among dogs, it can sometimes become excessive or cause discomfort for other dogs.
Discouraging this behavior with positive reinforcement and redirection techniques can help ensure a peaceful interaction between dogs and prevent potential health problems.
If you are concerned about your dog’s eye licking behavior, don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian to determine whether there is an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed.
Before You Go…
Now you know why dogs lick other dogs eyes.
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