Why Dog Licks You Before Sleeping

Has your furry friend ever cozied up to you and given you a little lick before dozing off?

Most of us have experienced this tender moment but have you ever wondered why?

For every wagging tail and playful bark, there’s a reason.

Dogs have their unique way of communicating, and this bedtime ritual is a story in itself!

Dive in as we unravel this intriguing canine mystery about why dog licks you before sleeping.

The Reasons Dogs Lick Before Bed

Sharing Their Love

Ever heard of the saying, “A lick a day keeps the loneliness away”?

Well, maybe that’s not a common saying, but it should be!

Dogs don’t have hands like us to give hugs.

Instead, they use their tongues.

When a dog licks you, think of it as a hug or a gentle pat on the back.

It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I really love you.”

Did you know that licking releases feel-good chemicals in a dog’s brain?

It’s like them getting a happy buzz from showing you love!

Bedtime Routines

Remember how your parents read you bedtime stories?

Those tales signaled that it was time to drift off.

Similarly, dogs have their bedtime habits.

Licking is like their version of a lullaby.

It’s calming, soothing, and signifies that it’s time to close their eyes.

Plus, it’s their little reminder that, just like kids need stories, they need their bedtime licks!

Curiosity About Our Day

Here’s a neat secret: for dogs, we are like walking diaries.

Every place we visit or person we meet leaves a tiny trace behind.

With their super sniffers and curious tongues, dogs can “read” our day.

When they lick you, they’re catching up on your adventures.

It’s like them flipping through a book that says, “The Amazing Day of My Human.”

Feeling Safe And Secure

Licking can also be a dog’s teddy bear moment.

As kids, many of us had that favorite toy or blanket that made nighttime less scary.

For dogs, giving a quick lick ensures that their most trusted person is right there beside them.

It’s their way of saying, “All’s well. I can sleep safe now.”

Cleaning And Grooming

Ever seen videos of lions grooming each other in the wild?

Dogs, though much smaller and less wild, have a similar instinct.

In the wild, pack animals lick each other to clean and bond.

So, when your pet dog gives you that bedtime lick, they’re tapping into an ancient routine!

It’s like them saying, “Got to keep my human clean and neat!”

Is It Okay For Dogs To Lick Us Before Sleep?

The Helpful Side Of Dog Saliva

Now, here’s a surprise for you: dog saliva is a tiny magic potion.

Sure, it feels wet and gooey, but it has enzymes that can help clean things up.

There are even stories about dog saliva helping heal little cuts faster!

Remember, though, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see a doctor if you have a serious wound, but it’s a fun tidbit about our pet’s natural “medicine.”

Times To Be A Bit Careful

But here’s the flip side: dogs are nosy.

They poke their noses (and tongues) everywhere – from that muddy puddle to their favorite chew toy.

So while their saliva has some cool perks, it also carries whatever they’ve been exploring.

It might be wise to wash your face or hands after a super-licking session, especially if your pup has had a fun-filled, messy day.

Teaching Dogs When It’s Lick-Time And When It’s Not

Playful Distractions

Every dog owner knows that a busy dog is a happy dog!

And, as it turns out, it’s also a less-licky dog.

Using toys and fun games is a great way to redirect your dog’s attention from your face or hands.

Imagine giving your dog a chew toy just before bed.

They’d be so focused on the toy that they might forget all about their usual bedtime licks!

And remember, when they opt for that toy instead of your arm, it’s time for some praise.

A simple “Good job!” or a treat can reinforce this new behavior.

Over time, they’ll learn that toys can be just as fun, if not more so, than licking their human!

Setting Clear Rules

Even in the world of dogs, setting boundaries is essential.

If you feel that your dog’s licking is getting a bit too much, it’s okay to set some rules.

Now, the trick is to do it kindly.

Instead of a stern “No!”, try diverting their attention with a soft command like “enough” or “settle.”

Guide them gently to a resting position and reward their calmness.

Also, instead of pushing them away when they start their licking spree, you can engage in other bonding activities.

A gentle stroke on their back or a calm belly rub can convey love and comfort, showing them that there are other ways to connect beyond licks.

Understanding Their Needs

Sometimes, our pets have a reason for their actions that goes beyond simple habits.

A suddenly increased licking behavior might be a sign that they’re trying to tell you something.

Are they hungry?

Sometimes, dogs lick because their tummies are rumbling, and they’re trying to get your attention.

Is their water bowl empty?

Dogs might increase their licking if they’re thirsty too.

Another important thing to remember is that excessive licking can sometimes be a sign of discomfort or a health issue.

Maybe they have a toothache or a tummy upset.

If you notice any sudden changes in behavior or if the licking is accompanied by other symptoms, it might be time for a quick vet check-up.

In the world of dog training, patience is key.

With understanding, love, and a bit of time, you can guide your pup towards behaviors that both of you are comfortable with.

After all, it’s all about ensuring that both you and your furry friend have a happy, healthy relationship!

Before You Go…

Now you know why your dog licks you before sleeping.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.