There are several different answers to the question of why does my dog lick me in the morning:
- Out of routine
- To wake you up
- To tell you that nature’s calling
- Due to excess energy
- Because you taste good
- To cover up something it did
- Out of fear
- To show affection.
Why Does My Dog Lick Me in the Morning?
If you’re a proud dog owner like me, I’m pretty sure that you’ve asked yourself the question why does my dog lick me in the morning? Do all dogs behave this way or is this just my dog’s weird quirk?
We can all say that dogs are by far our most loyal companions in this world. They’re some of the most pure-hearted creatures that give us unconditional love. Having said that, they can also do some weird things that we don’t really understand.
Let me start by saying that receiving a morning lick on the face from your dog is perfectly normal. All dogs do it. Some more than others, but it’s still completely normal.
In this article, I intend to explain this phenomenon, as well as talk about some other dog-related questions you may have about your four-legged friend.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about canine behavior, and more specifically get to the bottom of the question why does my dog lick me in the morning, just keep reading!
Why Do Dogs Lick Us?
Before I answer the why does my dog lick me in the morning question, I’d like to explain why dogs like to lick us in the first place.
Actually, there are more reasons than just one, so let’s begin with the most obvious one: affection.
Licking to Show Affection
You know how humans tend to say, who’s a good boy in that weird voice to their dogs? Obviously, dogs can’t do the same, so they have to use other means of communication to show us how much they love us. Hence the licking.
For example, my dog loves to slobber all over me whenever I take out his leash. To him, the leash means it’s time to go out and play (which is, of course, his favorite thing in the world) and he wants to show me how happy he is.
Fun fact: When dogs lick our faces to show affection, they release endorphins that have a calming effect on them. So, if the licking doesn’t bother you, let your dog get his slobber on!
Licking to Communicate
Similar to the previous reason, licking to communicate means that your puppy is trying to tell you something. For example, if your dog is licking you excessively, take a look at its food bowl, or check if there’s enough water for him to drink.
A good trick you can use is to pay attention to what part of your face your dog is licking. For example, when my dog licks me near my mouth, I know he’s hungry. Here’s why:
When dogs are puppies, they lick their mother’s mouth to communicate that they are hungry. That behavior stays with them even when they’re older, which is why they tend to also lick their human’s face when they want food.
But before you grab the doggy treats, consider this as well: did you just finish eating something? If the answer is yes, then your dog may simply be licking your mouth because you taste good!
On the other hand, if the licking isn’t food- or drink-related, then maybe it’s time to take them out for a walk.
Licking to Groom
Dogs may not be as OCD as cats, but they still like to stay clean. I’m sure you’ve seen your dog licking itself all over on more than one occasion.
Since your dog loves you, if it starts licking your hands and legs (or other parts of your body) excessively, you may be getting a bath.
Licking Out of Respect
No matter how much you treat your dog as your equal, it will still consider you the Alpha.
Licking you is just a way to show you that it understands who the boss is.
Licking Out of Fear
One thing I’ve grown to expect from my dog is that whenever I schedule a checkup at the vet’s, I’m going to get slobbered on. However, it’s not for the reason you may think.
Apart from the other reasons I mentioned, dogs tend to lick our faces when they’re scared or stressed.
The strange thing about dogs is that they seem to sense whenever a check-up is near. No matter how much I try to act all casual and unassuming, my dog always seems to know.
The best thing you can do when your dog starts licking you due to stress or fear is to just let it do it.
Why Does My Dog Lick Me in the Morning: Common Reasons
Now that I’ve explained all the different reasons why your dog may be licking you, it’s time to answer the question why does my dog lick me in the morning?
In order to answer your question, I have to ask you to consider some things first:
- Does your dog lick you every morning?
- Do you get up at the same time every morning, or do you have a flexible schedule?
- When do you usually take your dog out for a walk?
Think about it, and once you have your answers, keep reading.
Doggy Morning Routine
If your dog licks you every morning, then it’s probably because it’s used to doing so. If you think about it, we all have our morning routines. For example, some people like to get up, brush their teeth, get the paper, drink coffee, etc.
Just like us humans, dogs have their morning routines as well. It just so happens that their routine involves licking you!
If you keep your dog indoors all the time, then it’s simply a matter of doing something that it’s grown accustomed to. Just think of it as a morning kiss from your best friend to start the day.
Wake Up Licks
If you have a pretty flexible schedule that allows you to sleep in form from time to time, your dog may be licking you to simply get you out of bed. Just think of it as a doggy alarm clock.
Dogs may not be able to tell the time, but they know how to stick to a schedule nevertheless!
If you tend to take your dog out for a walk every morning, then that’s most likely why it will lick you in the morning. If that’s the case, your dog is simply trying to tell you that nature’s calling, and if you don’t hurry up, you’re going to need to mop up the floor pretty soon!
If you keep your dog indoors throughout the day, chances are your dog has a sleep schedule similar to yours. What I mean by this is that your dog probably sleeps throughout the night.
Since dogs are more energetic than us humans, once your pup gets a full night of beauty sleep, it’s bound to be full of energy the moment the sun comes up!
So, if your dog likes to slobber you in the morning, chances are that it’s because of that excess energy. Also, it probably wants you to get out of bed as well.
You Taste Yummy
This may sound a bit strange but bear with me.
Human skin has a kind of salty taste to it. You probably don’t notice it, but your furry friend sure does!
Our sweat glands release both salt and water, which taste yummy to dogs. This is especially prominent in the morning and after we exercise. So, sometimes the answer to why does my dog lick me in the morning is as simple as — you taste good!
Affection is by far the most common reason why your dog likes to lick you in the morning.
Yes, it can show you how much it loves you no matter the time of day, but some dogs just so happen to show more affection in the morning, so just go with it!
Why Does My Dog Lick Me in the Morning: Less Common Reasons
Trying to Hide The Evidence
OK, so we’ve gone through the most common reasons why your dog likes to lick you in the morning. Now, let’s get to some of the less common ones.
Dogs tend to lick their owners when they know they’ve done something wrong.
For instance, the other morning I noticed that my dog wasn’t giving me the usual sloppy good-morning licks I’m used to getting. Instead, he was giving me rapid, short licks, like he was trying to avert my attention from something.
Since I know my dog pretty well, I immediately looked around the room to see what kind of damage he was trying to hide. Low and behold, he had ripped apart his little doggy pillow!
Being Scared of Something
Most studies show that, just like humans, dogs can dream. Albeit, their dreams are less complex than ours, but they can still have good and bad ones.
If you notice your dog’s licks seem more frantic in the morning, it’s most likely due to bad dreams. Your dog is simply scared or stressed, and the best thing you can do is comfort it.
Dogs are intelligent animals that use their tongues to communicate without words. It’s their very own language that they use to communicate with other dogs, and with us humans as well.
As you can see, there are several different answers to the question of why does my dog lick me in the morning. However, the most common one is that dogs like to lick their owners in the morning because they want to show them affection. And, now that you know that, I hope you’ll learn to appreciate each lick!