Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes?

Why do dogs lick each other's eyes

My dog is a funny being who portrays behaviors that make me laugh. But some of his habits leave me baffled, like licking other dog’s eyes. Whenever I see my dog licking another dog’s eyes, I can’t help but reflect on: Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes?

I had a little help from my vet who helped me understand my dog’s licking behavior and what I can do to manage my dog’s licking behavior. 

If you are facing similar behavioral issues with your dog, then read this post for a detailed understanding of Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes.

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Eyes? Top 6 Reasons

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes?

1. Grooming

Dogs lick themselves in order to groom their hair, but they can’t reach places like their eyes, ears and, face. For this reason, dogs lick each other’s faces to help each other. 

The licking behavior is more likely if the other dog also licks your dog’s eyes and your dog is obliged to return the favor. 

2. Submissive Gesture

Dogs are pack animals and there is only one pack leader. If your dog is licking another dog’s eyes then it may be a sign that your dog is showing a submissive gesture towards the other dog.

The submissive behavior is more likely if your dog licks your other dog’s face when it is being aggressive. Other signs of submissiveness include following the other dog around, playing games that the other dog likes, and sleeping near the other dog’s feet.

3. Obsessive Behavior

If your dog has obsessive-compulsive disorder, then your dog is more likely to lick the other dog’s eyes just because it wants to. In this case, your dog can’t resist the urge to lick the other dog’s eyes. 

The obsessive behavior is evident if your dog licks your other dog’s eyes continually. If your dog does obsessive licking, then you should take help from your vet.

4. Bonding

Dogs lick other dogs as a sign of affection and strong bonding. Your dog licks your face as well sometimes to show affection. Licking helps a dog bond and socialize with another dog.

When dogs lick each other, endorphins get released into their body that makes them feel pleasurable. This allows the two of them to bond with each other and relax. 

This is a pack behavior where pack mates lick each other in order to keep their bond close and strong. This is a necessary socialization process for their survival.

5. Hunger

Licking is a way for puppies to show their mother or any other older dog that they need food. The older dog isn’t going to feed the puppy but the little dog does not know that. As a dog owner, it is your job to feed your hungry pup.

When you give the food to your young puppy, it thinks that the older dog found and brought back food for it. So, the licking behavior of your dog will continue. Make sure that you never serve these food items to your furry friend.

6. Your Dog Likes The Taste

Another reason for dogs licking each other’s eyes could be that your dog simply likes the taste of the other dog’s face. This would be evident if your dog does not resort to excessive licking, in which case it is the dog’s way of portraying submissiveness or compulsive behavior.

Is It Okay For Dogs To Lick Other Dog’s Eyes?

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes?

It is okay for dogs to lick each other’s eyes because it gives them an opportunity to bond with each other.

When two dogs are introduced, you must have noticed that the timid one lowers its head and licks the dominant dog’s muzzle.

The timid dog does this so that it can convey to the confident dog that it is offering a peaceful friendship.   

Dogs who already share a friendly bond, trade slobbery kisses to bond with one another. They share the dog kisses to display their affection for each other. In this case, there are not any hierarchical issues, but only a strong bond of friendship. 

If your dog is licking the other dog excessively, it may mean that the other dog has a cut or a bruise on his body that needs attention.

Watch this cute video of two pugs licking each other.

Should You Stop Your Dog From Licking Other Dog’s Eyes? 

There is no harm in dogs licking each other, so you should not pay much attention to it. However, if your dog is licking excessively, then there might be an underlying problem. If you observe your dog constantly licking another dog, then you should consult your vet to manage this dog behavior. 

Dog licking may even be unsanitary, not only for you but also for your dog. You shouldn’t let your dog lick any unfamiliar dog that you don’t know is clean or not.

A dog’s saliva has a lot of bacteria that may be harmful to you. If your dog licks you after licking another dog, then you can develop allergies from the dog’s saliva.

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Other Dog’s Eyes? 3 Best Ways

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes?

1. Avoid Encouraging The Behavior

Don’t encourage the licking behavior because if your dog learns that its behavior is getting rewarded, it won’t stop. Instead, reward your dog when it does not lick another dog’s eyes.

You can try commands like “stop” or “don’t” to prevent your dog from licking another dog. Reward your dog with a treat if it obeys your commands.

If your dog gets aggressive while licking the other dog, then separate the two of them and redirect your dog to do another activity.

2. Give Your Dog Other Things To Lick 

You can give other things like toys or a bone to your dog for licking. This will help distract your dog from licking other dog’s eyes. Keep lowering the time for licking gradually, to manage the licking behavior.

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3. Get A Dog Cone

If your dog is licking other’s ears and eyes excessively, then you can get a as a behavioral aid that will keep your dog from licking anyone else. You can use the dog cone until your dog learns not to lick other dog’s eyes. 

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You should use the dog cone especially if your pet has an eye infection. If your dog licks another dog, then the eye infection can spread to the other dog. 

Why Do Puppies Lick Their Mother’s Face?

Puppies lick their mother’s face as a signal that they are hungry and need to be fed.

Puppies in the wild wait for their mother dog to return from her hunt with a full stomach and then lick their mother’s mouth. This signals the mother dog to feed the pre-digested food in her belly to her puppies.

Domestic dogs lick the older dog’s face or your face to give a signal that they need to be fed and taken care of. They are unaware that the older dog can’t fetch them food. It is your duty to feed the little pup and take care of it.

Why Has My Dog Suddenly Started Licking Other Dog’s Eyes?

If your dog has suddenly started licking other dog’s eyes, there is no reason to worry. It is just normal behavior for socializing dogs to lick each other as a sign of affection. You need to monitor your dog’s licking behavior to determine if there is an underlying issue with your dog.  

If the licking persists for a short time, then your dog is just being friendly with the other dog. But if your dog is constantly licking the other dog with obsession, then you need to separate the two dogs and redirect them to different activities. 

If your dog’s compulsive behavior still exists, then get your dog checked by your vet.

If your dog gets aggressive with other dogs, then it is better to keep them away from each other. You can try giving your dog calming supplements if its aggressive behavior is not in control. 

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Why Does My Dog Lick My Face?

Your dog licks your face for the below reasons:

1. He Loves You 

Whether you like it or not, dogs love to lick everyone’s faces. It is a sign that your dog loves you and looks up to you as a motherly figure who takes care of it. The licking is more prominent in younger dogs who use their tongues frequently or if your dog is too excited.

2. Grooming

When your groom your dog, it feels relaxed. Just like you groom your dog, your dog wants to groom you by licking your face

3. To Transfer Their Scents 

Another reason why your dog licks your face is to put their scent back on you after a bath. From the perspective of your dog, you don’t smell like yourself after you have showered. For this reason, your dog licks you to spread its scent onto you.

Why Do Dogs Lick When You Blow In Their Face?

When you blow air in your dog’s face, its sensitive nose will dry up. A dry nose causes irritation in your dog. They lick their nose as a reflex action to make their nose moist again.   

This reflex action is just as unavoidable as you blinking your eyes when someone blows air into your eyes and they dry out.

Are Small Breed Dogs More Likely Yo Lick Other Dog’s Eyes?

It is a fact the small breed dogs are more likely to lick other dog’s eyes. This is an observed behavior that small dogs are more prone to jumping on their owner and showing their affection when they come home.  

They are more excited than bigger dogs to make new friends and show their affection by licking the other dog’s eyes.

FAQs on Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Eyes?

1. Is Dog Licking a Sign of Dominance?

Dog licking is not a sign of dominance. On the contrary, dogs lick other dogs as a sign of submission. Whenever two dogs meet, the timid one will lick the confident dog’s mouth as a sign that it is willing to share a peaceful bond of friendship.

You can know if your dog is submissive if your dog licks the other dog’s face when it is being aggressive. 

2. Why Does My Dog Lick Other Dog’s Mouth?

This behavior of licking another dog’s mouths is something that your dog learned when it was a puppy. Puppies lick their mother’s mouth as a signal that they are hungry and need to be fed. Their mother would regurgitate food for her puppies. Adult dogs portray similar behavior when they are hungry.

Another reason for your dog licking another dog’s mouth is to apologize to the other dog after playing rough with it. It is like a peaceful handshake to indicate that the rough play wasn’t an intention to hurt the other dog.

3. Is It Bad For Dogs To Lick Each Other’s Ears?

It is not bad for dogs to lick each other’s ears. It is a common and healthy behavior among dogs and should not be a reason to worry. 

However, sometimes the ear licking can be a sign of an underlying health issue for your dog or the dog that it is licking. In case of excessive licking, you should get your dog checked by a vet.


We hope that we answered all your questions regarding Why Do Dogs Lick Each Others Eyes. Most of the time it is a way for showing affection and socializing. It is common for dogs to lick each other’s eyes. 

However, if your dog is obsessively licking other dog’s eyes then there is an underlying problem with your dog’s licking behavior. You should consult your vet in such cases.

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