Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Eyes? 5 Interesting Reasons

Why do dogs lick each other’s eyes? The main reason dogs lick each other’s eyes is for grooming. Dog’s saliva contains traces of antibiotical and antimicrobial elements, which help clean dirt and germs from the skin. A few other reasons for this behavior include submission, bonding, and obsessive behavior.

Humans have a lot of unusual quirks that are unique to our species. Whether it is using complex language, working together in groups to solve complicated problems, or transacting business, we have traits that would likely seem unusual to other species (if they could process information the same way we do).

Dogs are not an exception to having unusual behaviors for their species. One such example is their occasional act of licking other dogs’ eyes (or face in general).  At first glance, this might seem like a completely random act without a rational explanation. However, despite initially appearing nonsensical, there are several reasons dogs may lick the eyes of other dogs.  We have researched and have obtained facts about the many reasons dogs do this, so let’s jump right into it and go over some of the main reasons.

Is it OK for my dog to lick my other dog’s eyes? 

Dogs Lick Each Other's Eyes

This might be due to a variety of factors. When dogs seek to soothe or submit to one another, they may lick one other. It may be an instance of mutual grooming. Some canines produce more tear production and ocular discharge than others.

Reasons why your dog licks your other dog’s eyes

The explanations for your dog’s behavior are listed below, along with what makes each one more likely to be the primary cause. 

1. Grooming

Because dogs cannot lick themselves on the ears, face, or behind the head, they often enlist the assistance of other dogs. It’s possible that the reason your dog licks your other dog’s eyes is to assist the other dog in grooming itself. This is more probable if your other dog returns the favor and licks your dog on different parts of its body, such as its back.

2. Submissiveness

Licking is a common sign of submission. Your dog may have been licking the eyes of your other dog because he’s being submissive. If your dog does it more when you’re other dog is hostile and if your dog makes other submissive signals around your other dog, this is more probable.

3. Bonding

Licking is often seen as a sign of submission. Your dog may be becoming submissive by licking the eyes of the other dog. If your dog does it more often when your other dog is hostile, and if your dog makes other submissive signals around your other dog, this is more probable.

4. It likes the taste

It’s also possible that your dog enjoys the taste of your other dog’s eyes. This is more probable if your dog does not seem to be doing it regularly and does not exhibit numerous submissive behaviors.

5. Obsessive Behavior

In humans, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is when an individual frequently feels the need to perform tasks repetitively. This can range from something as simple as scratching the head regularly to more inhibitive behaviors, such as feeling the need always to check the kitchen stove.

Did you know dogs can also have OCD? Known as Canine OCD, this is virtually the same as human OCD, but with more specific traits.  Such traits include frequently chasing their tail, repeatedly barking for no reason, or excessive eating. This can also include frequent licking.

If this is the case for your dog, this can be dangerous. Frequent licking might lead to infection or injury. If you feel your dog is showing signs of Canine OCD, you should immediately contact your vet to have them look at your pup.

How to Stop Your Dog from Licking Other Dog’s Eyes? 3 Best Ways

Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other's Eyes

Avoid Encouraging the Behavior

Don’t encourage the licking behavior because if your dog learns that its conduct 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, separate the two and redirect your dog to do another activity.

Give Your Dog Other Things to Lick 

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

You can check out our list of the best milk bones for your dog here.

Get a Dog Cone

If your dog is licking others’ ears and eyes excessively, you can get 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 dogs’ eyes. You should use the dog cone, especially if your pet has an eye infection. If your dog licks another dog, the eye infection can spread to the other dog.

Closing Thoughts: Why Do Dogs Lick Each Other’s Eyes? 

It might seem like our dogs are just being weird when they lick the eyes of another dog. But instead of being weird, some dogs are just being gross! Jokes aside, licking the eyes can be part of complex communication that may not make sense for us, but most dogs will read the signal loud and clear.

What do you think best explains your dog’s drive to lick eyes?


Why do dogs lick you?
If your dog licks you, it might be for various reasons: they’re loving, seeking your attention, or acting on a natural inclination. The act of a dog licking its person is so prevalent that dog owners refer to it as “offering kisses” and see it as a sign of devotion.
Why do dogs lick each other's ears?
When two dogs are on friendly terms as part of the same family, they become very comfortable grooming each other. Licking each other’s ears is just one way to show that. It can ward off ear mites, but too much licking can cause irritation and possibly an ear infection.
Why do dogs lick each other's teeth?
Your dog is doing it to demonstrate friendship, love, or reverence, which humans may find strange. It’s never a good thing when a dog licks another dog’s face.
Why do dogs lick your feet?
Your dog licks you to express that they care, get attention, gain a better understanding of you, and simply because they like it. However, they may favor your feet because they’re packed with fragrance data that tells them a lot about you, where you’ve been, and what you’ve been up to.
Why do dogs lick your face when you cry?
Research suggests that dogs respond to human crying. Your tears may taste good, but dogs do comfort people. That is why they are helpful to have as therapeutic pets for people with mental disorders.
Why do dogs lick your hands?
Licking is a sign of affection. Your dog might lick your hands and face because they love you! Licking might feel good to your dog as it can release endorphins. Some experts also say that licking is a sign of submission in addition to affection.
Why do dogs lick your wounds?
Humans, dogs, and other animals will want to treat their wounds as soon as possible. It’s a natural reaction. When your dog licks an injury, its saliva has healing properties and may help cleanse the area. When it comes to grooming and cleaning, they are natural healers.

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