Dogs lick human feet for similar that reasons that dogs lick human faces. The two main reasons that a dog licks human feet are to indicate feelings, status and gather information. A dog is able to use millions of scent receptor cells in its nose and mouth to process information about a human through a human’s feet.
To show its acceptance in a human family, a dog will lick the feet of those people to whom the dog feels affection or submissive. By showing affection and submission, a dog may ensure its place in the family by showing acceptance of the social order in its home.
As a human body secretes sweat, the sweat releases information about the individual that can be processed by the dog. The human body cools itself through a sweat gland system that emits moisture that can be evaporated from the body. This evaporation action cools the body.
The human foot is a location in which many sweat glands can be found. As such, it is possible that human feet are a source of information about their owner for the dog. Sweat glands release moisture that contains salts, water and waste products. This is typical of the eccrine glands that are located on the feet and the rest of the body.
Sebaceous glands release sebum and are located near hair follicles. The sweat can mix with the sebaceous gland secretions to produce an even more complex message to a dog about the human whose foot is being licked.
The dog is a very social animal that processes information about the humans with whom it has contact. When a dog licks human feet, the dog is making a signal about its position in relation to the human and it is learning about the human.
Your dog can make you feel affectionate towards it by licking your feet which is great for your relationship with your dog. The activity of licking a human’s feet can draw a dog closer to its family. Some people’s feet sweat more than others which can attract a dog’s attention to the sweatier feet.
Whether it is for the sweat, sebum, affection or social status, when a dog licks human feet, it can cause a positive reaction from the human whose foot is being licked. As a social message, licking a human’s foot can be effective for increasing a dog’s acceptance in its family because of the apparent affection that the dog’s has for its human masters.