Home » Why Do Pugs Lick So Much? {How to Stop it?}

Why Do Pugs Lick So Much? {How to Stop it?}

Pugs are adorable pets. They are the best companions one can have. They have so much love to give it to other people. Pugs show affection by licking us. You might sometimes think of them overdoing the licking part. Well, frankly speaking pugs are behaviourally attuned to licking. Pugs can also overdo the licking. Pugs lick to communicate with you. They also lick because of other reasons including cleaning themselves or having a medical problem. There can be a lot of questions regarding this type of behaviour. Do many people want to know why it persists?

Why Do Pugs Lick So Much?

There are many reasons actually for your pug to lick. The first one being pugs communicate with each other through licking. It is also true that pugs can have medical issues. But licking is pretty much inherent to a pug’s affection. Pugs usually show affection to each other through their licks. They show how much they love and care for each other. You might have seen how mother pugs lick their baby pugs as a sign of affection. 

Licking in itself is never an issue or let alone a problem. But, if your pug is licking you an exorbitant amount of times, that’s an issue. Try to see if anything that they are doing seems unusual to you. If your pug is licking couches, walls and his skin it’s surely a bit of a stretch. In such cases, it’s okay to be doubtful about the issues. Some reasons why your pooch is licking a lot are-

Instinctive response

You have to know that it’s instinctive for your pug. A mother after giving birth to a pug licks her pup. She does that because it’s the first instinctive response from her. She also does that to stimulate breathing in a pug

It’s very deeply rooted for both the pup and the mother. It’s very normal for older pugs to even lick the mother’s muzzle once they grow up. She also licks her pooches to stimulate the act of pooping and peeing on a pug. Pugs will lick throughout their lives. They might also transfer those characteristics onto you. 


As you know, pugs show their affection through licking. They have known since they were pups that licking can be a form of affection. Pug mothers lick their pups to show affection. Similarly, they show you affection by licks. That’s why your pooch loves to lick you when you come home after work. Pugs want to share all the affection with you.

Pugs also communicate with each other through their licks. It is very common for pugs to greet other dogs through licks. So, that can also be a sign of communication when pugs lick you. Pugs also love to lick since licking releases a lot of feel-good hormones as well like oxytocin and serotonin. 

Craving for attention

A pug can also lick when they want attention. They lick because they know that licking you can provide attention. Try to go back in the past and remember what was your response when your pug licked you? You might have given her a lot of belly rubs and hugs. You might have pet her.

She knew from your behaviour that licking you will get her wonderful belly rubs. Your pug does not know if it is right or wrong. All they care for is your attention. They know that giving you licks would help them get that.

Love the salty taste

When you come home from work, there is a chance you will be salty. Pugs can love the salty taste. That’s why they can’t stop licking you after you come home from work. You might also have been to some restaurants for some food. The aromas might have gotten into the skin. Your pugs think of the smell like a tasty treat.

As you might have seen, your pug might love to lick the plate at last after being provided with food. It’s because they are used to the salty taste.

Use it as a sensory tool

Many people might not know this but dogs have many sensors in their tongues. They feel and sense things better with their tongues. So dogs love to lick things and explore things for themselves. Their tongues help them.

Loves playing

Pugs lick you more when they play rough with you. When they know that they are playing rough with you, they will swap their teeth with their tongue. They try to make sure that they are not accidentally biting you. Licking is much better than biting.

Survival mindset

Pugs when they are born are often licked by their mothers. Pugs’ mothers provide them food in the form of milk. Even in the jungles within the canines, you might see a superior being licked. It’s because that’s how canines communicate with each other. After the canines lick their superior they are given an invitation to dine.

Pug’s hungry

When pugs lick obsessively they can be hungry. It’s a sign for you to understand that your pug needs food. Especially if your pug is licking right after you wake up, that’s a strong call. It would mean that they want food. Pugs can lick you before breakfast or before food sessions. This would mean that your pug is hungry and wants food.

Trying to comfort you

Pugs also act this way to comfort you. It has been found out in an experiment that dogs tend to lick their owners while crying. It can also be because dogs cannot see their owners crying. 

In the experiment, dogs started licking their owners when they cried as opposed to humming or speaking. Dogs can be very sensitive. Some breeds like your pug can be very sensitive to the owner’s feelings. 

Separation anxiety

Studies have found that pugs also lick when they suffer from separation anxiety. It is a mechanism by the pugs to calm themselves down. It happens when you leave your pooch for long periods. They fear that you will leave them alone. They try to lick you to be closer to you. Some research has also shown that a pug licking also releases endorphins.

Medical Causes Behind Your Pug’s Licking

There can be a medical issue behind your pug’s licking problem. There can be a host of reasons for your pooch’s licking like dehydration, nausea, or an upset tummy. There can be an indication of something serious as well.

Bacteria, Parasites, and Fungus

These organisms are very notorious for your skin allergies. If they creep into your skin it can cause a bit of a problem. It can lead to a lot of rash and itching. It is very common. Make sure you take your pug to a vet. He will be better afterwards.


As your pugs grow old, they suffer from joint pains. It helps them a lot when they lick the joints. It soothes their pain. Watch out for your pug trying to lick the joint areas vigorously. If they do that can be a sign of arthritis. They lick however because their tongues feel-good hormones. It acts as a natural pain killer in their case.

Neurological Problems

Your pug can have localized twitching. You have to take action during that time to recover your pug. There have been instances where your pugs might start licking when they experience it. Run to the vet if symptoms persist for a longer duration. 


Dementia in general can be a big issue for your pug. Make sure your pooch does not face it. There will be signs that you need to watch out for. If your pooch is excessively licking, pacing, and making repetitive movements or vocalizations, they might have the disease. If you find your pug suffering from it, take them to the nearest vet for medical attention.

Behavioural Causes Behind Pug’s Licking

There are a lot more behavioural causes at play that trigger pug’s licking. Many people might say that pugs lick for attention. But in reality, it can also be a symptom of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). It can stem from a host of problems like separation anxiety

The licking will be very vigorous and intense to an extent that your pug might develop cuts and lesions. Your pug’s hair might be shed. Some symptoms however of OCD include-

Symptoms of OCD in pugs include:

  • Licking and nibbling obsessively and causing injury
  • Chewing, eating, or drinking obsessively
  • Chasing, pacing, or circling obsessively
  • Barking obsessively

Why is My Pug Licking the Air?

Pugs lick in the air. At Least that’s the common idea people have regarding pug’s licking the air. It seems like they are licking the air but instead, they are trying to lick the excessive saliva from their nose. Some bacteria colonies have been building up on your pug’s nose. To get rid of them, pugs lick their noses.

Excessive saliva production can also mean digestive issues in your pooch. Pugs can have GT worms in their intestinal tract which can cause distress. Improper methods used to deworm a pug can lead to them salivating as well.

Consult your vet if you find excessive encounters of your pooch salivating. Make sure you treat it well. Pugs are also allergic to grains and certain proteins. That can also intensify the salivating process in them. It’s advised to feed them natural foods that are high in nutrients.

Why Does My Pug Lick Couch/Bed?

It’s not that big of a deal if your pug is licking his bed. It generally means that he has taken treats to eat in bed. Once he is done eating them he licks the bed. The only way out of this situation is to wash your pug’s bed regularly. Make sure there is no treat left. Once, the treat taste gets washed away, it should not be a problem.

How Do I Stop My Pug from Licking?

Pug’s licking in a moderate manner should be considered okay. If your pooch’s licking habits get out of hand then it’s a problem. You need to stop doing things that are counterproductive to your pooch. 

You need to refrain from appreciating your pug when they lick you. You need to stop indulging in happy voices, attention, cuddles, and affection. Make sure you give your pug a sign that you do not like their licking. 

Any bad behaviour should be snapped right at that time. Else that behaviour that circumvents into a problem later. Make sure you cut the problem at the root. Do not let your pooch reinforce bad behaviours later.

Avoid making licking a habit

Your pug only indulges in licking because he assumes he will get a reward out of it. Make sure your pug understands that they won’t be rewarded if they lick. You have to prevent the habit. Pugs are licking you thinking they will get the cuddles. Once you stop responding with affection, they might change as well.

Train your pug

Make sure your pug understands what you are saying. If then also your pug refuses to change, it’s time to train. You start by giving commands to your pug. They should obey your commands. They will respond to it positively through treats, food and sweets. It’s a good way to make pugs aware that what kind of behaviour is awarded and what is not? 

The best example would be giving treats to pug when they are still. Once they understand that they can get treats they will obey you. IIf they start licking, sit somewhere else. It will make your pug realise that some of their behaviour is not liked by the owners. They won’t indulge in such behaviour from then on. 

Let pug’s minds be at work

It is important to know that pugs by nature are very curious. It won’t take you much time to see them bored. Try to engage themselves with a lot of games. Make sure they are doing well in them. Give them undivided attention. Play with them.

If your work requires you to be out, make sure you play with your pug. Give them the love they need. Make sure you come on time and spend time with them. Give them the attention that they crave. Being a pet owner comes with many responsibilities. You have to be able to fulfil them.

Exercise keeps your pug’s mental health great. And fun and games keep your pug’s good feelings high. It is extremely important to take care of all these factors. It could also mean that your pooch will be great emotionally. They can stop licking you.

Changing your odour

There can be a chance that your pug is licking you because he likes your odour. If you have put on a moisturizer or cream that he likes, he can lick. Make sure if that’s the reason, you discourage the behaviour. You can try changing your scent. This will deter your pooch from licking you.

Simply Reciprocate Your Pug’s Behaviour

If you are one of those people who do not have time for your pugs, it’s time to get licked. Your pug simply wants to lick you. They love you. They might have gotten hold of you after a long time, They want you to be loved. In this case, just sit and love your pooch. He just wants to share his love. Love him back.

FAQ on Pug Licking

Why do pugs lick their lips so much?

There can be a variety of reasons behind this behaviour. It can also be due to excessive dryness. If there is dry skin on the lips of your pug, they will lick more. Your pug can also suffer from other health problems. It includes nasal congestion caused by a cold or the flu, which forces pugs to breathe through mouths. 

Why do pugs lick their nose so much?

Pugs lick their noses due to allergic reactions. This can also be due to obstruction in breathing. There is a lot of bacteria build up in your pug’s nasal passage. This leads to obstruction in breathing for your pooch. That can lead to your pooch licking intensively.

Why do pugs lick your feet?

Pugs can lick your feet because they like salty skin. It’s very well known that pugs love salty skin. Pugs can not only lick legs but any part of your body. Dogs in general lick other dogs’ wounds and ears. They like the taste of it.

Why does my pug stick his tongue in and out?

This can be because pugs are anxious. The behaviour is very common in pugs when they feel threatened or discomfort of any sort. It can also happen when they have a disease like nausea, oral discomfort, allergies, or internal pain.

Final Words

The most important thing to try to understand is why is your pug licking? Is it because of any disease or it’s a behavioural issue? Take some time to discover that. Once you know that it’s behavioural, you can try training them. Make sure you are patient with the progress. If for any reason your pug is having a health issue, take them to a vet.