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Why do pugs lick so much?

Pugs are one of the top 10 licking breeds, and it’s made more than one owner wonder what’s going on. (Okay, that list doesn’t actually exist. But if it did, we’d bet pugs would be at the top!) Read on to learn the reasons they lick you, their nose, their paws, the air… and when it might be time to be concerned.

Why they lick: you

As any owner knows, pugs are an expressive breed. For dogs, licking is a way of communicating just how much they adore you. Pugs have a lot of love to give, which means they have a lot of licks to give, too! 

It’s important to be aware that there can be a negative side to this, too. Some pugs will lick in order to get attention — and to be honest, you can’t really blame them: it’s an effective way to get a human to look! If you start to notice this type of behavior, the best way to nip it in the bud is to avoid giving them any attention as they lick. Then, about 3 seconds after they stop licking, praise them repeatedly. 

Why they lick: their nose

This is probably the most common place a pug licks, and there’s a reason behind it! Scent is a dog’s most powerful sense, and by making sure that their nose is clean and moist it ensures they’re making the most of their equipment.

Keep in mind that pugs’ noses are right next to some of their adorable wrinkles, though, and the licking could lead to moisture getting trapped in their folds. Make sure you have a wrinkle cleaning routine in place to avoid any issues that may come up because of this. 

Why they lick: their paws

While it’s important that you have a grooming routine for your pug, it’s also important to keep in mind that these pups can take care of some grooming themselves. If you notice your pug licking their paws more than usual, though, it could be a sign of irritation. In this case, make sure you inspect their paws and visit the vet if you notice anything off.

Why they lick: the air

There’s usually a reason why pugs lick the air, and while it definitely makes their humans laugh, it’s typically not for comedic effect. This can be a sign that your pup is hungry, especially if they’re doing this type of licking around meal time. It can also be a sign that your pug has excess saliva that they’re trying to clear out, or is a bit anxious.

The important thing to remember is that if your pug’s licking habits change, it might be tied to a behavioral or medical issue. Otherwise, rest assured that they’re naturally happy-go-licky pups.