If you’ve ever had a cut or wound, you may have noticed your furry friend’s immediate interest in licking it. While it may seem strange or even unsanitary, there are reasons behind this behavior. In this blog, we will explore the instinctual reasons why dogs are drawn to healing our cuts and wounds. Let’s dive in and uncover the fascinating world of canine instincts!
Dogs have an instinct to heal wounds, both their own and those of their human companions. This behavior stems from their ancestral roots when wild canines would lick their wounds to clean them and promote healing. Licking helps remove debris, dead tissue, and bacteria from the wound, acting as a primitive form of wound care.
Sense of Smell
Dogs possess an incredible sense of smell, far superior to ours. When they lick a cut, they are not only cleaning the wound but also gathering information about it. The scent of blood and bodily fluids can provide valuable insights to dogs, helping them assess the severity of the injury and potentially detect any underlying infections.
Comfort and Bonding
Licking is also a way for dogs to show affection and provide comfort. When they lick your cut, they may be trying to soothe you and offer reassurance. Licking releases endorphins in both dogs and humans, creating a sense of calm and bonding between the two.
Taste and Saltiness
Human blood contains salt, which dogs find appealing. The taste of blood can be enticing to them, leading them to lick cuts out of curiosity or simply because they enjoy the taste. However, it’s important to note that excessive licking can hinder the healing process and potentially introduce more bacteria to the wound.
In some cases, dogs may have learned that licking wounds earns them attention or rewards from their owners. If you have previously rewarded your dog for licking your cuts, they may continue the behavior in hopes of receiving positive reinforcement.
When your dog wants to lick your cut, it’s important to understand that their behavior is rooted in their instincts and their desire to care for you. While it may seem odd or unhygienic, their intentions are often well-meaning. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance between allowing them to comfort you and ensuring proper wound care and healing.
If you’re uncomfortable with your dog licking your cuts, it’s advisable to redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity or provide them with an alternative way to show affection. Additionally, keeping wounds clean, covered, and properly treated will help prevent infections and promote faster healing.
Remember, your dog’s instinctual behavior is a testament to their loyalty and care for you. Embrace their love while also prioritizing your health and well-being.