Why Does My Dog Lick My Face and Now I Have Bumps?

Dogs are known for their affectionate behavior, and one common way they show their love and bond with their owners is through licking. 

While it may be endearing to have your furry friend shower you with slobbery kisses, sometimes it can lead to unexpected consequences, such as developing bumps on your face. 

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why dogs lick faces, potential causes of bumps, and how to address this issue for the well-being of both you and your canine companion.

Why Do Dogs Lick Faces?

Communication and Affection: Licking is a natural behavior for dogs that starts from puppyhood. Mother dogs lick their puppies to groom them and show affection. 

Similarly, when dogs lick their owners’ faces, it can be a sign of bonding, love, and a way to communicate their emotions. It is their way of expressing their happiness and devotion.

Taste and Saltiness: Human skin produces natural oils and sweat that dogs can find appealing. The taste and saltiness of our skin can be enticing to them, leading them to lick our faces. 

Additionally, if you have recently eaten or applied something with a strong odor, dogs may lick your face to investigate the new scent or taste.

Behavioral Reinforcement: Sometimes, unknowingly, we may inadvertently reinforce licking behavior. For instance, if your dog licks your face, and you respond with laughter, petting, or positive attention, they may perceive it as a rewarding experience. 

See also  Why Do Dogs Stop Wagging Their Tail When You Stroke Them?

As a result, they are likely to repeat the behavior in the future to seek your attention or rewards.

Potential Causes of Bumps

Allergic Reactions 

One possible reason for developing bumps after your dog licks your face is an allergic reaction. 

Dogs may carry allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or certain foods on their fur or saliva, which can trigger an allergic response in sensitive individuals. The bumps can be a result of contact dermatitis or hives.

Bacterial Infections

Dog’s saliva contains various bacteria, and if your dog has an oral infection or poor dental health, those bacteria can be transferred to your face during licking. 

This transfer can lead to a bacterial infection, causing redness, bumps, or pustules on your skin.

Irritation and Trauma

The constant licking from your dog can irritate the skin on your face, especially if their tongue is rough. 

The repeated licking can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier, leading to inflammation, redness, and the formation of bumps. Additionally, the pressure and force of the licking can cause minor trauma to the skin, resulting in localized swelling.

Addressing the Issue

Consult a Healthcare Professional 

If you develop persistent bumps, redness, or any other concerning symptoms after your dog licks your face, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional. 

They can evaluate your condition, identify the underlying cause, and recommend appropriate treatment options, such as topical creams, antihistamines, or antibiotics if necessary.

Regular Grooming and Dental Care for Your Dog 

Maintaining good hygiene for your dog is essential to prevent potential issues associated with their licking behavior. 

See also  What is the white stuffing in dog toys? Explained

Regular grooming, including brushing their fur and keeping it clean, can reduce the presence of allergens on their coat. Additionally, ensuring your dog has proper dental care and regular visits to the veterinarian can help minimize the transfer of bacteria during licking.

Training and Positive Reinforcement 

If you wish to curb your dog’s face licking habit, training and positive reinforcement techniques can be effective. 

Teach your dog alternative behaviors such as sitting or giving a paw for attention, and reward them with treats or praise when they exhibit the desired behavior. Redirecting their attention and providing alternative outlets for their affection can help break the habit.


While dogs licking faces is often a sign of affection and bonding, it can occasionally lead to the development of bumps on the skin. Allergic reactions, bacterial infections, and skin irritation are among the potential causes. 

If you experience persistent symptoms or concerns, it is crucial to seek medical advice. Additionally, practicing good hygiene for your dog and implementing training techniques can help manage the licking behavior. 

Remember, striking a balance between enjoying your dog’s affection and ensuring your well-being is essential for a healthy and happy relationship with your furry friend.