Licking for close individuals mimics puppy-parent bonding. It often conveys happiness at being with a beloved person.
Dogs lick people to gather taste and scent information about where they've been and what they've eaten recently.
Some anxious, stressed dogs lick excessively as a self-soothing repetitive behavior. Anxiety treatment could help.
Excessive licking focused on one area may indicate pain, infection, parasites or other health problems needing veterinary attention.
Medical Issue Sign
Licking delivers mental and sensory stimulation to bored dogs. More play, training and enrichment could help.
Mother dogs naturally lick puppies to groom them, retain family scent bonds, and encourage urinating/defecating. This instinct persists.
Dogs can't sweat like people. Licking arms/legs mimics their foot pad licking to promote evaporative cooling.