The Science Behind Letting Your Pug Lick You: Unveiling the Dopamine Connection

The Science Behind Letting Your Pug Lick You

Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Fumipets

The Science Behind Letting Your Pug Lick You: Unveiling the Dopamine Connection


A Pug’s Loving Licks: More Than Meets the Eye

In the realm of furry companions, there’s nothing quite like a dog’s wet and affectionate kisses. While some embrace these slobbery displays of love, others may shy away.

But have you ever wondered what these wet smooches mean to your dog? One dog owner, sharing her insights on TikTok through her dog’s account, @PugLouLou, sheds light on why she encourages her pug, Loulou, to shower her with licks.

Dopamine: The Feel-Good Neurotransmitter

The revelation comes from a simple truth—letting your dog lick you can trigger a release of dopamine, often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter. The dog owner’s post emphasizes that when your furry friend licks you, it’s not just an affectionate gesture; it’s a biochemical expression of love.

Decoding the Lick: A Sign of Affection

Pet food entrepreneur Adam Guest elaborates on this heartwarming phenomenon, explaining that a dog’s lick is intricately linked with positive emotions. Just as puppies are lovingly licked by their mothers, dogs grow up associating licking with care and affection.

Guest emphasizes that while there isn’t a specific study quantifying the release of dopamine in dogs when they lick humans, it’s widely recognized that positive interactions and enjoyable activities can trigger dopamine release. This connection between licking and dopamine suggests that these licks are an expression of love and happiness from your furry companion.

Oxytocin: Strengthening Bonds

Beyond dopamine, interactions that strengthen the bond between dogs and their human companions, such as petting, playing, and positive training, also trigger the release of oxytocin—a hormone often dubbed the “feel-good” hormone. This mutual exchange of positive emotions between dogs and their humans fosters a deeper connection and contributes to the overall well-being of both parties.

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In essence, while we can’t definitively conclude that a dog’s lick directly induces a dopamine rush, it’s clear that these affectionate gestures play a pivotal role in enhancing the happiness and contentment of our beloved canine friends.

The Love for Licks on TikTok

Since its debut on September 20, the TikTok post by @PugLouLou has received over 200,000 likes and garnered more than 900 comments. Dog lovers from all corners of the internet are sharing their experiences, from those who revel in their dogs’ licks to those who have established a strict “no-face-licking” policy.

So, the next time your pug or furry friend showers you with loving licks, remember—it’s more than just a kiss; it’s a heartwarming exchange of affection and happiness.

Source: Newsweek



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