Every dog owner knows the joy of getting licks from their furry best friend. Sometimes these sweet displays of affection come at surprising times, like after they’ve taken a big drink from their water dish! This may seem odd to you, but to your dog, it makes perfect biological sense.

Your dog licks you after drinking water as a way of showing affection. Your dog may associate you with the water that they are drinking and want to express gratitude, or they may simply want to remind you that they love you. Also, licking you gives them information on your well-being.

If you’re curious about why your dog licks you after drinking water, this article is for you. Keep reading for more information on why your dog licks you after drinking water, as well as a few more explanations for your dog’s interesting licking behaviors.

Why Does My Dog Lick Me After Drinking Water?

Dogs explore the world with their mouths, and licking is how they gather information. When they lick you, they can taste your sweat, which contains trace amounts of salt, water, and waste; by eating it, your dog can tell how you’re feeling. With their mouth fresh from drinking water, they may just want to check in with you and see how you’re doing.

Dogs also use licking as a way to express themselves. It is how they communicate with other dogs and with you! Your dog loves you, and licking is their way of telling you so.

A little lick on the hand or foot is nothing to be concerned about. However, other water-drinking habits could be indicators of something wrong with your dog. 

Why Does My Dog Lick the Couch After Drinking Water?

Your pooch licks the couch after drinking water for much the same reason that they lick you – affection. The couch smells like you, and the scent of their favorite person draws them in.

If you were recently sitting on it, they might be licking at the same secretions they’re trying to taste when they lick your hand or foot. If there is a guest that they particularly like the smell of, they may smell the seat after they’ve gotten up and lick where they were sitting.

Crumbs and spills from treats may also be tempting your dog to lick the sofa. If you are in the habit of snacking on the couch, your dog may be trying to lap up food that you are leaving behind.

Allowing your dog to lick the sofa is terrible for your upholstery, and could also be teaching them bad habits. Be extra careful when eating on your furniture and clean up messes quickly to prevent your dog from licking them up.

Discourage your dog from becoming your vacuum cleaner by redirecting them.

If you notice that your dog seems to be licking the couch compulsively, you may have a more severe problem. Some dogs lick out of boredom if they’re understimulated, or as an outlet for anxiety.

If you suspect that your dog is bored, try taking your dog out for more exercise and spending more time playing with them. An anxious dog may also bark excessively, shiver, and generally seem nervous.

If the problem is severe, seek out a behavior specialist or your veterinarian to get to the root of your dog’s issues.

Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water?

Every once in a while, your dog may have some water go down the wrong pipe. It’s the same thing that happens to us humans, making us cough.  Dogs also cough when things go down the wrong pipe.

However, if they are regularly coughing after drinking, this could be an indication that there is something medically wrong with your dog. 

Kennel cough could be the reason for your dog’s coughing fit. This disease is the equivalent of the common cold for dogs and can spread just as quickly. The good news is that this is illness is minor and will pass in a couple of weeks.

The bad news is that you will need to keep your dog away from other dogs until they are completely healed, which may be difficult if you have more than one dog in your home.

If your dog’s cough lasts for more than a couple of weeks, it may be evidence of a tracheal abnormality. The hypoplastic trachea is a genetic disorder that shows up in young puppies of certain breeds, particularly short muzzle breeds.

In these dogs, their trachea, or windpipe, has not developed to its full size. If your puppy has other symptoms, such as heavy breathing, low energy, and low weight gain, contact your vet with your concerns.

Tracheal collapse is a degenerative disease that could be causing your older dog to cough while drinking water. Over time your dog’s windpipe may begin to slowly flatten and narrow, making it more difficult for your dog to take in air.

This disorder shows up during middle age or seniority in small dog breeds, especially in Yorkshire Terriers. A sudden loss of energy in an otherwise active dog and a honking cough sound are other signs of tracheal collapse.

Does All of This Mean my Dog isn’t Getting Enough Water?

Much like food intake, the water intake of your dog should be carefully monitored. On average, your dog should be getting between 0.5 – 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight.

Puppies need slightly more water, drinking around ½ cup every two hours. There are exceptions to this rule. If your dog is primarily fed a dry food diet, or eats foods that are high in sodium, they may need to drink more water. If your dog is pregnant or lactating, they may have higher water needs as well.

If it seems like your dog is drinking more water than usual, don’t panic right away. Just like their owners, dogs will drink more water in special circumstances.  If your pup is getting a lot of exercise, or if the weather is warm, they will drink more water to meet their body’s needs.

However, if they are drinking a large quantity of water every day, there may be something more serious going on with your pet.

Illness Can Contribute to Your Dogs Thirst, Increasing Licking

Minor ailments like infections or major ones like cancer can make your dog drink more water. If your pup seems extra thirsty, watch for other signs that could indicate illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and refusal to eat.

Certain medications may also make your dog more thirsty. If your dog is on a new medication, check the side effects – thirst may be among them.

Dehydration Can Also Increase Thirst and Licking

If they are dehydrated, they may drink water too quickly to sate their thirst. In this scenario, offer your dog smaller sips of water so that they don’t drink too fast and make themselves sick.

Dehydration can be very dangerous, so watch for other signs of dehydration such as dry gums, lethargy, thick saliva, and vomiting. If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, do not hesitate to reach out to your vet.

Overhydration, or too much water, can also be dangerous to your pet.  Puppies are especially at risk for overhydration because they cannot control themselves. A dog that is overhydrated will seem lethargic, vomit, or act confused.

Consider limiting your dog’s access to water if they tend to overhydrate, or invest in an automated water bowl. Overhydration is rare, so check for other issues or illnesses first.

Final Thoughts

While your dog’s licking after drinking water is an interesting, and sloppy behavior, it’s also a normal one.