Why Does My Dog Sniff My Feet?

By Bethany Tate

As long as there have been pet dogs and dog owners, canines have been interested in feet. Whether it’s licking, sniffing, or a combination of both, many pups are human feet enthusiasts. In this article we zero in on one of these common feet centered behaviors as we try to answer the question, “Why does my dog sniff my feet?”. 

Reasons your dog might be sniffing your feet

Here are some of the reasons why your dog could be sniffing your feet. 

Your dog wants to learn about you

Dogs’ noses are powerful and full of smell receptors. It’s likely that your dog sniffs your feet because he wants to gather information. As he’s sniffing around he’s doing research on where you’ve been, and who or what you’ve been around. If there’s a scent on your feet unusual to your dog he’ll likely sniff your feet out of curiosity, investigating the new and interesting smell. 

Your dog is showing affection

Dogs sniff feet to show affection as well. If a family member comes home after being away you’re likely to ask them how they are or how their day was. It’s the same idea with your dog. You’re a member of the pack. When you come home and take off your shoes your dog is quick to sniff your feet to welcome you back and see how you’re doing. 

Your dog likes your smell

Your dog might sniff your feet because he likes the way you smell. There are pheromones in the oil and sweat your feet produce. What might smell stinky and off-putting to you might smell attractive to a dog. Also your scent likely carries a happy and positive association for your dog because he loves you. Smelling the scent on your feet might actually make your dog happy! 

Your dog wants something

Another reason your dog might be sniffing your feet is that he wants something. You might have encouraged his or her feet sniffing behavior without realizing it. If you’re in the habit of playing with your dog when you get home, giving them a treat, taking them on a walk, or praising them; then it could be that your dog has associated these rewards with sniffing your feet. 

Why does my dog smell my feet when I get home?

Your dog smells your feet when you get home as a sort of greeting. When your dog smells your feet he or she is gathering information about you and your day. 

Do dogs like smelly feet?

At the very least smelly feet are something interesting to dogs. Their noses have way more smell receptors than us humans. This means they experience smell in a way that we don’t fully understand. Feet that smell nasty and sweaty to us are fascinating to dogs. 

Final thoughts on why dogs sniff feet

Dogs sniff feet for many reasons. Sometimes it’s curiosity, affection, or a trained behavior. Whatever the reason your dog sniffs your feet for, you can learn to appreciate it and enjoy the attention from your pooch! 

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Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.