Why Do Dogs Lick Feet With Athlete'S Foot?

Why Do Dogs Lick Feet With Athlete’S Foot?

Dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot due to the saltiness and moisture that it provides. Feet with athlete’s foot produce saltiness and moisture that attracts dogs to lick them.

This behavior can be perplexing, but it stems from dogs’ innate attraction to these elements. Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin between the toes, causing itchiness, redness, and flaking. Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can detect the odor associated with athlete’s foot.

The saltiness and moisture provide a tempting taste and sensation for dogs, leading them to lick the affected area. While this behavior may provide temporary relief or slight discomfort for the individual, it is essential to seek proper treatment for athlete’s foot to address the underlying infection. Understanding the reasons behind a dog’s behavior can help owners take appropriate steps to prevent or manage it effectively.

Why Do Dogs Lick Feet With Athlete'S Foot?

Credit: dogaspet.com

Exploring The Canine Attraction To Feet

Dogs’ fascination with human feet goes beyond curiosity, and this includes their tendency to lick feet affected by athlete’s foot. The reasons behind this behavior can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, dogs have a heightened sense of smell, allowing them to detect the distinct odor emitted by athlete’s foot.

Additionally, the warm and sweaty environment created by athlete’s foot can attract dogs, as they are naturally drawn to moist areas. Dogs also have a natural inclination to groom themselves and their loved ones, which includes licking. This instinctual behavior acts as a way for them to provide comfort and care.

Furthermore, dogs may be attracted to the salty taste that accompanies sweating and skin infections. Overall, while dogs licking feet with athlete’s foot may seem unusual, it is often driven by their innate instincts and the unique scents and tastes associated with this condition.

Understanding Athlete’S Foot In Humans

Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It is characterized by itching, redness, and flaking. The condition is caused by the fungus called Trichophyton, which thrives in warm, moist environments such as sweaty socks and shoes.

Poor hygiene, close contact with an infected person, and walking barefoot in public places are common risk factors for developing athlete’s foot. To prevent it, practicing good foot hygiene is essential. This includes keeping the feet clean and dry, wearing moisture-wicking socks, and changing them regularly.

It is also important to avoid walking barefoot in public areas such as locker rooms and showers. By following these hygiene practices, you can reduce the risk of developing athlete’s foot and keep your feet healthy.

Why Dogs Are Interested In Athlete’S Foot

One possible response: Dogs are naturally intrigued by the smell and taste of athlete’s foot, which is caused by a fungal infection. Their keen sense of smell allows them to detect changes in the human body, such as infections or imbalances.

When it comes to feet with athlete’s foot, dogs may lick them as a way to investigate or clean the affected area. Moreover, licking is a natural behavior for dogs that they use to show affection or seek attention. Additionally, the moisture and warmth between the toes may attract dogs, as they are drawn to these sensory stimuli.

However, it’s important to note that licking feet with athlete’s foot can potentially spread the infection if precautions are not taken. If your dog constantly licks your feet, it’s advisable to seek advice from a veterinarian to address any underlying issues.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Canine Licking

Dogs licking feet with athlete’s foot may actually have some benefits. Their saliva contains enzymes and antibodies that can help kill bacteria and promote healing. Additionally, the licking action may provide temporary relief from itching and discomfort. However, there are potential risks to consider.

Dogs can spread bacteria or fungus from their mouths to the infected area, worsening the condition. Excessive licking can also cause skin irritation and further infection. It is important to consult with a veterinarian before allowing your dog to lick your feet with athlete’s foot.

Each situation is unique, and the vet can assess whether it is safe and advisable based on the severity of the infection and the overall health of your dog. Always prioritize your own health and follow proper treatment for athlete’s foot.

Preventing And Managing Dog Licking Behavior

Dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot due to their instinctual grooming behavior. One way to prevent this is by implementing training and behavior modification techniques. These methods involve redirecting their attention to more appropriate activities. Another option is seeking professional help if the licking behavior persists.

This can provide guidance and insights into managing the behavior effectively. It’s important to deter dogs from licking feet with athlete’s foot as it can lead to further complications. By addressing this behavior, we can ensure the well-being of both the dog and the person affected by athlete’s foot.

Alternative Approaches To Addressing Athlete’S Foot

Dogs licking feet with athlete’s foot may seem like a strange behavior, but it actually has a purpose. However, there are alternative approaches to dealing with athlete’s foot that don’t involve dogs licking. Non-licking solutions can be effective in managing athlete’s foot.

Medications and treatments are available for humans with athlete’s foot. These can help alleviate the symptoms and promote healing. Along with these treatments, there are also tips for preventing athlete’s foot and maintaining foot health. By practicing good hygiene, keeping feet dry and clean, and avoiding walking barefoot in public areas, you can reduce the risk of developing athlete’s foot.

Taking care of your feet is essential in keeping them healthy and preventing infections like athlete’s foot.


Dogs can get athlete’s foot, although it is not common. If your dog continues to lick your feet with athlete’s foot, you should take action. It is important to prevent the transmission of athlete’s foot to your dog by keeping your feet clean and dry.

Avoid letting your dog lick your feet, as it may not be safe in general. Protect your pet by washing your feet regularly and treating any infections promptly. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if you have concerns.

Remember to prioritize both your and your dog’s hygiene to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why Do Dogs Lick Feet With Athlete’S Foot?

Does Dog Saliva Heal Athletes Foot?

No, dog saliva does not heal athlete’s foot.

Can Dog Saliva Heal Fungus?

Dog saliva does not have healing properties for fungal infections.

Can My Dog Catch My Athlete’S Foot?

No, dogs cannot catch athlete’s foot from humans.

Why Does My Dog Keep Licking My Infected Toe?

Your dog licks your infected toe because it may be trying to clean or soothe the area.


Dogs have a natural instinct to lick their owner’s feet, but when it comes to athlete’s foot, their behavior takes on a whole new perspective. The reason why dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot is due to the fungus that causes this condition.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and they can detect the fungal infections present on people’s feet. Their saliva contains enzymes and antibodies that can help fight off the fungus, providing some relief to the owner. However, it is important to note that while a dog’s saliva may offer temporary relief, it is not a cure for athlete’s foot.

Treating the condition with antifungal medication is essential. Understanding why dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot can help owners take appropriate measures to address the issue and ensure the health and well-being of both themselves and their furry friends. So, the next time your dog starts licking your feet, it might be worth checking your soles for signs of athlete’s foot!

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