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Why do dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot?


Why Do Dogs Lick Feet With Athlete's Foot?

Whether it’s athlete’s foot or a foot fungus infection, whatever you wish to call it, you notice your dog enjoys licking feet with athlete’s foot. This gets you wondering: why do dogs lick feet with athlete’s foot?

The athlete’s foot gives off a strong odor, and the fungal infection’s pungent smell can be hard to resist for the canines with a powerful sense of smell. Besides, sweaty and salty feet are a common symptom of an athlete’s foot, making it more attractive for your furry friend to give your foot a lick. 

But, will licking feet with an athlete’s foot cause any issues to your pet dog. Keep reading to find out more. 

Table of contents

Dog Licks My Feet Fungus: Here’s Why?

Licking is an normal behavior in the canine world. Your pooch licks your feet to communicate with you and express their affection. This behavior can be slightly unpleasant and odd for some pet owners, especially if your pup licks regularly. Still, licking is the way your pup expresses its emotions.  

But what if your dog licks feet with an athlete’s foot? Why are they obsessed with licking smelly feet and having fungal infections? These are some questions most pet owners ponder about. 

Dog Licks My Feet Fungus

Your feet are one of the parts of the body that sweats the most. Human sweat contains large amounts of sodium chloride, a type of salt that’s added to your food. Your furry buddy enjoys the salty taste; no wonder they find your athlete’s feet attractive to lick. 

Sweat combined with the fungal infection can give your feet a very bad smell. Turns out, most canine pets think smelly things mean it’s something tasty to lick. That’s why salty feet having a fungal infection is a tasty treat your pooch finds hard to resist.

Dog Licks My Feet Fungus

Can Dogs Smell Toenail Fungus?

Dogs have a strong sense of smell which is why they are attracted to licking your feet. In general, dogs constantly lick all over their owners. It’s their instinct to explore the world around them, including their owners. Their strong sense of smell and taste is what provokes them to explore by sniffing and licking. 

In addition to the numerous biological information, your feet also have pheromones unique to each individual. These chemicals emitted from your body have the ability to impact the behavior of your pet animal. To be exact, your feet function more like a pheromone factory. With your canine pet’s sense of smell more sensitive than yours, it’s no wonder they’re fascinated, but your feet smell. 

On top of that, if your feet have any toenail fungal infection or athlete’s foot, the pungent smell spikes your dog’s interest, making them want to lick and explore more. 

Can Dogs Smell Toenail Fungus?

Is Athlete’s Foot Contagious To Dogs?

When it comes to your canine companions, they develop athlete’s foot, also known as yeast or fungal infection, which is unique to their species. This condition is not limited to their feet but spreads across to the other parts of their body. The contagious fungal infection is usually passed between canines and other animals, in some cases, humans. 

So, if your pet dog’s skin is broken or has open wounds, keeping them from licking feet with an athlete’s foot is advisable. If ever they get infected, avoid using creams or medications used for humans to treat your dog’s symptoms without consulting the vet.

Is Athlete's Foot Contagious To Dogs?

Can Dogs Get Athlete’s Foot From Humans?

Yes! Your canine buddies can get infected by fungal infection from you, or you can even get it from your pet dog. In most cases, it is common for humans to transmit the fungal infection to other humans and pass between dogs and other dogs.

Dogs also tend to get a type of ringworm infection or athlete’s foot. The main difference it has from humans is that it is not restricted to only the paws but appears on other parts of their body. If your furry buddy gets this fungal infection, you will have to take them to the vet to get treated with a medicated shampoo or antifungal cream.

Fungal infections are mostly transmitted through direct contact with the skin or by using infected materials like bedding, towels, or coming in contact with infected surfaces. The good news is that even if your dog contracts a fungal infection from you, it is treatable without any side effects. However, it’s advisable to take necessary precautions to limit the transmission of athlete’s foot from you to your pet dog. 

Can Dog Licking Cure Your Athlete’s Foot?

Usually, people wash off their canine pet saliva from their skin as soon as possible. However, some individuals having fungal infections take a different approach. To cure this pesky skin issue, they often use their pet’s drool, as it’s said to have lots of beneficial bacteria that helps cure fungal infections. 

So, can your pet dog’s saliva cure the athlete’s foot? Tread with caution if you’re taking this route. 

Some individuals claim that dog licking has helped cure their athlete’s foot, as licking gets rid of dirt and cleans the wounds. Though a dog’s saliva contains antibacterial properties, it also has a fair share of notorious bacteria and germs that can cause infections when it comes in contact with an open wound. Opt for fungal infection creams or powders are advisable to avoid making the infection worse.

Can Dog Licking Cure Your Athlete’s Foot?

Final Thoughts On Athlete’s Foot Dog Licking 

Most pet owners find it comforting to get a lick from their canine buddy after a long and tiring day. At the same time, some people find this behavior to be scornful and condemn it. While there are many reasons why your dog licks your feet, one of the top candidates that attract them is your feet’ odor. 

With an athlete’s foot giving off a pungent odor, dogs consider it a tasty snack to lick and enjoy. Your feet have a wide range of odors that your pet dog can easily detect with their powerful nose. Even if you feel your feet are odor-free and perfectly clean, your dog will be able to sniff and figure out the remaining scents.

Whether you like it or not, dogs licking your feet is considered to be generally safe. However, you must ensure that your feet are kept clean without warts or foot fungal infection.

Written by

Tim Smith
With years of experience writing about dogs, this author is a go-to source for insights on the furry friends. A lover of all animals, this writer's work has been published in many respected publications.
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