Why Do Dogs Lick Belly Buttons? [Guide]

The main reason dogs lick belly buttons is not a particularly pleasant one, so if you are squeamish or get grossed out easily, stop reading here. 

Dogs lick belly buttons because belly buttons give off a strong smell. Your dog is trying drawn to this smell and is trying to groom you or/and show you affection.

The truth is that dogs lick belly buttons or try to sniff them because they’re usually quite smelly due to the accumulation of dirt, sweat, bits of fabric, and dead skin cells that build up inside. In fact, belly buttons make up the perfect environment to grow bacteria and are often overlooked when it comes to washing, especially in the shower.

why do dogs lick belly buttons

The belly button contains many tiny skin folds depending on the size and cut of your belly button. It can actually be quite deep! These skin folds are effective at trapping all these gross things and can sometimes lead to infections. Combine this with a dog’s keen sense of smell and you have your answer. So if your dog keeps smelling your belly button specifically, I hate to tell you, but it might be time for a good scrub

However, believe it or not, a lot of people forget that they need to waste the inside of their belly button. It sounds totally odd but I have a friend who didn’t even realize they needed to and hadn’t washed the inside of it in years. I’ll leave the story there but let’s just say the way they found out was interesting, to say the least. 

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Dogs’ Lick Belly Buttons Because They Can Smell Bacteria and Salt

It’s no secret that dogs have an extremely impressive sense of smell and use it to understand their surroundings and sometimes even their owners. One of the reasons dogs try to lick their owner’s belly buttons is that they are drawn to this strong smell. Do dogs love unusual smells and what’s more unusual than the peculiar smell of a bell button? 

In some cases, the dog might simply be just trying to show some love and affection to their owner or it might even be trying to groom you because they think you smell a little bit too much. It’s important to remember to maintain good hygiene if you are wanting to avoid some unwanted belly button licking from your curious dog.

Affection and Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dogs lick for a number of reasons – affection, attention-seeking behavior, and even to taste something that interests them. But the reason that resonates with me the most is affection. Dogs are such loving creatures, they shower us with affection through their licks and it’s the purest form of love.

Every time your dog licks you, it’s like they’re saying “I love you!” And it just melts my heart. Dogs lick everyone they love – their owners, their friends, and even strangers.

It just highlights how selfless dogs are and how much they love us without asking for anything in return. So next time your dog licks you, just remember, it’s their way of telling you that they love you. And cherish that moment, because it’s a reminder of the unconditional love that dogs have for us.

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Instinctual Licking for Grooming

I’ve had dogs my whole life and I’ve always been fascinated by their behavior, especially the way they lick and groom us.

Dogs love to lick things and in many cases, it’s their way of showing they love you.

I remember when my dog would groom me after a long day at work. He’d clean my face, my hands, and my feet, it was like he was saying “Let me take care of you, you’ve had a tough day.” 

But it’s not just about love and affection, it’s also a way for dogs to bond with their owners. Every time my dog licked me, it was like he was saying “We’re a pack, we’re in this together.”


To conclude our dogs lick belly buttons because of grooming behavior for a variety of reasons, including affection, attention-seeking, and even to taste something that interests them. While it may seem gross to us, dogs are naturally drawn to the unique smells that come from our belly buttons, which can contain dirt, sweat, bits of fabric, and dead skin cells. However, it’s important to maintain good hygiene to avoid unwanted belly button licking from your curious pup.