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Why does my dog lick my armpit or deodorant?

It might not be one of the grossest things dogs do, but its certainly one of the most embarrassing. Few things are more awkward than feeling your dog’s cold, wet nose in your armpit. You are bound to wonder why your dog would do this, and how you can get them to stop. 

Why does my dog lick my armpit with deodorant?

Dogs lick nearly everything. However, they develop an affinity for licking certain things. One of a dog’s favorite things to lick is their owner. It might be cute when they give you an affectionate lick on the arm, but it’s not so cute when they lick your armpit. 

Exploring the World

Dogs explore the world with their mouths. They have less taste buds than humans, but that doesn’t stop them from gathering information with their tongue. They use their tongue and mouth similar to how we use touch. 

Many dogs seem to lick everything, especially if it’s something new. This is often because they are learning about the item through taste. 


One of the major reasons dogs lick their owners in general is affection. Mothers and puppies show their love through licking. A mother will lick her pup to groom them and simply show her love. Puppies will lick their mother to show affection, or to indicate hunger or a desire to play. 

No matter the age, dogs maintain this behavior. They will continue to lick as a way to show affection. They will also lick to ask you for food, attention, or to play. 

Deodorant Smell/Taste

As strange as it seems to us, some dogs love the taste of deodorant. Why isn’t clear. Dogs have been known to consume lotion or soap as well. They may be drawn to the scent of the item, or the taste. It’s possible that the deodorant smells like candy or food to them. 


If you are wearing deodorant, you’ve already done your grooming. However, your dog might not agree. Dogs lick to groom each other and themselves. 

Grooming is very important to dogs. When they groom one another, it’s a sign of trust and affection. It’s their way of saying, “I’ve got your back”. 

Just as they groom other dogs, your dog may attempt to groom you. It may be annoying, but it’s your dogs’ way of caring for you as you care for them. 

Unknown Smell

It’s possible your dog wants you to smell like you. Deodorant can cause them concern, because it is a strange smell on top of your natural smell. Dogs that take issue with this will dutifully try to remove the offending smell. 

It’s actually their way of protecting you. They don’t know that this smelly substance is safe, so they want to remove it. 

It can also upset your dog because it affects your natural smell. Dogs who react this way may also have an issue with you wearing lotion or scented body products. 

Smell is your dog’s strongest sense. It’s a large part of how they connect with you. After all, a dog can read your emotions and even illnesses simply by smelling you. It’s easy to see why they may prefer your natural smell. 


Dogs also lick as a sign of submission. A submissive dog will lick and groom the alpha, or dogs that are higher in ranking than they are. You are, or should be, the alpha of your dog’s pack. They may lick you to show they see you as the alpha, and just happen to choose your armpit as their preferred spot. 

Why does my dog lick my armpits without deodorant?

If your dog licks your armpits without deodorant, then you can be sure it’s not the deodorant that is drawing them to your pits. There are a few interesting reasons why your dog may like your armpit natural. 

Stinky Items

Dogs love things that stink. They sniff each other’s butts and spend an inordinate amount of time examining and smelling poop. They are also known to roll around in things that make you gag. 

No matter how hygienic you are, your bare armpits will give off a slight aroma. This strong smell is something dogs are drawn to. 

In the wild, dogs often roll in stinky things, including dead animals, to cover their own scent. Things that we find stinky also appeal to them because they are strong smells. It’s like a symphony for your dog’s nose. The strong smell is very exciting for them. 

In addition to smelling your smelly armpit, they will often lick it. This goes back to dogs exploring the world with their mouth. Essentially, if they enjoy the smell, they will probably give it a taste as well. 

Your Smell

Smelliness isn’t the only reason your dog loves the smell and taste of your armpit. They love your smell, in all its forms. 

This is why dogs often have an affinity for the socks, and even underwear of their owners. The owner’s smell is very prevalent on these items. Your smell is one of your dog’s favorite things. It brings them happiness and comfort. 

Again, when they enjoy the smell, they are bound to taste it as well. 


When it comes to salt, dogs and humans are very similar. We love the taste, and need salt in our diet in limited amounts. When humans sweat, salt comes out of our pores as part of our perspiration. Since your armpits sweat more than any other area, they also contain the most salt. 

Your dog may lick your armpits if they need more salt in their diet. Their body will crave salt. When they smell it on your body, they will lick it to consume it. 

However, dogs will also lick the salt from your armpits simply because they enjoy the taste of it. A love for salt doesn’t always mean they need more of it, whether they are human or dog. 


If your dog licks your armpit as a sign of affection, it won’t matter if you are wearing deodorant or not. In this case, the behavior is not related to the deodorant or the smell of your armpits. It’s simply a way they show their love. 


Some dogs are more likely to groom your armpits with or without deodorant, while other dogs don’t seem to have a preference. They will groom your armpits regardless of how they smell or taste. 

Is deodorant toxic to dogs?

The good news is that deodorant isn’t toxic to dogs. If they only got a few licks, they should be fine. If they ate a stick of deodorant, that’s another matter. 

Why Do Armpits Smell?

To understand deodorant, and why it’s considered good form to use it, you have to understand the armpit itself. 

You probably know that most of your sweat is emitted by your armpits. It’s easy to assume that the sweat is the cause of the odor, but it isn’t. At least not directly. 

Nearly all areas of your body sweat. If sweat itself was the culprit, your entire body would smell foul. Instead, the odor is caused by bacteria that live on your armpit. Bacteria love moist dark environments. This is why they are found in your armpit, but rarely on other areas of the body. 

The sweat is essentially food for these bacteria. When the bacteria consume the sweat, the smell known as body odor is the result. It’s a by-product of the bacteria processing your sweat. 

What’s in Deodorant?

There are two basic types of deodorant. Deodorant is designed to mask the smell of your armpits, while antipersant prevents the sweat which causes the odor by blocking pores. The majority of deodorants today are both deodorant and antiperspirant. 

Most deodorants and antiperspirants will contain sodium stearate, sodium chloride, and stearyl alcohol. They can also contain triclosan (an antibacterial ingredient), perfumes, essential oils, zinc, and ammonium chloride. The exact ingredients will vary based on the type of deodorant and the brand. 

None of these ingredients are a part of a healthy diet, but none are particularly harmful either. 

 Potential Side Effects of Deodorant

Deodorant is non-toxic, but it can still cause some side effects. When your dog eats something they shouldn’t, it can cause gastrointestinal upset. The most common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. These should resolve within 12-24 hours. 

In many cases, the dog suffers no ill effects at all. Many owners report rank smelling poop or atomic farts after a dog consumes a large amount of deodorant, but no other ill effects. 

What to do if my dog licks deodorant?

There’s no reason to panic if your dog eats deodorant. However, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. 

Remove Access to Deodorant

The first, and most obvious step, is to make sure your dog can’t ingest more deodorant. If they found your stick of deodorant, you’ll need to put it where they can’t reach it. If they are licking it from you, you’ll need to stop them from doing so. 

Give Water

Make sure your dog has access to water. They may seek out water to get rid of the taste, or because their body tells them to do so. 

Monitor Them

Next, you’ll simply need to monitor them. The chances of them having a severe reaction, even if they ate the deodorant, are very low. However, if they have severe vomiting or diarrhea, consult your vet. 

If you notice concerning symptoms, including lethargy, excessive thirst, difficulty breathing, or disorientation, you’ll need to seek emergency veterinary care. Again, this is highly unlikely, but it’s important to know what to look for. 

How to get my dog to stop licking my armpit?

It’s highly unlikely you find your dog licking your armpit pleasant. The good news is there are a few things you can do to get them to stop. 


If you laugh when your dog licks your armpit, or give any other indication you find the behavior cute, you are encouraging them to continue. This is because they associate licking your armpit with a positive outcome. Of course, they want to do it more. 

You can use conditioning to your advantage, however. Just as a positive reaction will encourage your dog, a negative reaction can discourage them. 

The problem with this is your natural reaction may be to give them attention, even if its negative. If you get annoyed, and scold them, there’s a chance they will still enjoy the attention. 

Move Away

The solution to the conditioning problem is to ignore your dog when this occurs. This doesn’t mean allowing them to continue. Instead, you move away from the dog. 

If you are sitting down, you may need to get up and go to another room. This teaches your dog that when they lick your armpits, they get a negative reaction, which is the loss of your attention. 

Most dogs will quickly learn that this isn’t an outcome they enjoy, and they will stop the behavior. 

Remove Temptation

It can be helpful to do as much as possible to remove the temptation. You may need to wear a shirt with sleeves, so your armpits are less accessible. 

When they begin to try to access your armpits, you move away before they get the satisfaction of licking them. 

Change the Smell

If your dog seems particularly attracted to your deodorant, you can consider trying a different scent. You can also use unscented anti-perspirant. This may prevent your dog from licking your deodorant. 

Go Natural 

Another potential way to keep your dog out of your armpits is to use natural deodorant. You can make your own by combining baking soda, arrowroot, and coconut oil. 

These ingredients are completely safe if your dog does ingest them. You can also add scents that dogs dislike, but humans enjoy. Mint and citrus smells will repel dogs, but smell great to us.