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Q) What does it mean when a dog licks?

Like many animals, dogs lick their pack member and themselves for a number of reasons and we have explained the same below: -

Grooming-Dogs are very hygienic and they keep themselves clean by licking various parts of their body. If a dog is licking the anal gland excessively then it could indicate that the glands need to be expressed.

Healing-Dogs saliva has enzymes which kill bacteria and it also helps to clean wounds.

Communication-Dogs lick each other to communicate a number of things like “I am hungry”, “Let’s be friends”, “I miss you” etc. but again we are very poor in interpreting their action.  

Affection-This is the most common reason as to why a dog licks. Again, licking with affection help dogs to release pleasurable endorphin that calms them but sometimes their excessive licking can create discomfort for humans.