Why do canines and different animals lick their wounds?

The saying “to lick one’s wounds” is a metaphor that is synonymous with retreating and recovering from an harm, and the conduct is noticed in some pets and different animals. Dogs do it (opens in new tab); mice do it (opens in new tab); even ants do it. All types of critters apply their saliva to scratches and scrapes. But why do these animals lick their wounds?

The reply lies largely within the self-soothing actions of licking and the therapeutic properties of spit. Wound licking is an instinctual response, honed by pure choice, that will assuage irritation and ache and may even assist accidents get better sooner, in accordance with Dr. Benjamin Hart, a retired veterinarian and professor emeritus on the University of California, Davis. But in canines and different pets, the intuition can simply grow to be counterproductive, particularly when there are much better wound therapies accessible.

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