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Most dog owners interpret licks from their dogs as a sign of affection. In other words, the closest your canine companion can get to kissing. The first relates to human comfort, that is, some Licking wounds seems an instinctual reaction to the injury: nobody instructs a child to suck a burned finger, and nobody teaches a dog to lick a cut paw. But instinct can be biologically based and often serves a purpose. When a dog licks a wound--or a newborn puppy--it cleans it in much the same way you might clean a counter with a sponge.