Updated at: 29-12-2021 - By: petstutorial

There are a variety of reasons that cause dogs to lick their lips. It is likely that your dog is engaging in the gesture to communicate, however it could also be a sign of an issue with their health that is underlying. If your dog is licking his lips when eating or is anticipating of a delicious treat, it’s evident that it is related to food and not something to be worried about. What if he is doing it in other situations?

While we usually refer to lip licking to anticipate food however, there are a variety of reasons why dogs , in particular exhibit this behavior. Some may even surprise you. Let’s take a take a look at some typical reasons for lip smacking or licking that we have here on My Pet Nutritionist.


Reasons why your dog is licking their lips


If they are thirsty or dehydrated in the real sense, they’ll start licking their lips to prevent their lips from drying out and cracking further. I’m betting that if you become thirsty and notice that your lips are the first thing to go, you’ll utilize saliva in order to ensure they stay moist till you locate water sources and dogs exactly the same and may even extend the licking of their lips to keep it dry as well.

It is a treatable and preventable condition. All you have to do is make sure that there is fresh water in their bowls and are aware of the location!

They’ve just eaten

Dogs who just ate something that contains wet food, in particular, might lick their lips afterward I know my dog does. It is likely that the dog is eating the food so fast and vigorously so that the food gets all over their face , and the licking happens to clean it up afterward. Similar to when you eat a donut with jam and then spread the jam all over you face, some people may cleanse their face with a tissue and some (like dogs) are likely to try to wipe it off.

There’s not a solution for this problem, but when your dog’s kissing their lips right after eating or having the dog has a few treats, you could bet that’s the reason.

They’ve just drank

Another cause for lip licking is because they’ve been drinking and are taking the water off their face. Everybody wants to be in equilibrium, therefore it’s normal to lick your lips if the lips are too wet.

Sore lips/nose

Have you ever suffered from lips that were chapped or an itchy sore that you were not able to stop teasing the region? It’s true that dogs can feel the same sensation! If your dog is licking his lips, be sure to check the lips and nose area for indications of injuries. Dogs put their noses stuck in all kinds of places, and it’s not unusual for them to be injured from time to time. The reasons behind injuries could include fighting with dogs, putting their noses in stinging nettles, smelling hedgehogs and so on…

The injuries that occur will usually be able to heal quickly, so don’t worry if observe it. If you are unsure you should always carry the first aid kit for dogs.


Dogs lick their lips as a sign of general anxiety

As with humans dog owners, dogs are also prone to anxiety in certain circumstances. The fear of being anxious is the most common reason why dogs kiss their lips. Dogs communicate without words and use an array of body communication signals, along with a variety of sound and vocalizations to inform others and people what they’re feeling. Lip licking can be an indication the dog may be stressed or uncomfortable in any circumstance. It is also a way to indicate acceptance. Your dog is effectively telling you ” I’m not a threat to you. …. Please don’t hurt me”. If you punish your dog for a misdeed, they might kiss the lips… they’re trying to convey “I am sorry”!

We can observe this behavior when dogs meet other dogs who could pose an unintentional threat, or when they greet an individual and feel they wish to ensure that the interaction is an enjoyable and pleasant experience. We can see this behavior in waiting rooms at the vet and also when dogs are taken to groomers or kennels as an instance.

As a vet I often look for lip licking when I examine a dog.

They can’t say which body part is hurting, but this can be a sign of. If my dog’s patient is calm and peaceful until I get close to a specific part of his body , and the next thing he does is lick his lips. I’ll usually move away from the area for a few seconds. After that, I’ll examine if the sign is the same every time I make contact with the same area in his body. If the dog’s mouth is always licking its lips each time I make contact with a specific point, then it’s a clear signal that this area is in pain or uncomfortable. I often make use of this signal to pinpoint discomfort and aid my patient.

Find the lip licking sign when your dog is feeling scared or concerned. Help your dog manage his anxiety by giving him your dog a gentle word of encouragement or a gentle pat. Be careful not to increase the stress your dog feels to deal with by making too much of a an effort and making him to believe that you too are anxious.


Could your dog be uncomfortable or in pain when he is licking his lips?

There are a few physical issues that can cause the dog you love to chew on its lips in excess. Any issue that creates discomfort in the mouth could lead your dog to lick his lips more frequently. Other conditions that can cause lip licking issues include metabolic disorders that can cause nausea as well as some neurological conditions.

If your pet feels nauseous they may lick their lips excessively.

It is usually associated with a lack of food or not having as much appetite like they normally. The nausea isn’t always accompanied by vomiting , but be on the lookout for this. If your pet appears to suffer from vomiting,, it is recommended to consult your veterinarian to perform a complete health examination. The root cause of nausea could be very dangerous if not addressed. So the sooner that your dog’s seen by your veterinarian, the more effective.

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