Some people claim that dogs have lips. Others claim that dogs don’t have lips. If you take a look at your mouth, you will see lips. Now if you look at the mouth of a dog you won’t see lips. Do dogs have lips or not? They do have lips. These are not the same nor even similar as ours but they do have. Now we will explain all the rest you want to know.
Where Are The Dog’s Lips?
Our lips are on the mouth, between the mouth and cheeks more precisely. They help us feel the food we eat and the beverage we drink. Basically, humans use their lips as a sensory organ. Dogs don’t use lips for this purpose. Do dogs have lips for a completely different reason? Yes, they do.
Dog’s lips are all around his mouth but they are not easily visible. The role of the lips is to protect the teeth and the jaw. The lips of a dog will also transport the scents to the nose, which has a huge role. Dogs rely on their sense of smell more than on anything else. In addition, dogs have been using their lips as a form of body communication.
The lips of dogs with long jaws are completely different from ours. Pets with a short jaw have lips that are a bit more like ours. All of this is mandatory due to one major difference between us and dogs.
They need a high biting force. They need a long and sharp jaw for this. Humans need the capacity of their mouth and not a biting force that is high. We can create suction using our lips and cheeks. Dogs can’t. They don’t need this. As we know, dogs don’t eat the same food as we do in the same way. Their mouth and their lips are optimized for living in the wild. Hunting and eating raw meat and bones.
Due to this anatomy of the lips and mouth in general, dogs don’t have nice manners inside the house. You can see a puddle of water when he drinks and you can see drool all over the house. There is nothing you can do about it.
Name of The Lips
An interesting fact is that the upper lip of a dog has a name. It flies and it comes in many sizes, shapes, etc. Dogs with a bigger flew will drool more and make more mess when they eat or drink. However, the lower lip doesn’t have a name. it is ‘’lower lip’’ only.
Some dog breeds have a massive fly. For instance, basset hound, Labrador retriever, Saint Bernard, bull terrier, Neapolitan mastiff, bulldog, bloodhound, and a few more have massive upper lips. They are massive so you won’t even find a lower lip. It is still present, but you will need a lot of time to find it.
Bumps On The Lips of Your Dog
Now you are probably looking at the lips of your dog. You can see them and you can see small bumps all over the lips. Yes, this is natural and there are no risks here of any kind. We don’t know why dogs have these bumps. All dogs have them and there is no obvious explanation. They look like diseases and they are not pleasant to touch. There are two theories.
The first one is that your dog has these bumps to protect the lip. We have small lips and small teeth. But we still manage to bite a lip occasionally. Imagine a dog with his massive teeth, jaw, and lips now. He can pierce the skin easily. Bumps should make the skin more resilient and more immune to these injuries.
The second option is a bit more interesting. If you give a bone to your dog and you are looking at him eating it, you can see the bumps. In fact, you can see the lips alongside the bumps wrapping around the bone, holding it in place. We believe that these bumps are there to improve the grip of the lips and to hold bones and large pieces of meat in place as the dog eats. This is just a theory and there is no definite explanation.
It is important to add that dogs can have pimples and acne on the lips. These are not the same as the bumps. Anyway, if you see two types of bumps that are different from each other, take your dog to a vet.
It is important to add that if you see massive bumps or clusters of these on the gums and lips of a dog, it may be oral papillomavirus. As you can see this is a virus and it will form tumors all around the mouth. Your dog needs immediate help from a vet.
Dog Lips in Action: Their Role in Dog Communication
Just like human lips, dog lips play a significant role in their communication. However, they communicate differently than we do. One of the main functions of a dog’s lips is to facilitate various forms of dog-to-dog and dog-to-human interactions.
For instance, when a dog is relaxed and comfortable, its lips will be loose and neutral. On the other hand, when a dog feels threatened or anxious, it might pull back its lips to display its teeth – a universal sign of aggression or discomfort in the animal kingdom.
Playful dogs often exhibit a ‘play face,’ where their mouths are open, and lips are pulled back into what appears to be a smile. This expression, often accompanied by a wagging tail and playful stance, is a clear invitation to play and socialize.
Another interesting aspect of dog communication via lips is ‘lip licking’ or ‘tongue flicking.’ This behavior, often directed towards humans or other dogs, is typically a calming signal. It’s a dog’s way of saying, “I come in peace.”
Understanding these cues and learning to interpret your dog’s lip movements can provide a fascinating insight into your furry friend’s emotions and thoughts. By doing so, you’ll be well-equipped to meet their needs and foster a deeper bond with your canine companion.
The function of a dog’s lips extends beyond mere communication. They also serve a protective purpose. Read on to find out more about the protective role of your dog’s lips!
Remember, if you want to understand your dog’s emotions and intentions better, pay attention to their lips. It’s an often overlooked aspect of dog body language that offers valuable information.
To delve further into the topic of “Do Dogs Have Lips?” stay with us! The following sections will bring you deeper into the world of dog lips, their types, and care tips.
Variations Among Dog Breeds
When it comes to our canine companions, one size certainly does not fit all. This applies not just to the overall size and build of different dog breeds, but also to more specific aspects like their lips. If you take a close look, you’ll notice that dog lips can vary significantly from one breed to another.
Let’s start with Bloodhounds, famous for their droopy, long lips. This particular feature isn’t just for show – it serves a vital role in their scent tracking. As Bloodhounds sniff, the scent particles get trapped in the wrinkles of their saggy lips and moist nose, enhancing their already exceptional sense of smell.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have breeds like Greyhounds. These dogs are characterized by thin, tight lips that adhere closely to their jawline. This streamlined facial structure matches their sleek bodies, minimizing drag and making them more aerodynamic for high-speed pursuits.
Breeds like Boxers and Bulldogs have what are often referred to as ‘jowls.’ These are the sagging sections of skin that hang down from their lower lips, giving them a somewhat grumpy appearance. However, these jowls serve a practical purpose: they help these breeds grasp and hold onto things, a throwback to their days as hunting dogs.
On the contrary, small breeds like Shih Tzus and Pekingese have what’s known as an ‘undershot’ or ‘reverse scissors’ bite. Their lower jaw extends further than the upper one, causing their lower lip to protrude slightly.
Each of these variations in lip structure among dog breeds is a result of selective breeding to serve specific roles throughout history, be it hunting, tracking, or companionship. Understanding these variations helps us appreciate the diversity and complexity of our furry friends even more.
Why Do Dogs Have Black Lips?
Dogs have a nose with the same color as the gums. But the lips are completely black. This happens due to the melatonin level in the body. Dogs who have a higher level of melatonin have darker lips, skin, and coats.
The level of melatonin can change. It can go lower for instance. This will happen if a dog has issues with growth hormones. There are a lot more health issues that can affect the melatonin level. You will have to check with your vet and make sure that the dog doesn’t have any of these health problems.
It is worth noting that not all dogs have black lips. Some have gray lips. Others have brown lips. All these colors are normal and you can see that the lips match other colors on that dog.
Common Lip Problems in Dogs
Despite their distinctiveness and functionality, a dog’s lips are not immune to certain health problems. Some of these issues may cause discomfort or even pain, so it’s vital for dog owners to be aware of them. Here are a few common lip problems that dogs can encounter.
One prevalent issue is Lip Fold Dermatitis, an inflammation that typically occurs in breeds with heavy lip folds, such as Bulldogs or Saint Bernards. Moisture, food particles, or dirt can get trapped within these folds, leading to bacterial growth and causing inflammation. This can result in a foul smell, redness, and a brownish discharge. Regular cleaning and drying of the lip folds can help prevent this problem.
Oral Papillomas, more commonly known as dog warts, can also be a concern. These small, benign tumors usually appear on the lips, gums, or inside the mouth. They are caused by the canine papillomavirus and often affect young dogs with less mature immune systems. Although these warts may look alarming, they often disappear on their own as the dog’s immune system matures. However, if they grow large, cause discomfort, or don’t resolve on their own, veterinary treatment may be required.
Physical injuries to the lips are another common issue. Dogs are curious creatures and can often end up chewing on something sharp or getting into fights with other animals, leading to cuts or bruises on the lips. Minor injuries can be treated at home, but deeper wounds or those that don’t heal should be checked by a vet.
Lastly, dogs can also experience lip infections or abscesses. If your dog is excessively drooling, reluctant to eat, pawing at the mouth, or you notice swelling or pus, it might be suffering from an infection and should be taken to the vet promptly.
Regularly inspecting your dog’s mouth and lips can help catch these issues early on, and professional veterinary advice should always be sought when any abnormalities are noted. Remember, a healthier mouth leads to a happier, more comfortable dog.
Caring for Your Dog’s Lips
The lips of your dog are an integral part of their health and well-being, so it’s important to provide them with the right care. A few simple yet effective practices can ensure that your furry friend’s lips stay clean, healthy, and free from diseases. Here are some tips to help you care for your dog’s lips.
- Regular Inspections: Make a habit of examining your dog’s lips routinely. This can help you identify any abnormalities like swelling, cuts, or discoloration early on. If you notice any unusual lumps, sores, or changes in color, it’s best to consult your vet.
- Proper Hygiene: Cleanliness is crucial in preventing lip fold dermatitis. If your dog has droopy lips or heavy folds, make sure to clean them regularly. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently clean the folds and rid them of any food particles or debris. After cleaning, dry them thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Healthy Diet and Chewing Toys: A balanced diet can contribute to overall oral health. Also, chewing toys can help clean the mouth and lips, providing an additional line of defense against potential lip problems.
- Careful Observation: Be observant of any changes in your dog’s behavior. If your dog is pawing at its mouth more often, drooling excessively, or showing signs of discomfort while eating, these could be signs of lip problems.
- Regular Vet Check-ups: Routine veterinary examinations are vital for early detection and treatment of potential health issues. Vets have the expertise to notice things that might escape untrained eyes, so regular visits are important.
- Lip Balm for Dogs: Just like human lips, dog lips can also get dry and chapped. Special dog lip balms are available in the market, which are safe to use and can help keep your dog’s lips moisturized.
Remember, a little attention and care can go a long way in keeping your dog’s lips healthy. After all, prevention is better than cure when it comes to your pet’s health.
The Final Word
Do dogs have lips? Yes, they have lips. They are not the same as ours nor do they have the same purpose but they are present. You can see the lips of your dog if you know where to look. Keep in mind that on some dogs this can be difficult. In addition, dogs can smile but this doesn’t look anything like humans smile.