You are sitting in your home and you see your dog licking his lips excessively. Why does my dog keep licking his lips you wonder? Well, as always there are multiple reasons. Below we are going to explain all of them and help you understand this behavior better. It is important to understand why your dog does things so you can assist him or take needed action.
Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Lips: Main Reasons Revealed
It is calming signal
This is one of the most common reasons. In fact, dogs will lick their lips when they are scared, anxious or when they are under stress. Why does my dog keep licking his lips? Well, he is trying to calm himself and he is trying to tell another dog or a person that he doesn’t want to deal with him.
This is more common when your dog sees another dog at a park or in the yard. But, it is also possible that he licks his lips when you come home. If he made a puddle of pee at some point and you were angry, he is scared that you will react the same way now. In some dogs, lip licking can be the same thing as nail-biting in humans.
He ate foxtail
Spiky seeds of the grass called foxtail are another cause here. Your dog may have the seeds in his mouth, nose, between the fingers, and even in the lungs. If this is the case he will sneeze all the time, lick the lips, swallow and he will eat anything he can find. He may also lick the floor or objects. Now is the time to take him to a vet immediately. He will determine which way is the best to remove the seed or seeds.
Due to pain
Dogs will react differently when they are in pain. Most of them will bark but not all. Some will lick their lips. If you notice dehydration and this behavior you can tell that your pet is in pain. The most common issues here are related to kidneys and liver. Yes, you will have to take him to a vet and he will need severe treatment.
Yes, your pet can be nauseous and he will lick his lips. He will do this because of excess saliva. He just wants to remove the saliva and he will swallow it afterward. You can see him doing both actions (licking and swallowing) which is not common in other cases here. Your dog will also eat grass. They have been doing this for centuries and it is used to help them with an upset stomach. If your dog does this for a couple of days you may want to take him to a vet. He may have eaten something toxic.
Due to oral discomfort
It is actually a very common thing here. Dogs who lick their lips all the time may have some sort of oral discomfort. The best examples are tooth decay, periodontal disease, saliva glands that are swollen, and also some objects in the teeth. He is trying to eliminate the discomfort. You can examine his mouth and if you see some object remove it. If you don’t see it, you may want to take him to a vet and diagnose the issue.
Dogs can have partial seizures. In most cases, they will look and act perfectly normal. But, you can see them licking the air. They are trying to catch imaginary flies which is the best example here. The cause of this behavior can be epilepsy or particle seizures that can occur. Your dog needs to be taken to a vet for a detailed examination. He will probably prescribe certain medications that will treat seizures and help your dog.
You can see dogs who pace nervously and try to poop but they can’t. They will also lick the lips excessively. This is the case of bloat and it happens extremely commonly. Deep chest dogs are at a higher risk. You will have to take him to a vet and your dog will need treatment. This issue can be fatal if you don’t treat it so you can deduce how severe it is. Causes for bloat can be gasses, food, or anything else that causes an enlarged stomach. Fluid can also increase the stomach and there are all kinds of additional causes.
If your dog licked a toxic toad he will experience all kinds of symptoms. These will appear within minutes and you need to take him to a vet. The symptoms are drooling, red gums, vomiting, lack of coordination, pawing, foaming, shaking the head, and also rise of the body temperature.
If you notice any of these symptoms, wash his mouth with clean water and take him to the vet. This is not a harmless condition and your dog needs severe help as soon as possible.
Yes, dogs can end up dehydrated and yes this happens more commonly than you may believe. It is especially common during the warm months. Lift the skin of the dog by pinching it. Then release it immediately. If the skin returns to the normal position immediately your dog is fine. If it stays in a tent-like position, he is dehydrated. He may be dehydrated due to medical conditions as well. Start by providing him plenty of water to drink. If he refuses, another condition may be present. Sticky gums, loss of skin elasticity, and sunken eyes are the most common symptoms here.
Why Is My Dog Coughing When Gets Excited. Find out here.
The final word
Why does my dog keep licking his lips all the time? As you were able to see, dogs don’t typically do this without a real reason. There are a lot of issues you need to worry about and there are a lot of things you need to know in order to understand the behavior. Luckily we have explained all of them. In most situations, the best thing to do is to take him to a vet and he will diagnose your dog properly. Almost all of these issues can be successfully treated.
ALso you can read my other article, Can You Give Dogs Tums When Needed?