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The Mystery of a Dog’s Lip Licking: Causes and Solutions

dog keeps licking lips

Have you ever noticed your dog constantly licking their lips? It may seem like a harmless habit, but excessive lip licking in dogs can actually be a sign of an underlying issue. As a responsible pet owner, it is important to understand the reasons behind this behavior and how to address it. In this article, we will delve into the mystery of a dog’s lip licking and provide valuable insights on how to deal with it.

What is Lip Licking in Dogs?

Lip licking, also known as excessive lip smacking or air licking, is a common behavior in dogs. It involves the dog repeatedly licking their lips, often accompanied by smacking or smacking their tongue. This behavior can be seen in all breeds and ages of dogs and can occur at any time of the day.

Causes of Lip Licking in Dogs

There are various reasons why a dog may engage in excessive lip licking. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Anxiety or Stress: Dogs can experience anxiety or stress due to various reasons such as separation from their owners, loud noises, or changes in their environment. Lip licking is a common coping mechanism for dogs in such situations.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Dogs may lick their lips if they are experiencing pain or discomfort in their mouth or throat. This could be due to dental issues, mouth sores, or an object stuck in their mouth.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as nausea, gastrointestinal problems, or allergies can cause a dog to lick their lips excessively.
  • Behavioral Issues: Some dogs may develop a habit of lip licking due to boredom, compulsive behavior, or as a way to seek attention from their owners.

How to Address Lip Licking in Dogs

The first step in addressing lip licking in dogs is to identify the underlying cause. If you suspect that your dog is experiencing anxiety or stress, try to identify the trigger and provide them with a safe and comfortable environment. You can also consult with a veterinarian for advice on how to manage your dog’s anxiety.

If your dog is exhibiting signs of pain or discomfort, it is important to take them to a veterinarian for a thorough examination. The vet will be able to identify any underlying medical conditions and provide appropriate treatment.

In cases where lip licking is a result of behavioral issues, it is important to provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation. Engage them in activities such as playing, training, or going for walks to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. You can also consult with a professional dog trainer for guidance on how to address compulsive behaviors in dogs.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your dog’s lip licking persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is important to seek professional help. These symptoms may include excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in appetite or behavior. A veterinarian will be able to conduct a thorough examination and provide appropriate treatment for your dog.


In conclusion, lip licking in dogs can be a sign of an underlying issue and should not be ignored. As a responsible pet owner, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and address any concerning habits. By identifying the cause and seeking appropriate help, you can help your dog lead a happy and healthy life.

Question and Answer

Q: Is lip licking in dogs always a cause for concern?

A: Not necessarily. Dogs may lick their lips occasionally as a normal behavior. However, if you notice excessive lip licking or it is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.


In summary, lip licking in dogs can be caused by various factors such as anxiety, pain, medical conditions, or behavioral issues. It is important to identify the underlying cause and seek appropriate help to address this behavior. By understanding and addressing your dog’s lip licking, you can ensure their overall well-being and happiness.

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